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Philadelphia Inquirer

A modern media company that looks and acts nothing like the rest

A few years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer looked at its business and said, “We need to rethink everything." The 190-year old publication started by going back to basics. The Inquirer exists to serve the community, so they converted to a public benefit company and rewrote their mission to match. Next, they needed to bring those changes to life through their digital products. Enter Upstatement. We partnered with the Inquirer to reimagine their digital experience from the ground up and transform the audience relationship.

What We Did

  • Strategy
  • Product Creation
  • Prototype Development
  • Usability Testing

What We Made

Story cards from Philadelphia Inquirer

Our work encompassed the core brand, content strategy, advertising opportunities, editor experience, and, most important, the user experience. The new Inquirer redefines the relationship with “readers” — a word we actually banned during our engagement in favor of “community.” Readers implies a one-way relationship and the new Inquirer invites its community to participate, ask questions, and interact with personalities at the paper.

The entire experience resembles social media more than traditional media. The new Inquirer is an indispensable regional interface for the urgent, entertaining, and personal conversations reported by deeply-embedded local journalists.

Working with Upstatement is like having a team that only consists of all-stars — everyone is engaged, and delivers quality work that solves real problems — and they make the process fun and inviting.

Kat Sheplavy Senior Product Manager, Philadelphia Inquirer

Expansion of sports

We designed specific features for the Inquirer’s sports coverage. We built on top of the design system we’d previously established, and explored new cards and components that kept the principles of community and engagement at the forefront. After all, what’s a sports section without its fans?

And Philly fans are no ordinary audience — their mascot is called the Phanatic for a reason. Throughout the product development process, it was crucial to get their input at every stage. We conducted focus groups, surveys, and usability testing sessions to better understand watching habits and behaviors.

We used this knowledge to deliver a product that provides the right balance of value and excitement: a reimagined scoreboard component that can be implemented in the feed, section front, and throughout the sports section.

It provides fans with the information they’ve come to expect from modern sports sites, with an interaction and speed unmatched by competitors. It’s all powered by a simple, intuitive editor controls that lets the Inquirer team manage it with ease.

Are you an editorial team looking to reimagine your product?

Upstatement has been designing and building digital platforms for important editorial voices for over a decade.

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