OCAD U Connect



Oct 2020- Dec 2020  


Client: OCAD University Student Wellness Center 


Empathy Mapping, Affinity Mapping, Design Research, Ethnography, UX/UI 


Miro, Figma, Powerpoint

The Problem  

At the time of this project the method of obtaining information through OCAD U website on topics such as; mental heath, available clubs on campus, and how to book an appointment with a canceller- where all spread out on different platforms. Individuals both trying to help and in needed of help now had to go through a level of frustration just to access this information. 

My Solution

A OCAD U Student Wellness App. With the goal of creating a welcoming safe space for first year students, providing them with all the information I wish I could have known as a first year student, As well as alleviate the stress of the mentors by working with them and supporting them when needed. 

What did I learn from this project as a designer? 

When completing this project, I learned new skills such as empathy mapping, data collecting, value propositioning, and analytic frameworks such as micro, meso, and macro. I walked away from this project as a designer,  with a deeper  interests in anthropology and ethnographic design thinking. 

Relevant mental health information and support access to 24/7 FAQ bot. 

Built-in chatrooms connecting you to club-members, peers and student mentors all in one place.

Problem Background 

It is well known that there has been a rise in mental health issues since the onset of Covid-19, with some helplines reporting an increase in calls of over 300% between February and March of 2020.

Ontario university students have been hit especially hard, with additional barriers of isolation of international students and an over load of school work. It has also been brought to light that first-years are at an increased risk of depressive symptoms as they are lacking a sense of belonging that comes with making new friends through activities such as frosh.

Project Timeline 




Choosing problem area

Scenario Building 



Primary + Secondary 

Empathy Mapping 

Journey Mapping 

Value Proposition  



Initial Design Concepts 


Refinement/ Feedback Faze

Interactive Prototype 


Research Methods Used: 


  • 8 Envermental Scans
  • 6 Literature Reviews 
  • 3 Market Scans 


  • 1 Industry Expert Interview

Key Insights 

1. The need for more Face-to-Face interactions 

2. Students feel disconnected during online learning 

3. The need for more Face-to-Face training for student mentors

4. Student's don't believe OCAD cares about them 

5. Students tend to seek out help when they are at the breaking point 

6. There is a need for more mentors and mentors in different disciplines 


Design Opportunity

After forming the research findings, I came up with three divergent design ideas that tackled the problem space. 

Feedback Session on Initial Ideas 

When receiving feedback from my peers and professor,  the unanimous push in concept direction was the App design. 

The feedback was to keep exploring the framework of what would be on the app, how the app differs from what is on the market, and looking in on the ultimate value of the app to each stakeholder.  

Final Design 

Components of Final Design Concept 

Value Proposition 

Interactive Prototype

Value Proposition 

We want to remove the frustration of searching, with our streamline search directory and 24/7 automated help chat accessing information and feeling supported is now in everyone's reach. 

We want to make sure that first year students have access to clubs and communities. That is why we offer the latest in mental health research and let it guide us when creating accessible user-friendly tools for first year students. 

We are constantly working on innovative ways to connect our first year students up with answers, resources, and communities that will help them through their OCAD U careers. 

Project Continuation 

In January of 2021 I got to present this idea to the Student Wellness faculty at OCADU. They plan on work with me to interrogating these ideas into there upcoming website revamp. 

Using Format