Public works Annual Report: Structured, digital and innovative thanks to dark mode
For many companies, the annual report is more of an obligation than a joy. It usually results in an
imposing but not-so-reader-friendly mountain of facts and figures about the past fiscal year. But
there’s a lot of hidden potential in the medium of the annual report.
Hardly any other element of corporate communication is read by so many different target groups – whether shareholders, staff or customers – as the annual report. This rather sober and numberheavy corporate presentation regularly sets new impetus for sustainable business relationships. The tasks of creating and designing an essential touchpoint like this deserve particular care.
For the second year in a row, Bloom’s Nuremberg office is responsible for the annual report for the city of Nuremberg’s public works company Städtischen Werke Nürnberg GmbH (StWN). Times are changing, and the format of the StWN annual report is following suit. Last year they said farewell to the conventional printed format of the end-of-the-year review. Instead, they published it in the form of an easily accessible ePaper as a PDF file. This year it will be published as a modern online annual report – responsive, with a unique user experience and convenient additional functions. The challenge: designing its classic elements of foreword, corporate status report and financial results in a way that is clear and well-structured, and so sophisticated that readers enjoy using it.
The annual report uses HTML-format to enable intuitive page navigation with truly reader-friendly elements. Bloom’s Nuremberg office laid the foundation for this usability by developing the navigation concept and dividing the content into various levels. From the “home” screen with the foreword from the Managing Directors and general information, it is possible to use buttons to jump directly to the main section of the annual report – the corporate status report, final figures and the report from the supervisory board. Within the sections themselves, turning pages and finding relevant sections is easy using the page navigation. The zoom function facilitates effortless viewing of tables, which often contain comprehensive information, always ensuring that readers can easily see everything they need to, even if they are viewing the tables on a tablet.
Night mode is rising to take its place in the digital world. As well as reduced power consumption and its ease on the eyes, dark mode also opens up new opportunities in UX design because it makes colours really stand out. The online StWN annual report might be the first one in the world with an integrated dark mode function. In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, dark mode also has a communicative purpose: it makes it easier to see and experience an important brand message. When the user switches to dark mode, the motif showing the StWN headquarters in the high-rise building by Plärrer Station changes – and it leaves an impression. Street lights brighten the night; individual offices light up. That’s when it becomes clear. The company is there for Nuremberg and its citizens around the clock. Day in, day out, year after year.
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