Air Canada & Aeroplan

Design sprint

UI Designer, UX Researcher  |  5 days (2021)  |  iOS

Designing a digital solution to get current members engaging with the Aeroplan website and mobile app every day using their existing programs, perks, benefits and partners.

Tools: Figma

Team: Amanda Growe, Beatriz Ignacio, Chad Harms

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Problem space.

As a part of our learning experience at BrainStation, we were given a design challenge from the team at Air Canada. Since COVID-19 happened people can't travel as often as they used to, as a result of that travel related companies experience a dramatic decline in their revenue. To increase engagement with Air Canada's loyalty program, we were given the challenge to design a digital solution that would include existing perks, benefits and partners.


Setting objectives.

After discussing the problem space given, we set a goal to focus on the existing Aeroplan members who may not be familiar with the benefits of the loyalty program and, thus, don't engage with Aeroplan often.

Defining assumptions.

Before tackling the problem we came up with different assumptions we had about Air Canada, Aeroplan and loyalty programs in general.

01. Gamification is an effective tool to encourage people engage with a product

02. People are incentivized by rewards

03. Loyalty programs can help built people's trust to a brand

04. People feel encouraged by loyalty programs to keep interacting with a brand 

05. If people knew more ways how to use their points they would engage with Aeroplan more often

Talking to people.

To help us develop a better understanding of the reasons why people join loyalty programs, what makes them keep interacting with them as well as what they find unpleasant in this experience, we conducted 4 user interviews. After that we determined most common pain points, motivations and behaviours to identify the following key insights:

01. People join loyalty programs at stores they already frequent 

02. People value being a part of loyalty programs because of dollar discounts

03. People assume Aeroplan points can be collected and redeemed only though traveling


Design question.

With these insights we developed several HMWs to help us define a problem to focus on this sprint. After the team voted, we decided on our final design question.



User persona.

After we understood the interviewees' pain points, motivations and behaviours, we created a persona that represents our target user.



Seeking inspiration.

Before actually sketching our ideas, we did a competitor analysis to understand existing patterns that are widely used by other brands, specifically focusing on brands that have engaging loyalty programs such as Starbucks, Sephora, Urban Outfitters and more.

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After exploring existing loyalty programs, we sketched out different ideas for our design solution and voted on which ideas we wanted to pursue further.

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Following the style guide.

As a part of the challenge, we needed to design our solution within the Air Canada's style guidelines. We were given all the colours and typography to create an indistinguishable product.


Final prototype.

Using the style guidelines as a reference, I started working on the UI design for our digital solution. In the flow designed our persona wants to earn enough point to get an Apple Watch for free. To achieve that, she starts a 7 day challenge which eventually will bring her more points. While completing such challenges, she interacts with the app on a daily basis and earns points when making purchases in her favourite stores.

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Usability testing.

Considering tight deadlines, we were able to test the prototype with just 4 users. However, we received valuable feedback suggesting how we could improve the flow. For the testing session we used a scenario where the users were asked to:

01. Find the 7 day challenge

02. Completing day 1 and day 7 challenges

03. Checking updated point balance

04. Checking progress on their goal


The design solution.

How our proposed solution addresses the problem space presented:


Emphasizing where users' points can take them and what they can achieve with them.

Increased discoverability

Making everyday brands more visible with the Aeroplan app.


Adding game mechanics to encourage the user to return to the app and check off challenges.

Future thinking.

Working on this design sprint, we had a limited amount of time which allowed us develop only the core task flow of checking off the challenge. When we have more time, we would like to develop further the idea with achievements and getting points for day-to-day actions. Also, when testing the application with users, we received feedback suggesting to lock the next days tasks and to show a clear difference between what is active and ready to be checked off from what is still locked.

Take outs & learnings.

This design sprint was a rewarding experience as it helped me understand the value of team work. As we defined our strengths and weaknesses at the early stage, we managed to divide responsibilities so each of us could use their strong skills and deliver the best solution possible considering the time frame.

Since we needed to move forward fast, we had to make all the decisions quickly while considering all possible outcomes, ensuring our solution would address the initial problem. As a result, I learned the importance of listening to all group members assessing all viewpoints and finding a common ground.



How might we encourage people to collect points on everyday purchases in order for them to be engaged Aeroplan members?