Annabelle Hutchinson


Bachelor of Design Web Interaction App Prototype User-centred

A digital solution for young adults to reduce regrettable decisions whilst drinking.

We all know that feeling of checking your bank account after a long night out that you hadn’t planned for… but never fear, Cheersies is here! Your new drinking buddy allows you to create a drinking allowance with the ability to sync to your Apple watch whilst providing on-hand drinking information with the ability to track your nights out. With the ability to choose your own spending limit and expiry date, Cheersies allows you to stay in control and reduce those regretful decisions the next morning.

It was clear that young adults within New Zealand have little knowledge on safe drinking leading to regretful decisions influenced by intoxication. New Zealand’s drinking culture has always been an issue for youth and I wanted to know why nothing was changing, current ads and campaigns promoting safe drinking are not encouraging change which led me to dig deeper into trying to understand what these ‘regrettable decisions’ could include for young adults. One of my key findings was how much money they spend on alcohol, causing regret and disappointment the following day. This research guided me to create my ‘How Might We’ which was ‘How might we create a way to help young adults to understand safe drinking practices to reduce regrettable decisions’ which allowed me to create Cheersies.

A key turning point for my app was understanding what is possible with current technology. Within my Cheersies app, a major feature young adults wanted to see was having the ability to breathalyse yourself by blowing into the microphone of your Apple phone or watch. After talking this hurdle through with tutors and peers, we decided if there was a product that could sync with my app, then I could create those pages and allow the results from the product to show in the app. However with the most fashionable self-breathalyser being BacTrack ( they already have their own self efficient app which does the same thing mine would’ve done.

User testing was the most important aspect of this project, understanding how users interacted with my app on tuition and little guidance allowed me to record expressions, reactions, thoughts and comments from my target audience. Due to recent events in New Zealand (Auckland experienced another level 3 lockdown) a change in our standard user testing process was required. My user testing sessions were completed both in person and online through Zoom screen sharing. This made things slightly more challenging as it became harder to gauge exactly how the user was reacting when looking at screens of the app. It was a good learning experience however as it meant I had to adapt to new conditions which is something we need to be able to apply in our industry.

One of the key takeaways from this journey is that young adults can make their own decisions. There was no point in creating an app which taught them how to drink safely because they simply would not download it. I needed to create an app which gives them something they want – a way to reduce spending too much money on alcohol, whilst offering them information on safe drinking if they choose to read it. With curiosity being part of human nature, I would hope they would explore the app and find this information to be of benefit. Therefore, I think my digital solution, Cheersies, is a success.