Alcohol Journeys | Website Design | Web Development

Building a website that helps encourage whānau to have brave conversations about alcohol

Alcohol Journeys is part of the alcohol health and wellbeing mahi at Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand that aims to help the inequalities and disproportionate harm from alcohol experienced by Māori.

Somar Digital was brought onboard by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand (formerly Te Hiringa Hauora | Health Promotion Agency) to design and build a website that shares real stories from people about their challenges and experiences around alcohol and how to make changes. link)

Our services used in this project are

Alcohol Journeys Initiative

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Te Whatu Ora spearheads a wide range of research and evaluation activities with Māori which includes the use of alcohol in New Zealand, public attitudes towards alcohol, and problems and harms associated with the misuse of alcohol. An essential aspect of these initiatives is launching websites centred around Māori communities that promote positive outcomes.

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Te Whatu Ora x Somar Digital Partnership and alcohol resources websites

We have built a strong collaborative partnership with Te Whatu Ora which includes designing and building alcohol-related websites including the Alcohol Journeys, and Alcohol Resources websites. The goal of these projects was (and still is!) to work together to focus on building solutions that benefit the communities that these websites are built for. and alcohol resources websites

Design that Centre's Māori Experiences

alcohol journeys stories website on mobile phone

Te Whatu Ora worked with Māori to record personal stories about alcohol and its impact in whānau. We made sure that we were designing the website for a primarily Māori user base. This included incorporating Te ao Māori designs and working with user feedback to design a Māori-centred experience.

alcohol journeys stories website on mobile phone

Treating the Stories with Dignity and Respect

family reading on couch

The stories included on the site are real stories shared by whānau across Aotearoa. Storytelling is a powerful tool and Māori communities made it clear that hearing personal stories about drinking less encourages them to have brave conversations with the potential to make changes to their lives.

family reading on couch

Audio Player

alcohol journeys audio player on tablet

One of the key features we built for the site was a custom audio player. Users have the option to either read the story page as well as listen to a recorded version. A transcript of the story can also be downloaded. The audio is broken down into chapters making it easier to use for listeners. We thoroughly tested the audio player so that it is accessible and works seamlessly on any device.


alcohol journeys audio player on tablet
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alcohol journeys stories quote
alcohol journeys website on laptop with forest background


Sharing Your Story

One of the major outcomes of the Alcohol Journeys website has been giving a platform for whānau to share their story and learn from others. The site is designed as a judgement-free safe space for people to learn first-hand from real people's experiences with the goal of inspiring change.

A Place to Encourage Change

Alcohol Journeys is a good starting point for people to make a change with not only stories from people but practical ways to make a change including recommendations and resources from professionals. The site is designed so it is less daunting for users who want to seek help to do so.

Modern and Scalable Web Solution

From a technical stand point, as with any project, it was important that the Alcohol Journeys site was built to be modern and scalable. It's easy for Te Whatu Ora and our Dev team to make updates and improvements to the site when necessary. Ultimately, we want the site to last and be a trusted source of advice and community.