Sac State’s the WELL’s mobile app discourages students from using facility


Stacy Hanson

Alejandra Santiago, a second-year child development major stands outside the WELL before heading in for her workout on March 17, 2022. Santiago said she was having trouble making a reservation through the app which made it difficult to enter the facility.

Stacy Hanson

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on many unique challenges for Sacramento State students but perhaps the least expected change to campus were complications in accessing the WELL, the university’s premier health and recreation center.

Many Sac State students have complained about feeling discouraged from using the WELL due to the facility’s mobile app complicating access.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, students were not required to make a reservation in order to enter the WELL. However, since the facility reopened in Sep. 2020, reservations have been required in order to access the facility and the app is the primary method of making them.

Multiple Sac State students have said that the app is difficult to navigate, which deters them from using the facility.

Ariel Scriven, a third-year graphic design major, said he thought he didn’t have access to the WELL because the app wasn’t working for him.

Ariel Scriven, a third-year graphic design major stands outside prior to working out at the WELL on March 14, 2022. Scriven says he felt discouraged from using the WELL because the app made it difficult to make a reservation. (Stacy Hanson)

“The app will time out when I try to load an appointment time and it’s really hard to navigate…,” Scriven said. “Since the app wasn’t really working for me, I just thought I couldn’t go.”

Frankie Salazar, a third-year film major said that when he first experienced complications with the app, he felt less encouraged to visit the WELL, and also no longer makes reservations to visit the facility because of this.

“I tried to be patient with the app,” Salazar said. “I just don’t think it’s very modern.”

While the app is supposed to be user-friendly, it takes multiple steps to make a reservation for the WELL, that is if students can log in, to begin with. 

Josiah Nelson, a fourth-year economics major, started a thread on Reddit about the topic. 

Nelson described the app as “disastrous” and claimed that he wasn’t able to make an appointment through the app until a month after it came out.

“The facility was easier to access when all we had to do was swipe an ID card,” Nelson said. “I’m just trying to get into the WELL, and the app is one of the most confusing scheduling interfaces I’ve ever used.”

The website already worked well before the app was introduced, according to Nelson who referred to the app as a “colossal waste of money.”

The app was first introduced in fall 2021. Since the app came out, students have no longer been able to make a reservation on the WELL’s website, according to an Instagram post from the WELL.

The WELL addressed student concerns in the comment section of their post, claiming that the app was designed by a third party so changes to the app would be limited.

The WELL app has only a 1.1 average rating out of five stars on the Apple App Store. In those reviews, some students claim that they are having trouble even logging in to the app and that they aren’t using the WELL because of this. 

The WELL app has 1.1 out of five stars on the App Store. Students write that they find the app difficult to navigate and have difficulties logging in.
(Stacy Hanson)

“I’m unable to make a reservation,” one user wrote in their review on the App Store. “I’ve asked the WELL members for help and they too are lost. Nobody seems to be able to navigate this horribly designed app.”

The app doesn’t feature everything that the WELL has to offer, according to Alejandra Santiago, a second-year child development major.

Santiago also expressed frustration in the fact that the app doesn’t allow students to sign up for classes offered by the WELL, such as yoga and cycling.

Feedback the WELL has received from students has been mixed, according to Kayley Tillett, a desk attendant at the WELL. Tillett said some students find it easier to use, while others have difficulties accessing it.

Tillett agreed that the app could be improved.

“I think we need to have more trial runs of the app so we can get feedback and make it a better experience for the students,” Tillett said.