How digital can make even an annual report exciting

Ian Laslett SC

The Department of Communications' online report claims three international awards for its creative web design.

The Australian Department of Communications has brought a 194-page print version of its Annual Report to life through an interesting, engaging and animated digital version created by Adelphi Digital, and showcased its technical and digital leadership.

The online report has received international acclaim for its stunning web design and interactivity, including a Platinum Award at the 2015 Creativity Media & Interactivity Awards and a Best in Class award at 2015 Interactive Media Awards. It was also awarded Gold in the online reports category for large/medium FMA Agencies at the Institute of Public Administration (IPAA) Awards.

The website was aimed to represent the Department as a forward-looking, modern and cutting-edge organisation, and attract more visitors to the report, and ultimately, the online channels of the Department through appealing and engaging content. It was also expected to create a talking point and interest beyond the regular audience of the report.

Targeting the staff within the Department, politicians, media and communication professionals, and the general public, the website highlights key achievements and case studies through a savvy, responsive design. The key features include:

  • It was built in HTML5 with interesting and leading-edge layers of interactivity including animations and videos;

  • The homepage was created as a showcase of all the key achievements from the Department over the year by featuring a series of animated infographics designed to encourage the users to scroll down the page and explore further;

  • The content in the report also comes with interesting, subtle animations to add visual interest, and improve engagement with the users, by pulling out key number based pieces of information and allowing them to count up quickly;

  • We used graceful degradation techniques for older browsers and devices with animated infographics in HTML and CSS, supported by static images.

Compared to last year, the Department saw a 122% increase in the usage of the new report from its staff and a 56% increase from public users.

The Mandarin public service website described the site as “a pretty slick piece of work that aims to earn the respect of its tech-savvy stakeholders and set a new benchmark in the way government agencies present complex information”.