The Art of Reporting
art of reporting

Recently we’ve been creating new reports. It’s more of an art than a science. The art it resembles most closely is painting.

We’re choosing a perspective.


Putting certain things in the frame. Leaving other things are outside.

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We choose colors.


We make some things bigger and other things smaller.


They all have to work together on the canvas (screen) to form a cohesive whole.


Each element needs to add to the overall composition. We add and remove them in an editing process.

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We ask certain questions of our reports. Does it provide value at a glance? Does it draw the viewer into it? Does it reward the viewer’s attention by satisfying a need? Does the interaction feel good? Like a painting we want our reports to inspire further reflection that goes beyond the image. In our case we are looking to spur action in the form of deciding where to direct traffic.

In this video you can see an example of how we recently designed a pricing report. We’ve gone through many different iterations. First it started as a text description of the client’s need. Next it was mocked up, edited, mocked up, edited, etc. If this video showed the process in real time it would take five weeks instead of five seconds.

You can see the latest version of the report here

How does your process of building a report look? How many iterations do you take? What other art medium does it resemble?

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