Birk Creative develops Chicago Transit Authority Mobile App

November 7, 2017 - 6 minutes read

Mobile App for Chicago Transit Authority

Transit workers across the world have challenges with exercising, water intake, stress reduction and access to healthy foods for healthy eating. The nature of their jobs is sitting for long periods as they transport people to their destinations. We were asked to name an internal initiative, develop visual branding, and create a robust, information rich, interactive website for the Chicago Transit Authority so they could have resources to help all staff discover fresh food ideas and have choices for healthy living and outcomes. In collaboration with the health team at CTA, we created a wireframe based on a deep discovery and research process with the internal stakeholders. We wrote the copy, created the name and designed visual branding with the CTA’s internal graphics team. We built the stand alone custom mobile app and site from the ground up and deployed very few third party tools so that CTA would not be reliant on others to update and maintain their own intellectual property and content. We backed the site with solid Google analytics and other useful web tools and delivered a web server environment that ensures site safety, reliability and 24-hour round the clock human tech support. Take a look at our astonishing results here

The Assignment 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) had health and wellness programs in place, not only through the CTA, but through their healthcare provider. Management decided to drive employees to utilize those programs and manage their health better.

The problem, though, was delivering information to those employees. “One of the challenges that we faced was having a single internal share point that could only be accessed from the CTA network,” says Monique Gower, Manager Benefits Program for the CTA. “Many of our employees spend their time driving, so unless they came to the garage or terminal they could not access information.” In addition to infrequent access to a computer at a workstation, few had access to the Internet from home. “Most use their cell phone for news and information, as opposed to other sources, like a laptop or tablet,” says Monique.

The CTA engaged Birk Creative to develop a mobile app that was simple to update, as programs and information changes almost monthly and, most importantly, was fully accessible through mobile devices.

The Solution

A semi-custom solution was developed. The new mobile site, Live Well Work Well, is backed by the power of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. The app was created in WordPress with third-party services that allowed the website to pull in data and features from other sources in such a way that it appears seamless to the end user. Employees are wholly unaware that they are interacting with any other source than the new site.

There are tangible benefits to using the WordPress platform. It is an open source platform with no ongoing licensing fees or questions about who owns the content. Live Well Work Well is wholly owned by the CTA – a real asset that can be built upon and modified with additional functional enhancements.

Additionally, says Birk Creative programmer Joe, the advantages of using WordPress include the fact that it is the most widely used CMS platform. “The time from design and development to going live is shorter,” he says. “There are large development costs associated with fully custom sites, and the timeline for a custom site is really pushed out. Going the semi-custom route and using third-party tools allowed us to be nimble and react quickly to any changes in the development process.”

Birk Creative provided training to CTA staff who are tasked with updating the site as needed. The CTA spent two weeks working with the new website’s admin function, compiling a list of features and functions about which they needed clarification. A two-hour session was held at CTA headquarters reviewing those issues, and that session was recorded for use in the training process for new employees.


Live Well Work Well drove employee participation in the CTA’s health and wellness programs almost from the start. “In the first week or so we had nearly 300 people access the site,” says Monique. “We visited 21 of our locations that offer access to the site and we found that employees have found it to be a good, useful resource. We are able to see which areas of the site are visited most often, and we have seen greater participation in a lot of our programs.”

Mobile App Highlighted Features

  • Content Management Solution
  • Personal health tools
  • Content development
  • Topic research
  • All creative development
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Beta testing
  • UI testing
  • Surveying
  • Calendar of events
  • Share a story
  • Quizzes
  • Mobile
  • Videos
  • Recipes
  • Surveys

Contact JinJa Birkenbeuel when you need an agency to help you think and create effective strategies for your company or organization.