1. THE CHALLENGE
The National Agency of Water of Brazil, called ANA, has a high technical work with its geologists, biologists, statisticians and other types of professionals providing useful information for public managers. However, journalists, scholars and citizens, do not understand the formal communication from ANA, because it is overexplained with jargon.
The objective of this project was to build another kind of annual report (obligation by law) to reach more lay people and to reinforce the reputation of the agency.
• Customers Insights and Ideation
• Planning and build the storytelling
• Design the graphics solution and validation
DESIGN AND RESEARCH TOOLS
2. THE DISCOVERY
The interest of public opinion about ANA’s reports was poor. The technical approach was considered as bureaucratic and unuseful information. We start by asking:
1. Why educators and professionals had not use ANA as a source
2. Why the broadcast media do not discuss conclusions of ANA’s reports
A qualitative survey of journalists was used to clarify these questions.
• All of the technical departments of ANA want to show off on reports
• The responsibility of the agency is to communicate with society
• They have limits, by law, regarding ways to communicate
• Interviewed journalists affirm that the printed report is not clear
• The high depth of data is respected, but not used
• They expected something like an index to consult fastly, in the future
• No one point web version as a solution
MAIN CLUES TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM
• Technical data, technical structure of the communication (tedious)
• Overused bureaucratic format do not build a chance with the audience
• Internal discussions at ANA avoid changes on annual report
• Despite resistance, journalists have a culture of physical books
3. THE SOLUTION
The printed volume of the annual report was an obligation by law. Also, the audience thoroughly evaluates physical materials. Materials from the government were exceptions. Therefore, the answer was to build an excellent book, considering a list of criteria:
1. Significant volumes of art books were the worst option. The report had to be focused on the fast and pragmatic way to find information. The goal was to decrease the number of pages, comparing to the last edition, and organize data in storytelling. Narratives deliver logically better information in fewer pages. We had more than 500 pages of content. The goal was less than 200.
2. The approach to gain the audience was related to pedagogical concern. The structure was done in levels, from easy to sophisticated explanations. This point was the most of the discussions because we attempted to obey the law descriptions while tried to overcome the first boring logic of the content. As a result, only six chapters were built, indexed by colours, in three levels of information. First, essential information for lay people. Second, the analytical text for professionals of communication or education. Finally, some details for experts, with links to academic or technical papers on the web. Additionally, to avoid problems with jargon, aside white column was built to put small definitions or explanations.
3. Visual explanations are not about beauty. They are about functionality.
Infographics are leverage to the understanding (I talk more about it in this article).
Each first page of chapters is a great infographic explaining the basics of the section content. If a total layperson read only these six pages, he/she will understand the main ideas, discussions and conclusions of the report. Another important aspect of the visual information is the purpose of each visual. Each graph, map or diagram must explain only one question. The variety of issues in the same visual piece was the main problem of the last version of the report.
4. Building the future. The book could be an index to the initial interaction between the agency and public opinion, founding a path to jump to digital versions. So, additionally, to the book, I did a training week about how to use storytelling and the infographic perspective to write technical papers.
VISUALIZATION OF THE BOOK
• The most important Brazilian newspapers used ANA as a source, in feel weeks after the publication of this version of the annual report. International repercussion was reached. The UN twitted about the report. Some educational companies of books required authorization to use parts of this report in their materials for children.
WHAT THE CLIENT SAID
Anderson worked with us in a new concept of communication, including more efficient tools and design methods with infographics to transform and remodel our Brazilian Water Resources Report.