The Webby Award Competition is open to all organizations and individuals involved in the process of designing, building, managing, maintaining, marketing or promoting digital work. We designed and developed an eCommerce for Amaiò, a resorts swimwear brand, resulting in industry recognition for its exception design and shopping experience.
Webby Award Nominees and Winners are selected by members of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences from the best work entered through the Call for Entries. Evaluated against a number of criteria, the work undergoes a rigorous process to win the coveted Webby Award.
How Websites Are Judged
Associate Members of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences independently inspect the thousands of entries submitted during the Call for Entries, rating each one based on its respective judging criteria. Every entry is evaluated by multiple Associate Academy Members. The top entries are then included on category-specific shortlists and further evaluated by Executive Members of the Academy.
Websites are evaluated on the following:
- Structure and Navigation
- Visual Design
- Overall Experience
Content is the information provided on the site. It is not just text, but music, sound, animation, or video – anything that communicates a site’s body of knowledge. Good content should be engaging, relevant, and appropriate for the audience; you can tell it’s been developed for the Web because it’s clear and concise and it works in the medium. Good content takes a stand. It has a voice and a point of view. It may be informative, useful, or funny, but it always leaves you wanting more.
Structure and Navigation
Structure and navigation refers to the framework of a site, the organization of content, the prioritization of information, and the method in which you move through the site. Sites with good structure and navigation are consistent, intuitive, and transparent. They allow you to form a mental model of the information provided: where to find things and what to expect when you click. Good navigation gets you where you want to go quickly and offers easy access to the breadth and depth of the site’s content.
Visual design is the appearance of the site. It’s more than just a pretty homepage, and it doesn’t have to be cutting edge or trendy. Good visual design is high quality, appropriate, and relevant for the audience and the message it is supporting. It communicates a visual experience and may even take your breath away.
Functionality is the use of technology on the site. Good functionality means the site works well. It loads quickly, has live links, and any new technology used is functional and relevant for the intended audience. The site should work cross-platform and be browser independent. Highly functional sites anticipate the diversity of user requirements from file size and format to download speed. The most functional sites also take into consideration those with special access needs. Good functionality makes the experience center stage and the technology invisible.
Interactivity is the way that a site allows you to perform an action. Good interactivity is more than a rollover or choosing what to click on next; it allows you, as a user, to give and receive. This includes searches, chat rooms, e-commerce, gaming or notification agents, peer-to-peer applications, and real-time feedback. Interactive elements are what separates the Web from other media. Their inclusion should make it clear that you aren’t reading a magazine or watching TV anymore. It insists that you participate, not spectate.
Innovative work often pushes the boundaries of what’s been done before. When considering Innovation, examine whether the idea is new, or merely iterating on a previous idea. Is the work fundamentally different from existing ideas, products or executions? Does the technology work? Does the innovation alter the way technology is developed and utilized in the future?
Demonstrating that sites are frequently more or less than the sum of their parts, the overall experience encompasses content, visual design, functionality, interactivity, and structure and navigation, but it also includes the intangibles that make one stay or leave. One has probably had a good overall experience if (s)he comes back regularly, places a bookmark, signs up for a newsletter, participates, emails the site to a friend, or is intrigued enough to stay for a while.
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