As the events of 2023 have demonstrated, the world moves fast—and organizations are trying to keep up. McKinsey’s published insights provide a view into how we tackle complex problems and help drive outcomes for all manner of global stakeholders. As we strive to push the bounds of distinctive thinking, we also try to innovate how those insights are presented, in ways that are engaging and interactive.
McKinsey designers have captured some of the year’s inspiring moments in a thought-provoking collection of articles and features. From projects like the Global Trade Explorer, and our reports on the state of organizations and the future of mobility, we took readers on a deeper journey with more responsive design, streamlined navigation, bold visuals, and clever animations. These fresh approaches to storytelling shine a light on the challenges before us and the optimism, hope, and fortitude required to solve them. They’re just one part of the reason that McKinsey.com won the 2023 EPPY award from Editor & Publisher magazine for “best business/finance website.”
This is just a sampling. In our full year-end roundup, you can see all our top content from the year, including top ten lists, collections of our best charts, images, and other notable features—as well as the two books McKinsey authors released this year.
McKinsey Quarterly Five Fifty
The McKinsey Quarterly Five Fifty, a briefing that can be consumed in five minutes (or 50, for those who prefer a deeper dive), got a new look this year. Abandoning the vertical scrolling of former editions, the new design includes a horizontal scrolling effect that maximizes the use of screen space and explores complex concepts in small, digestible chunks. As shown here, leadership lessons are depicted through a combination of charts, animation, videos, and links, creating a new and vivid framework for visual storytelling.
The executive’s guide to new-business building
In the face of economic uncertainty, many organizations are focusing on new-business building as a strategic priority. As businesses look to accelerate their growth via these new revenue streams, they need to understand the factors—and pitfalls—involved. This interactive uses animated geometric shapes to guide viewer navigation and enable detours to explore distinct chapters. Sharp twists and turns in the navigation process recall the unexpected pivots new businesses must make as they flex their leadership muscle and carve a path to success.
McKinsey Quarterly digital edition
For nearly 60 years, McKinsey Quarterly—our flagship print publication—has provided unrivaled management and leadership insights. In January, we launched a digital edition to reach a wider audience while reducing our collective carbon footprint. The new format showcases a sleek design, dynamic table of contents, one-click overview, author profiles, bonus features, and in-depth reports from the McKinsey Insights Store. Much like this collage of past magazine covers, the digital edition transports readers across the decades and provides a new way for them to engage with a timeless classic.
What’s your superpower?
Building institutional capabilities—the ways in which people, processes, and technology come together—is how a business develops its distinctive competitive advantage. This storytelling method simplifies the VECTOR approach and guides leaders through six elements that could uncover their organization’s superpower. The symbolic, layered visuals—including an image of blossoming flowers, as seen here—convey entrepreneurial resilience. They signal to business leaders that their untapped superpowers lurk just beneath the surface, waiting to be uncovered.
The future of mobility
By 2035, mobility will usher in a new era. This interactive from McKinsey Quarterly defines the trends behind the shift and the value they will generate. These changes will yield innovative transportation solutions that decrease traffic and carbon emissions while shoring up safety. Enhanced by an animated cityscape and vivid illustrations, mobility options are presented in snapshots of professional and personal lives across the globe. Horizontal scrolling elements help viewers “travel” with different families to understand how diverse mobility needs will drive continued shifts and fuel the quest for further innovation.
The State of Organizations 2023
Economic and geopolitical forces, as well as lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, have caused substantial turbulence for today’s organizations. This report provides insight into ten shifts transforming organizations and strategies business leaders can use to adapt. Rich with colorful illustrations and data visualizations, the key shifts are presented in numbered segments that enhance the visual journey. For a more immersive experience, users can interact with the full-screen version of the report. Much like the puzzle shown here, the challenges facing organizations are multifaceted and require varied approaches.
Empowering art institutions with data and analytics
For art institutions struggling to measure concrete impact, analytics may offer new insight into customer preferences. This interactive highlights these data points and how they set the stage for shaping strategic priorities for the future. Immersive imagery is used to transform users into virtual patrons, while enhanced data visualizations and quotations from art leaders offer a front-row view of the people and processes that influence the experience. In broad brush strokes, they paint a vivid picture of the road ahead for art leaders and highlight how they can fine-tune their approach.
McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2023
The McKinsey Technology Council’s annual look at technology trends highlights 15 emerging technologies that could fuel innovation and sustainable growth. A unique design met the challenge of capturing a broad swath of data while maximizing space. Deep dives into each trend include custom data visualizations and interactive exhibits, hover-triggered animations, and pop-up tips that display adoption rates, innovation scores, and talent outlook. The report reveals the potential for growth and boundless possibilities, much like the journey of the atoms ascending into the stratosphere in this image.
2023 summer reading guide
Our annual summer reading guide offers a beachfront view of more than 70 titles recommended by 35 CEOs, editors, and other leaders. Users are drawn into an animated amusement park that showcases in-demand books. An intuitive design facilitates navigation of multiple genres, from business to workplace culture, poetry to personal development, and more. Two-panel vertical scrolling enables readers to view books on one side and recommenders on the other, yet update both simultaneously. A music playlist enhances the experience, letting book lovers dive into a new chapter of immersive storytelling.
Global Trade Explorer
The Global Trade Explorer, an interactive published by the McKinsey Global Institute, provides fresh insight into the evolution of global connections. Readers can explore—over two decades—more than 50 economies, 15 major sectors, and more than 100 subsectors. Animated data visualizations tell a story of evolving trade partners and corridors, goods, and suppliers—and decode complex interdependencies. Multiple data filters help viewers trace trade corridors yearly by region. This tactile experience lends to a deeper understanding of the vast, interconnected networks in our world and how we navigate them.
Impacts of climate change on Black populations in the United States
Over the past five years, weather disasters have cost the United States well over $600 billion. This interactive highlights how climate change uniquely affects the socioeconomic mobility of Black populations across the country. The mixed media approach includes “scrollytelling,” animations, and interactive heat maps. Dramatic visuals—swaying trees, flooded homes, and a darkened sky—combine to weave a poignant and compelling narrative. They paint a stark reality of lives upended, as depicted in the video of a man shielding his face as lightning strikes the sky—and his world.
Data Points quiz
Data Points, McKinsey’s weekly multiple-choice quiz, provides readers with quick insights into the latest trends—and the analytics behind them. This year’s revamp boasts a streamlined design and enhanced interactivity. A vertical panel displays the question and a simple counter, which indicates the user’s position and progress, while horizontal panels reveal the correct answer and the percentage of users who chose each response. The redesign opens the door for greater viewer engagement and fast fun that keeps users guessing every step of the way.