The annual report is both a tradition and, for many public companies and institutions, a legal requirement. But with the shift to online annual reports, they’ve also become incredible sources of creativity.
We have a longstanding history helping clients bring their annual reports online, and every year, we take a minute to appreciate some of the best of the best for digital annual reports.
So sit back and relax while we bring you the top 5 annual reports from 2016.
Vodafone’s 2016 digital annual report works less like an annual report and more like a website.
Making heavy use of card design and built with a hamburger collapsing nav menu, it provides an outstanding user experience.
But don’t let the lack of creativity in the architecture put you off. The report includes a beautifully branded short video, hitting the highlights for the year. As you delve deeper, there’s plenty of elegant data visualization.
Finally, they’ve also constructed a downloadable version of the entire report, so if a classic report is more your style, they have you covered.
All in all, Vodafone’s done an excellent job summarizing their sprawling telecommunications empire in an easy to understand way.
For a superb example of what a perfectly on-brand digital report looks like, go check out what L’Oreal did for 2016.
In line with their brand, their online annual report makes brilliant use of hero imagery and their design feels sleek and high-end.
And where Vodafone used standard web design practices to make their report easy to understand, L’Oreal opted for more of a ‘discovery’ approach.
They use parallax scrolling to tell the story of their brand and their industry in 2016, they’ve created something that fills the role of annual report, but in a way that absolutely reflects and reinforces what L’Oreal stands for.
We’ve mentioned MailChimp before in our annual review of annual reports, and once again, they deserve a spot on the list. Their 2016 report stands out for its fun content and perfectly branded look and feel.
Mixed in with critical statistics, like how many new integrations they developed (148) and how many new users they signed (3.9 million), they also include all sorts of fun numbers that keep you reading. Stuff like coffees consumed, emojis used in subject lines, and subject lines sent that had ‘Brexit’ in them (40,213).
While this hodgepodge approach doesn’t work for everyone, it perfectly matches MailChimp’s brand.
Our only critique is that because it’s organized by numbers size rather than any comprehensible structure, it is difficult to skim if you’re just looking for the highlights.
But since it’s so much fun to read, who would want to skim?
4. Holland Bloorview’s Annual Report
In addition to highlighting reports from all over the world, we figured that this would be a chance for us to toot our own horn as well.
We were tasked with creating the 2016 digital annual report for Holland Bloorview. Much like Vodafone, the organization offers so many services that it’s difficult to structure it in a simple, yet comprehensive way.
Using information and nomenclature best practices, we built a report that captures all of the activities Holland Bloorview undertakes every year to help sick and recovering children.
And with simple overlays, share icons, and donate CTAs, we were able to turn the report into an outstanding marketing vehicle as well to raise funds for the hospital.
Lastly, it’s fully responsive so it can be read on any device beautifully.
5. CPA Ontario
Charted Professional Accountants (CPA) once again asked us to work with Trajectory to create their annual report.
The CPA wanted to reinforce what the accounting profession stood for – trust, accountability, and integrity.
To help them communicate that, we created a digital annual report that was interactive, responsive, and easy to navigate with collapsing menus. The single column, endless scroll design is easy to share with segmented URLs and a pleasure to read, even on a small screen.
Digital annual reports are, for many companies, just a PDF or HTML version of the printed version. This leaves so much functionality and digital design solutions unexplored.
But every year, there are a few that fully embrace their digital channels.
Using animation, graphics, beautiful data visualization, and responsive designs, these organizations are making their annual reports accessible on all devices and a pleasure to read.
And that’s a wrap on digital annual reports for another year!