5 Design Principles for Agency Reporting

While there are roughly 25,000 companies in North America classified as agencies, each brings its own perspective to the creative process and solves different parts of a client’s advertising challenges. One thing they all share in common is a need to communicate results and data with their clients.

Over the past 10 years, Juice has worked a lot with digital marketing and advertising data. From our experience and from talking with experts such as Lea Pica, we know that reports have gotten much better, but there are still a few areas where most folks can improve. Here are 5 design best practices to use to ensure that your message is received and you’re valued as the expert you are.

1. Provide Instruction - When providing instruction with an application, there are two important things to consider: 1) the amount of instruction you’ll need to convey, and 2) how often someone will need to reference that information. Both will determine the look and location of the directions provided.

Example: Direct overlays for global interface instruction are lightweight and intuitive.

2. Make it conversational - Making your information conversational essentially boils down to one thing: injecting a bit of personality. This can be as easy as swapping out “Number of Visitors” to “How many people visited?” The most important thing to keep in mind is the context of the information you are presenting and whether or not it makes it more accessible.

Example: Scoutmob.com exhibits one of the growing trends in writing that’s personable and fun.

3. Integration with workflow - People need to work quickly and efficiently and if it takes too long to get to the information they need, they will move on. Think through your user or customers workflow and how your design can best integrate.

Example: Rapportive integrates into your Gmail, allowing you to quickly see the LinkedIn profiles of your contacts right in your email. No need to go back and forth between your email and LinkedIn to make sure you have any details correct - it'll show up right in your email.

4. Use simplest appropriate visualizations - What is the question that you’re trying to answer with your visualization? Consider this and communicate that as quickly as you can with a simple visual that’s easy to understand.

Example: The Fitbit chart below displays the number of steps taken in a day, broken down by the hour. It's a quick, clear way to see what times of day you are more active and just how active.

5. Provide next steps - Keep your users’ end goal in mind and help them get there. Give them meaningful next steps at appropriate times.

Example: This is a very linear process keeping the required action very large and obvious on the left, with any additional detail updating as needed in deemphasized text to the right. The scrollbar shows your progress naturally.


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