Blue Cross

Digital Experience for Real World Play

How do you reach a large number of Saskatchewan families and inspire them to be active? "Push2Play for an hour a day" began as a paper-based communication package that offered a complete 'Playbook' of dozens of game ideas for parents, teachers and kids. The message and brand had great recognition and staying power, but in a paper format, it simply wasn’t meeting its goals for distribution and adoption.

Blue Cross App Preview

Play Where You Are

zu proposed an easily accessible digital approach to distribute the same information. We translated Push2Play’s well-developed and popular brand into the mobile digital world—so the Playbook can go wherever teachers and families go.

Our development of this experience spanned three phases: The first focused on bringing the popular playbook online into both a responsive website accessible through, and an optimized iOS mobile app. Together, Saskatchewan Blue Cross and zu built a solid foundation from which the games could be found, searched and favourited wherever your electronic device might find you.

Features and highlights
  • WordPress platform is easy to manage and update
  • iOS App built in Objective-C on the Cocoa framework

Increasing User Engagement Through Gamification

In our second phase, we recognized the value that gamification might bring to parents, teachers and kids. Rewarding active play was our theme as we designed and introduced a persistent avatar into the mobile application that could be customized via the “My Push2Play Zone,” with stars earned through active play. The avatar and star store became delightful incentives to explore the games and build upon an experience where parents can be kids with their kids, playing and customizing their characters together.

Our final phase of development expanded our digital gamification of real world play by introducing PlayPlus, an activity log to track and reward playtime for activities that are not part of the Push2Play playbook. We also introduced the weekly challenge, which offered special star rewards for completing playtime goals and simplified the ability to filter game categories for faster, easier exploration of playtime options.

Digital Content Without the Screentime

It may seem counterintuitive to create an app that encourages kids to avoid screentime, but that is just what we accomplished: a digital user experience that motivates real-world activity. The responsive microsite and iOS app allow Push2Play to stand on its own outside the Saskatchewan Blue Cross corporate site and let everyone get down to what it's all about: playing.

In doing so, we’re proving that beautiful things happen when the real world and digital world 'play nice'.