What Does it Take to Win an Award
The judges last year were asked what they thought made an award winning website. Here is a selection of their answers.
Attention to ALL details. Award winning websites don't just excel in one area. They get them all right (or close to). Push creative boundaries and provide a unique visual journey. Delight with an amazing user experience. Entertain with personality driven copy. Tick all your accessibility boxes. It's about giving the project enough time and budget to make the whole site stand out.
More than any other, the Australian Web Awards are about combining technical excellence and fostering amazing experiences for your users.
Push outside the bounds of the common template, uninspired usability and mediocre design and find a way to reach your visitors emotionally. Long after they’ve forgotten the button animation or the number of clicks to the cart, they’ll remember how you made them feel.
As an industry, we need to shift the focus from functional requirements to engaging people on an emotional level.
The promise of the internet is in its inclusion and and potential to connect all users. Disability takes many shapes and forms. Building for inclusion is about disability, the elderly, young people and all of us in between.
As we move more and more services and vital information online we all have a responsibility to ensure that the entire community is taken with us..
Presentation, although important, isn’t the ultimate deciding factor. Ask yourself: Is my website usable and accessible to the widest audience possible while still offering a positive user experience? Is the content engaging and relevant? Does it load fast? Am I developing to best practices and paying attention to web standards? If you’re ticking all these boxes (and more: judging-process ) then by default you’re already on your way to having an award winning website.
It's possible to use frameworks and standards, and still make something special - you just have to design while knowing what makes your client truely unique.
Be a team. You can see synergy between architect, designer and developer. if you have that, you'll win even if your subject isn't exciting.
USER TESTING! Doesn't matter whether they are a paid for base, a collection of friends, or family. Don't sit there answering any questions they have, leave them solo & see if they can achieve what they want from your website. Because it doesn't matter how pretty your website looks, if a visitor can't use it to find what they need, you may as well hang it in du Louvre.
Being different. Today, a site needs to be a balance of technical development and crafted design. It’s no longer (nor should it have ever been) about one or the other. Remember, a website is an incredibly powerful communication tool…”learn to use it wisely you must”.
Ensure that you detail as much information about the site and how it relevant to the category's you are entering it into !
Polish. Ever rushed to push a website live because of a deadline? It’s something we’re all familiar with and it’s really easy to point out. Hover states, vertical rhythm and consistency among commonly used elements all add to the overall experience. It’s this polish and attention to detail that turns a good website into a great, award winning website.