- Paper Giant Pty Ltd
- Youthlaw, Young People’s Legal Rights Centre Inc.
StreetSmart (http://streetsmart.com.au) is a responsive mobile website designed to teach young people about their rights when dealing with authorities.
It explains the powers and jurisdictions of police, ticket inspectors, protective service officers and security guards, and gives advice on how to deal effectively with these authorities. It also gives young people a clear starting point to getting free help with common legal issues, such as fines and court appearances.
StreetSmart is designed to be accessible across a wide range of devices and platforms, and directly addresses common myths and misunderstandings that we identified during research conducted with disadvantaged and homeless youths.
We designed StreetSmart to meet meet an important social need. Through detailed research, we found that the boundaries between different authorities and their jurisdictions are often confusing. Young people are unaware of their rights, and grapple with misinformation from friends and family. The consequences of this misinformation can often be severe: from receiving fines they can’t afford to being arrested. By clearly listing the “can’s and can’ts” of authorities and their jurisdictions, and a list of common questions for each, StreetSmart provides young people with a good understanding of their rights and obligations on the street.
StreetSmart is designed to be accessible across as many devices and platforms as possible, and was designed for mobile devices first. For many disadvantaged young people, their mobile phone is a lifeline to friends and family. It is often the only device they possess, and is usually the only way they access the internet. Rather than designing an ‘app’, which would work on only one platform, we chose to design a responsive mobile website. As a result, StreetSmart can be viewed on any device that can connect to the internet, including the most basic (and affordable) of mobile phones.
StreetSmart decreases the barriers to young people seeking help by providing clear steps and contact options. Our research found that there were several barriers to seeking help currently, including misinformation around the cost of seeking help (where many people associated lawyers with high costs); pride; and lack of clear information on when they could or should seek legal help. StreetSmart addresses these barriers by highlighting common situations where free legal help is available, through providing easy to access contact information for a support hotline, and an “Ask a Lawyer” form for those who wish to have more anonymous discussions.
StreetSmart doubles as an education research for Youthlaw to use through their outreach programs. Given it is a responsive website, it can also used equally well through a normal desktop browser or on a tablet. Youthlaw plan on using StreetSmart as presentation and classroom material to teach interactive and engaging lessons to schools across the state.