How can we design a comprehensive and cohesive visual system that engages young people all over the world to become agents of change in their communities?
U-Report is a social messaging tool allowing anyone from any community, anywhere in the world to respond to polls, report issues, support child rights and work as positive agents of change on behalf of the people in their country. U-Reporters can join the programme via their basic mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook or the U-Report app. They find out about U-Report through local advertising, social media and field trainings by U-Report partners.
U-Reporters are young people from all over the world that want to lead their community's development, address social issues and make a better life for everyone.
Having launched in May 2011 in Uganda, U-Report now has over 3.4 million U-Reporters throughout 36 countries including Uganda, Nigeria, Mexico, Pakistan, Zambia and Indonesia.
Our design opportunity was to make the process of deploying U-Report in a country much easier for our UNICEF colleagues in the field. This meant understanding the context within which U-Report was being introduced to communities and being able to work quickly with colleagues, many of whom we have never met, via Skype and email in order to deploy design assets, sometimes under the crunch of an emergency. We had to figure out how to design in languages other than the ones we know, and use the best communication methods to reach out to as many young people as possible. Our design team takes the responsibility of understanding the landscape of the U-Report design so we can not only maintain it as it scales quickly, but be ready to evolve it where necessary.
Design consultancy, verynice joined hands with our team to research, prototype and produce the visual brand of U-Report. With the help of the logos, guidelines and system created by verynice, our team now independently continues the deployment while also constantly improving on the assets.
THE BRAND SYSTEM
While U-Report positions its service as a youth engagement tool, each use case is different country by country. With this in mind, the U-Report global brand allows for country-specific translation while maintaining the brand consistency as a global product.
U-Report's brand system follows a 'plug n play' approach that allows for customisation through colour, geometry and pattern. As each country deploys U-Report, they have the opportunity to test and iterate on these icons with the help of U-Report representatives and youth groups.
Print and Digital Collateral: Upon consultation with the country offices and with the understanding of the basic context, we also help design print collateral that will get the U-Report programme up and running. This includes posters, flyers, banners, digital images to be distributed on social media and diagrams that explain the system of U-Report. These materials are designed with the country offices, keeping in mind the specific places and context in which they will be the most useful.
We also design global promotional print and digital content for U-Report alongside our country-specific designs. These are made in various languages and used by country offices globally for celebrating landmarks or big announcements.
Simultaneous to the brand deployment is the web design deployment. The current design template of the website was established by verynice, and our team now helps the developers gather all of the content they will need using a streamlined design deployment process. The current U-Report website is a first prototype and we are constantly working on gathering data from the country offices to improve for a second iteration slated for mid-2017.
U-Report Activity Map*
The deployment of U-Report is a continuously evolving process that our design team is rapidly adapting and improving. Our main goal is to have country offices and young people take ownership of this programme in their own context. We are always working on making this a better and more sustainable system that is easy for every stakeholder.