Challenge: Create a digital version of the Annual Report of a Danish multinational company.
Role: Concept, UX Design and product management.
Reach: Share holders and investor relations of the company.
As part of the Inviso team I had the pleasure of creating the basic concept, the UX and user journey, and the reader experience of the first digital version of the annual report of a Danish multinational company.
Being the single most important touchpoint annually for a big part of the company share holders and investor relations, with all the tradition of fine print and well crafted details, it was a challenge we took on with a good mix of humility and a bold attitude: An important document like this does not deserve to be stuck in time and physical material. It deserves a fair chance to have a real life in the digital age with all the benefits of work flow optimisation, accessibility and sustainability bonuses such as saved paper and distribution.
From the key qualities of print
With the first version we have aimed to create a good foundation for the transition from a traditionally printed publication to a fully digitalised version that can be refined over the years to come. In order to make a successful transition and create the best possible chance of winning traditional users and reader’s acceptance, we have had one clear goal in mind: Maintain, as far as possible, the key qualities of the print experience.
With an abundance of effects and flashy features digital design have so much to offer when it comes to engaging readers with an interactive experience. But key for this project was rather to create something as solid as paper and serious as books. So we wanted to use the digital tools and technology, not to catch attention or entertain, but simply to improve the reading experience and ease navigation.
Principles of the UX
I further elaborated the key goal of the project into five areas of value and principles for the UX.
A unique copy
It’s a long read. Something you would want to come back to and pick up where you left it. On the plane, or a late evening in the cottage by the fire. Keep the coffee stains and the folded corners. We want to make the digital version something that belongs to you. Your unique copy.
Service multiple needs with an open navigation
Some people need to read everything. Some want to go straight to the raw numbers. Some want to calmly dig into the background stories.
We want to allow for this: Making your own route through the publication. Not force the journey in a straight line from page 1 to page 112.
When the navigation is free, orientation becomes essential
As a reader, you need to know where you are. What you have read already and what is still left to read. It should be easy to find your way around and easily get back to places you need to revisit.
Storytelling and branding
The framing, identity and overall guidance of the reader is essential for the brand. The annual report is the single most important touchpoint for share holders who do not use the company’s products themselves. The editorial line needs to shine through and stick.
High quality reading experience
Add space and calmness around text and images. Avoid flashy and disturbing effects. Focus on relevant, usable feature. Ability to enlarge graphs and tables, easy access to notes with overlays. Simple bookmark and sharing options.
Here I want to highlight some of the features that went into the final experience. (Sorry for blurred videos, but I’m not allowed to reveal the identity of the client).
Simply start reading
Dive right into the content. ‘Infinite scroll’ automatically loading the next article helps you fetch the next parts in an un-interrupted experience without compromising perfomance.
And the progress bar to the left shows, not just how much of an article you have read, but rather how much of the full publication.
Full overview of all content
The main navigation panel and table of contents gives the full overview of the report and lets experiences annual report readers find what they are looking quickly.
We added simple features to assist orientation, such as indications of where you are, and which articles you have still left to read.
Bookmark important articles
We added bookmark options for each article to make it easy to find the way back to important articles.
The Bookmarks view in the navigation panel furthermore offers the option of creating a custom reading list. (With no need to sign in!)
Quick access to notes and data
With annual reports there is often a level deeper to go. Data behind the data. We wanted to give access to this right on the screen without sending the reader elsewhere and risk getting lost.
Modal overlays are great for this.
Share with colleagues
Whether readers needs to keep and save special articles themselves or to share them colleagues, this needs to be easy to do.
And more than being a gimmick in the age of social media, these sharing options also works as way of giving a report like this – something that used to be stuck in print – a real place in the digital world, pointing out where it is in a way that is accessible to anyone at any time.
Read more about my work with Editorial architecure and the UX of editorial design.
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