• Launched on: April 19, 2012
  • Client: Agence France Presse
  • Mandate: Functional and ergonomic design, graphic design, HTML / CSS integration.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a global press agency that provides timely, verified, and complete information in the shape of videos, writing, photos, multimedia, and infographics on international current events. From wars and conflicts to politics, sports, and entertainment to important advances in health, science, or technology. Their 2, 260 contributors, from 80 different nationalities, spread out over 150 countries, report on the state of the planet in six different languages, 24 hours per day.

«the only global agency without an Internet presence…» — Emmanuel Hoog, PDG

To the new CEO who took the reigns of the agency the year before, the situation was clear: the AFP was absolutely not prepared to meet the challenges of the digital age and of the Internet as information media.

One of the central issues at hand was precisely the manner in which information propagated on social networks could lead to confusion about the services AFP provides.

Back in 2011, AFP would generate news that appeared on its clients websites and was immediately reposted by the media in general and within minutes had circulated to other news sites, networks, and blogs. The portion of paying AFP users was getting thinner by the day, and long-established clients were starting to think they were paying for everyone else.

The new management thus embarked on an extensive study, eventually resulting in a new communications and development strategy for digital spaces. And its within the scope of this sizeable undertaking that Upian came in, taking charge of the graphic and ergonomic redesign of the Internet site – one of this new strategy’s key components.

Objectives :

  • Strengthen AFP’s standing with its professional clients;
  • Promote AFP’s new products;
  • Increase public awareness and visibility.

« The charter we’d been operating under was from 2010 and had been designed strictly for print.» — Sophie Huet, chef du service infographie & Innovation

The first step was indeed the development of a global digital graphics charter, applicable to platforms as well as products (including static and animated infographics, a product currently experiencing rapid growth for AFP).

Then, a review of all graphic elements for the purpose of adapting them to Web and mobile applications, and making them effectively useful regardless of screen size – a task requiring the consideration of everything from grid dimensions and layout to fonts, in order to ensure consistent visual comfort, even on smartphones.

The next step involved the design of the site’s main screens, which will later be available in five languages – including Arabic. Among the most significant advantages of these new templates: a complete rethinking of content organization and usage, as well as a more editorial approach and strategy, without eating into the commercial service offer.

Customizable and intuitive, the AFP site is user-centric: it provides refined searches, geolocated navigation options, collaborative features, and enables users to permanently keep their finger on the pulse with the help of its notification system.

For AFP, Upian handled the functional and ergonomic design, the graphic design, as well as HTML / CSS integration.

Cover picture : ©AFP / Ed Jones Le photographe face au défilé de masse