Qwezi

A custom content platform for Africa.

Client
Primedia Online
Role
Strategy
Brand Identity
UI & UX
Development

The brief

Primedia Online approached us with a pitch to explore a relevant online portal and brand for the African internet user. Our solution for this was the creation of an Africanised brand identity, a fresh and relevant website design and a custom CMS for local content creators.

Creating an African news brand

The brand needed to communicate to a young, African market and so we began to unpack the anatomy of the identity, exploring key building blocks.

Style

  • Modern African
  • Professional but approachable
  • Friendly and intelligent
  • Connected and grounded

Structure

  • Mobile First: “users are always online” and want an “accessible experience”
  • Responsive: “rising middle class have access to multiple devices

Substance

  • Good stuff: “curated quality content”
  • Content: “news and lifestyle verticals”
  • Brief: “what you need in the time you have”
  • Control: users have control over what we serve them

Inspired by traditional African design patterns we decided to use bold, sharp and thick typographical treatments, triangular shapes and bright colours. The content of the website would be a mix of African and International news and so we decided to use heavy contrast in colour to reinforce this objective.

Empowering the user

With such a large range of content envisioned for the website, we wanted the user to be able to tailor their experience, ensuring that they only see the content they’re interested in – whether it be news, sport or Kim Kardashian’s new hair cut. By signing up, a user could choose any number of categories and sub-categories that interested them, allowing for a very customised experience.

Catering for a variety of mobile devices and browsers was one key challenge, particularly Opera Mini – the main browser in countries like Nigeria (73% usage).

Empowering the content creator

We designed and built a custom CMS based on what the design of the new website required, as well as what the editors needed to create and manage regular streams of content.

We decided to use a block structure for the content editor so that the editors could easily adjust the layout of their article, ensuring a beautiful design and readable layout on the website every time. A responsive CMS that worked well on mobile also enabled the editors to create and edit content on the go.

Branded content

By aiming to grow a new user base across the continent we in turn created an exciting advertising opportunity for the group. The custom CMS allowed us to include an option of adding sponsorships to relevant content. Brands could sponsor collections of articles which allowed for better and more relevant branded content for the website user. The advertising team would be able to curate sponsorship packages and opportunities that worked for their clients.