Full Lifecycle Publications Support

Since 2018, a team of MacroSys communications specialists have supported the Department of Education’s Office of the Deputy Secretary, providing full-cycle publication services to design, edit, and publicly disseminate its Annual Performance Report (APR) and Annual Performance Plan (APP). The APR-APP is submitted annually to Congress, documenting the Department’s strategic objectives and goals in alignment with its budget and detailing its progress in meeting those objectives and goals.

At the onset of the project, our team, including an editor, desktop publisher, graphic designer, web developer, and Section 508 compliance expert, coordinated with Department staff to gather preexisting materials to understand the features the Department wanted to maintain and/or change. Our team made (and implemented) several recommendations that both increased productivity and resulted in improvements to the organization, readability, and usability of the report, such as:

  • Transforming the report from a simple Microsoft Word template to a cutting-edge InDesign template, establishing a brand identity through custom-built features, such as logos, icons, color schemes, data tables and graphs, and infographics, to help achieve the report’s goals. 

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  • Transforming the report from a simple Microsoft Word template to a cutting-edge InDesign template, establishing a brand identity through custom-built features, such as logos, icons, color schemes, data tables and graphs, and infographics, to help achieve the report’s goals. 

  • Suggesting key organizational changes to the document, such as establishing clear content hierarchy to tell a compelling story through the usage of chapter headings and subheadings, the inclusion of infographics to provide readers with modern, easy-to-understand visualizations of the Department’s performance data, and consolidation of table data content to avoid repetition of content in multiple places throughout the report.

  • Determining how to represent information and data visually/graphically, keeping in mind Section 508 requirements when conceptualizing key design features, using technology such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) to clearly articulate the Department’s messaging.

  • Establishing and maintaining an internal style guide that tracks the Department’s editing preferences that may be in contradiction to industry style manuals to ensure consistency across the publication; this, in addition to industry style guides, are meticulously followed through all editing iterations to ensure content is consistently and thoroughly edited according to professional standards.

  • Facilitating the formal Executive Secretariat and OMB reviews with the Deputy Secretary and other key internal departmental stakeholders by providing both a Word template of the content as well as a fully designed version in PDF so contributors could provide feedback and edits in Word while also reviewing the layout version.The final Section 508-compliant reports produced by our team can be found here: FY 2018–FY 2020 Annual Performance Report and Annual Performance Plan and FY 2019–FY 2021 Annual Performance Report and Annual Performance Plan.