Judging for the Australian Web Awards in 2012 was a two stage process based on a points system. All contender sites were judged by more than one person. The process for 2013 is under review and will be finalised before entries open.
The 2012 final score combined validation, performance, accessibility and responsive design plus peer judging.
The First Stage
All web sites were assigned points for the following:
- Site Validation
- Site Performance
- Accessibility Compliance
- Responsive Design Compliance
We did not test the entire site, just several random pages.
Best performing sites went through to the second stage.
The Second Stage
During the second stage a panel of judges evaluated sites against the six general criteria detailed below.
- Visual Design
- User Experience
Categories had the criteria weighted differently. For instance, the Personal Category is judged mainly on content, since most personal sites use software which does not allow the user access to the code.
- Is the website aesthetically pleasing?
- Is it visually suitable for its purpose?
- Does the website visually appeal to the target market?
- Does the visual design represent the image /persona of the business or agency?
- Is the branding of the business or agency consistent?
- Does the website use consistent elements and appropriate graphics and images?
- Does the website display consistently in various, widely-used web browsers?
- Does the website display in mobile or small screen devices?
- Is the content well written and clear?
- Is the language and tone of the wording natural and familiar to the website’s target market?
- Is the content informative and appropriate for the target market?
- Is the website free of spelling or grammar errors, broken links, out-of-date or obviously inaccurate content?
- Are appropriate policies included (e.g. Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, Returns, Security, Privacy, Copyright ). Are they easy to understand?
- Is the content structured to help the target market find information easily?
- Is the content mark-up appropriately? (This is not the code but headings, paragraphs etc)
- Are headings obvious and descriptive?
- Are internal links managed well? Is there a site map or search facilities where appropriate?
- Does the website suit its target market and deliver its message in an engaging and appropriate fashion?
- Is it relevant, fulfilling / achieving its purpose / objectives?
- Is there a smooth purchase experience?
- Is the shopping catalogue easy to browse or search?
- Shopping Cart Flow (if applicable)
- How easy is it to create an account for the website?
- Is the checkout process uncomplicated and easy to use?
- How difficult will it be for the target audience to use the site
- Does the website technology function as expected?
- How well implemented are technologies like databases, shopping carts, forms, payment processes, calculators, search processes, news and mailing lists?
- Do the website technologies deliver the intended functionality?
- Are the technologies simple, logical and easy to use?
- Do the various parts of the website download in an adequate time frame?
- Is the website optimised appropriately for search engines?
- How innovative is the system or technologies?
- Does the site use technique/s or technologies in new and exciting ways?
- Will the system or technologies have a big impact on the target audience?
- How unique is the system or technologies? This can be based on the uniqueness of the idea, User Interface or implementation
- Is online security solid for registration/login facilities?
- Has there been constructive customisation?
- is the site an out of the box implementation or ground-up?
- Can customers access their information submitted to the website?
- Does the website include a Customer Service Policy or information?
- Are ethical issues such as goods return or refunds addressed?
- Are contact details provided for customer enquiries?
- Does the website include contact names, addresses and phone numbers for the business?
- Is security of customers' personal and financial information assured?
- Security Certificate type – What is the level of certificate installed on the site (if applicable)
- Does the website adhere to WCAG Priority One and Priority Two?
- Is the markup valid and semantic?
- Is there a separation of content, presentation and behaviour layering? Is there good use of Cascading Style Sheets and unobtrusive scripting?
- Is the website viewable in different browsers and different platforms?