In line with greater digitalisation, the Almanac is now mainly published online while the hardcopy has changed from 170 text heavy pages to a 50-page professionally designed summary report. Compared to many other research outputs our starting point wasn’t that bad, but at a closer look some issues emerged.
In 2012, the Almanac website was built by a member of the research team using WordPress. Even though this gave us control over content, it also meant that a lot of the team’s resources were going towards maintaining the website. Plugins like HighCharts and TablePress provided great flexibility for data visualisation but required skills in Json and CSS to create nice looking charts. The print publication, which was produced simultaneously, lacked connection with the digital version in terms of messaging and visual design. The print publication had been outsourced to the same agency for more than 10 years and did not meet data visualisation standards that had advanced in recent years.
It became clear that we had to come up with a more consistent narrative and bridge the gap between the different outputs. The publications should be driven much more by the needs of our audience.