University of Waterloo


Loyalty program introducing "Five Ways to Wellbeing" to Waterloo students


UX/UI Designer

The Problem

With mental health awareness being a popular, yet sensitive topic talked about on campus, the University of Waterloo is interested in improving the lives of its students. Often times, students don't speak out about mental issues, especially their own, so I wanted to design a solution that would improve the wellbeing of our students. There are two main elements to wellbeing: feeling good and functioning well. To feel and function better, there are things you can do – the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are basically guidelines to follow in order to live a healthy, positive lifestyle. Students at Waterloo are often stressed for a variety of reasons, including studying for exams and being homesick (especially for international students). Our team designed Welbie, a loyalty program that incorporates gamification techniques, encouraging students to actively follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing in their daily lives.

The Solution

Welbie is a loyalty program, utilizing a mobile application and the WatCard, University of Waterloo's campus identification card. The app can only be accessed by students logging in with their student ID credentials. It outlines different ways that students can participate in the Five Ways to Wellbeing on campus, such as attending a fitness class or joining a student club. Students will swipe their WatCard at each activity and their points will automatically be added to their account, which can then be tracked using the mobile app.

As they earn more points by completing activities, they will be able to redeem them for rewards that can be used on campus. They will also be able to unlock surprise achievements on the app and a wider selection of rewards as they level up. By implementing an incentive program, students will be encouraged to complete more activities and continue to follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing, leading to long-term mental and physical health.

Person holding an iPhone, using the Welbie app

The Persona

After defining the problem and outlining a solution, I created a student persona to better understand who I was designing for: the average Waterloo student. They are stressed out from having busy schedules and preparing for job interviews. By having a persona to design for, I was able to cater my design decisions towards the user.

Persona describing the average Waterloo student

The persona helped me brainstorm the types of activities and rewards that could be available with the app. I chose activities that promoted physical activity, mental wellbeing, connecting with other students, continuous learning and donation. Also, the activities must have a way to be tracked using the WatCard.

As for the reward options, I chose items that would provide value to both the University and the students, such as discounts at the bookstore and Food Services locations around campus. Other options included free Waterloo swag (t-shirts, stickers, water bottles, etc.) and tickets to Bomber Wednesday at the Bombershelter Pub, the on-campus pub.

Welbie reward system activities

The Process

I started by sketching out some rough wireframes to figure out the information architecture of the app. Then, I used Sketch to lay out the necessary screens and design the interface. There are five main screens with a bottom bar navigation menu, which makes it easy for the user to switch between screens without hiding the menu. The user can also swipe between screens if they prefer.

The dashboard contains a circular progress bar to help the user visualize how far they are from achieving the next level. It also contains tappable links to the Activity, Five Ways and Redeem screens to create a deeper experience within the app. From this screen, the user can also access the Achievements screen from the top right corner.

The Five Ways screen contains five cards that can be swiped through. The cards explain each of the Five Ways to Wellbeing and list the activities that users can complete in order to earn points.

As users redeem their rewards, they can access them on the Rewards screen. This screen contains a 'New' and 'Used' tab to filter out rewards that have been used already. When using a reward, the user will select it and a barcode will pop up, which can be scanned and applied at the appropriate location. Then, the reward will automatically be moved from the 'New' to 'Used' tab.

Wireframes of the app design

Final Thoughts

For this project, I wanted to not only design something that would improve the lives of Waterloo students, but something that could be incorporated into their daily lives. By interviewing students about their needs and interests, I was able to step into their shoes and understand what it would take to create a meaningful experience for them. I really enjoyed working on this project, since mental and physical wellbeing are an important aspect of my life, and I am excited to be able to share the Five Ways to Wellbeing to the Waterloo community through my own design. Screens for the Welbie app