It was fitting that Flow launched a new website for the African Union Foundation (AUF) on Africa Day, which is commemorated annually on 25 May to celebrate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963.
Produced within very tight time constraints, the website was briefed, designed, developed and launched in just four weeks.
The client’s brief was to create a more modern, refined and well-structured website that speaks to Africans – in essence, to reflect the philosophy that solutions for Africa need to come out of Africa. Imagery used to illustrate the site is positive and upbeat, representing the dynamism of Africa that the AUF is striving to create.
From a usability point of view, the site is designed with a look and feel to make users immediately aware of the credibility of the organisation. It also had to be easy to navigate, with information readily accessible.
The site features a news section that will be updated regularly, as well as live social media feeds.
Another requirement for the AUF site was that it be available in a number of different languages in addition to English: French, Arabic, Swahili and Portuguese. However, due to time constraints, the site went live only in English and French, with the additional language functionality to be added in the coming weeks.
Says project manager Sasha Hall, “The client was amazing to work with. We had many status meetings as we had a strict timeline to adhere to, and the team worked extremely well together.
“Many times I would gather them all in a meeting room so they wouldn't be distracted by others and focus solely on getting the work done – an amazing achievement by all. We look forward to doing more great work with this client in the future.”
An additional element from a development point of view was to make provision for translation into different languages.
“There wasn’t really a challenge regarding the languages aspect as the Craft content management system we used makes it very simple for developers to create a multilingual site. Currently, the site caters for five languages, but only two are featured, English and French. The challenge now rests with the content developer, who has to upload content in the other languages,” says developer Fabio de Abreu.
Designer Cynthia Mohlomi used bold images on the site, specifically relating to Agenda 2063 – the African Union’s plan for socio-economic development of the continent – and the client’s programmes and initiatives. “The images portray the Africa of the future – the Africa we want to see,” she says.
The design and imagery reflect the goals of the AUF, which include funding programmes and initiatives for Agenda 2063. The agenda will focus on: skills and human resources; youth development and entrepreneurship; empowerment of women and gender equality; promoting integration and the management of diversity; and advocacy and support for the African Union.
The AUF’s Aurelia Mbokazi says the response to the site since the launch has been amazing. “We are looking forward to doing more amazing things with you guys – thanks for all the hard work.”