IT’S still early in the season, but online annual reports and proxy statements are now flowing onto the Web at a rapid rate.
We’ve been monitoring daily developments, especially in the US where large companies must for the first time comply with new requirements for usable online documents — although they clearly have noooo ideeaa what that means.
Mostly, we’re seeing the usual dreck from 90% of the companies that have reported thus far. Even reports from companies that often set the benchmark for others are a little disappointing this year.
Here are some of the best online annual reports we’ve seen so far in no particular order. For each, I’m providing a screenshot and a few bullet points, but please do take the time to visit each one.
- Excellent functionality throughout.
- Flash-based interactive chart generator.
- Dynamic glossary lets users see definitions in a tip box.
- Build-your-own report feature.
- Customizable download library.
- Compare corresponding content with prior year’s report.
- Interactive GRI index.
- And on, and on, and on…
- Simple, straightforward report with good functionality.
- Interesting News section that features articles and Flash video segments.
- Compare corresponding pages in the current year and prior year’s report.
- CEO’s letter includes a 6-minute video.
- Notes linked to the financial statements.
- Text includes links to a glossary.
- Cleverly promotes RSS news feed.
- Search is powered by Google.
- Great content.
- Interesting use of expanding charts and notes using a “light box” overlay effect.
- Flash video and highlights throughout.
- Simple structure and good navigation support.
- Scoped search.
- Shortcut tool.
- Outstanding Flash video CEO letter makes a strong initial impact.
- Interesting 10-year financial overview approach.
- Easy to download sections and financial tables in PDF and Excel.
- Scoped search for report.
- Purist web developers will cringe, but I love it because it’s unexpected from an insurance company.
- Striking, interesting design featuring commissioned contemporary artwork from 25 artists responding to the theme “strategy.”
- Tactful use of Flash and typography.
- Lacks bells and whistles, but still highly usable and informative.
- Hurt by the lack of a scoped search and incomplete navigation.
- Progressive is a US leader on the Web.
- Video letter to shareholders.
- Financial statements include linked notes and Excel downloads.
- Search and site map.
- Customizable downloads area.
- A simple, effective report.
- Clean design.
- Flash-based financial statement analyzer and graphing tool.
- Charts expand for easier viewing.
- Notes linked to financial statements.
- Good navigation and search.
- Downloads center and page “shopping cart.”
Not included above is GE. CEO Jeff Immelt is doing a live Web conference tomorrow in conjunction with the report’s release where the online audience can ask questions. I like that idea a lot, but the report itself is not as good as last year.
We’ll do a follow-up report highlighting more great reports later in the season. If you see any, please let me know.