Mentally Friendly – Year in Review

A Year of Change

It’s been an exceptional year for Mentally Friendly. We collaborated with startups, industry leaders, and the public sector to push boundaries, tackle complex design and technology challenges.

We explored the coming shifts in technology, built world class digital products, and created meaningful change in the world around us.

This is what we’ve learned.


Intelligence over interface.

Interface, Intelligence

The coming generation of products will increasingly prioritise intelligence over interfaces. It’s the underlying logic and thinking – which will transform simple tools into powerful, useful experiences.

Multiple Interfaces, Unified Intelligence

New interface types do not automatically create value – they simply provide additional ways to interact with the underlying intelligence.

Each new interface comes with its own pros and cons – chat makes complex things simple, but simple things complex. The products of the future won’t eschew traditional interfaces, but adapt contextually, surfacing the right tools at the right time.

Chat can make complex things simple, but makes simple things complex.
Interface, Intelligence

The shift to a new type of product requires a shift to a new type of design. We’re conducting ongoing research, interviews, and experiments to better understand and prepare for these coming changes. Furthermore, we have created a growing set of principles for designing and building intelligent products and services.


Wellness isn’t one size fits all.

Multiple choices for multiple individuals

The current ‘one size fits all’ approach to health and wellness is becoming obsolete. It’s no longer about the most exercise or counting calories. It’s about the right choices for you.

Health data alone can’t tell you what to do – you also need expert advice to make sense of it.
Health data, Expertise, Quality Advice

New technology can provide a wealth of health data, but the data alone can’t tell you what to do – you also need expert advice to make sense of it.

With the data and the expertise to understand it, it’s possible to guide quality choices, and give advice based on individual needs.

Over the last year we’ve partnered with Fitness First to help people get the most from their exercise, A.H. Beard to help people improve their sleep and Relationships Australia to help people connect with mental health services when they need it most.

Sleepsense – smart bed to track & improve your sleep

Sleepsense – smart bed to track & improve your sleep

Radiant – Helping people find mental health support

Radiant – Helping people find mental health support


Banks need to build human relationships.

Institute, Positive choice, Customer

Financial institutions have a responsibility to do more than keep money safe.

They also need to have meaningful conversations with customers, help them understand their options and guide positive choices.

Financial institutions have a responsibility to do more than keep money safe.
Financial Data, Soft data

With a shared understanding of a person’s financial context, it’s possible to build trust, and work together to make better decisions. This can ultimately guide people to adjust their behaviour to support the life they want.

We worked with some of Australia’s largest financial institutions to help their customers gain clarity of thought around their finances, and lay the groundwork for positive behaviour change.

Getting it done.

Getting it done.


Citizens can design governments.

offline process, online process

The digitization of government services is inevitable, but it’s not enough to simply replicate offline processes.

By adopting a design lead prototyping approach, it’s possible to explore ideas faster, and make decisions based on real world experience.

Citizens must be meaningfully involved in the design process.
citizen co-design

Government services exist to serve the community, so citizens must be meaningfully involved in the design process. Design decisions should be led by co-design and user testing with citizens.

We’ve been working with the NSW Government to help them increase their speed of innovation, understand their citizens, and focus on solving the right problems.

Citizen co-design

Citizen co-design

Citizen co-design

Citizen co-design


Innovation needs the right environment.

Surroundign environment, Core offering

Products and services can’t make meaningful change on their own. The surrounding organisations must create the right environment to give their services the best chance of success.

Products and services can’t make meaningful change on their own.
mf team, client team

Organisations can inadvertently stifle communication and innovation. By working collaboratively with internal teams and stakeholders, they gain the tools they need to work together, creating the right conditions for project success.

While we apply this methodology with all our clients, 2017 has seen us work with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Flow Systems, and UTS specifically to help restructure and upskill teams for innovation.

Co-creating innovative products

Co-creating innovative products


Different problems need different mindsets

Surroundign environment, Core offering

Different problems require different mindsets to reach the ideal solution. It's essential to have the right team, and the right processes in place to allow them to operate at peak performance.

mf team, client team

We designed a framework to identify and understand different problems, from the completely visionary, through to minor iterative improvements.

This builds a shared understanding with both the team, and client, informing team structure & process to optimise our chance of success.

2018 - 2019

The year to come

We’ll continue to experiment with emergent technologies, and codify processes for designing, prototyping, documenting, and building intelligent products. We’ll leverage our learnings to build the next generation of products, designed for the complexities and problems of our time.

We’ll continue to grow our new office in Canberra to work closely with the Government, bringing our design-lead, prototype driven methodology to both services, and policy.

We’ll continue to work with purpose driven organisations, across areas like finance, health, education, and government. These industries have both the opportunity, and the responsibility to solve real human problems.

We’re living in a time of constant change, where advances in technology are transforming every industry. These shifts are radically changing the way we live, work, and interact as a society. We’re optimistic that we can shape these changes for the better, and make a meaningful impact to the world.