UNIVERSITY PAPER

Relaunch of University Paper website that focuses on digital growth and social sharing

THE BRIEF

Founded in 2013, the University Paper is the UK’s largest student paper, targeting 2.5 million students across 16 cities each week with news direct from their campus and beyond. Bucking the trend for declining print circulation that’s dogged most of their peers in the newspaper industry, the Uni Paper’s print edition has been going from strength to strength, but getting the right digital presence in place is also crucial to engage with the target reach of young Millennials.

Uni Paper needed a digital solution that supported their business model of crowd-sourced content.

As well as ensuring the news reaches their readers online, on mobile and on social - all the places their 17-24-year-old readers consume it - the Uni Paper needed a digital solution that supported their business model of crowd-sourced content. Their freelance writers are paid in proportion to article views - a progressive partnership model which demanded both transparency and constant motivation to their crucial team of contributors.

PEOPLE CENTRIC STRATEGY

The website is aimed at 17 - 24 year olds who are used to getting their content from websites like BuzzFeed and Refinery 29 as well as serious news websites. We did a visual audit that encompassed all the types of content that they consume, which drove a direction for a website that feels youthful but that also has the ability to provide informative and serious content.

Engaging with writers beyond just submitting articles is key to the success of Uni Paper. We wanted writers to promote their articles on social media, encouraging their own followers to view and share their work - thereby creating a joint success model where everybody wins.

To incentivise this behaviour we need to create a fun and engaging way of tracking the success of each article, and show how far away you are from the next pay scale to get writers tweeting and posting their work.

 
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WHAT WE DID

Strategy

Brand Identity

UX and UI Design

Responsive web & development

Ongoing support

EXECUTION

We created a gamified leaderboard, which rewards actual page views rather than just social media shares, and shows the writer their performance within the community as well as how far they have to go to earn money. This drives a competitive desire to share articles on social media and to contribute more articles to move up the leaderboard. The leaderboard sits within the dedicated Writers’ Portal where each writer can access their profile, write, edit and submit articles and review their article views and financial rewards.

The news website was completely re-designed and subtly re-branded with a simple, clean and contemporary design that allows the content to be the hero, clearly colour-codes article types and highlights important articles and areas of interest. With extra attention to mobile optimisation (where we know a large number of page views are coming from) a simple single page scroll with a progress bar that allows you to easily see how far down an article you are allows a no barrier content feed. In order to encourage social sharing a simple pull quote is highlighted for posting on twitter from each article.

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WHAT WE DID

Strategy

Brand Identity

UX and UI Design

Responsive web & development

Ongoing support

SOME MORE WORK