STRATEGY : Navigation

Making the report easy to navigate.

You’d never expect to find your way in a large shopping centre with no signage – likewise readers of an Annual Report need a signage system – navigation. As reports get more and more dense, readers need help to locate the information they want.

Remember that reports are not read like novels. Rather than start at the beginning and read each page until the end, most users of reports flick forward and back, dipping in and out of the report as key messages attract their attention.

The contents listing is the obvious start to good navigation but rather than just list the contents as line items, use it to highlight major achievements and links to where that story is within the report. An index is also a useful tool in a very dense report.

An interesting contents listing will draw people deeper into the report.

Navigation can also be aided by
  • a good, logical, information flow with a beginning, a middle and an end
  • active, descriptive headlines to section starts
  • section headings that are located in the same place on each section start
  • colour coding the sections, or
  • numbering the sections.
A report with a good, logical sequence is easier to navigate than one without, so getting the navigation correct from the beginning makes perfect sense.

Download a fact sheet showing various methods of navigation.


Getting the print specs right will make it easier to compare quotes.

Specifications should include:
The size of the report ie. A4, B5.
The orientation ie landscape or portrait.
The number of colours.
The number of pages.
The stock.
The quantity.

Download a specification sheet.


Design Business Council (dbc) workshops

Preparing a design brief and Evaluating a design presentation

The dbc is a professional development body that helps organisations work with designers. dbc workshops will assist you prepare a brief and then evaluate a presentation.

More detail on the workshops...