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Honoring the best
of the web

Judging Criteria

Websites

The Academy evaluates Web sites based on six criteria: content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity, and overall experience.

Web critique, like Web development, is not an exact science. Powerful new ideas and applications arise constantly, reshaping old ideas or paving over them. Not every Webby Award winner or nominee scores 10's across the judging table. The weight of each category varies with the goal of each site; a Web site is much more than the sum of its parts.

Criteria

Content

Content is the information provided on the site. It is not just text, but music, sound, animation, or video -- anything that communicates a sites 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, 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

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

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, to file format and 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

Interactivity is the way that a site allows you to do something. Good interactivity is more than a rollover or choosing what to click on next; it allows you, as a user, to give and receive. It insists that you participate, not spectate.

It's input/output, as in searches, chat rooms, e-commerce and gaming or notification agents, peer-to-peer applications and real-time feedback. It's make your own, distribute your own, or speak your mind so others can see, hear or respond. 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.

Overall Experience

Demonstrating that sites are frequently more -- or less than the sum of their parts, the overall experience encompasses content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, and interactivity, 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 stays for a while, intrigued.

Interactive Advertising

Criteria

Creativity

Most award-winning interactive advertising employs a superior level of creativity. Judging the creativity of an entry focuses on a handful of elements including content, design, technological innovation, and the unique nature of the underlying idea. It includes taut writing, smartly selected music, ingenious sound design, and the relevant use of animation, or video -- anything that communicates a creative marketing message. Winning creativity often characterizes advertising that is engaging and relevant, with resonance and a point of view. It may be informative, useful, funny, or technically mind-blowing, but overall it always leaves you wanting more.

Integration

How well the work is implemented in the medium? Can you fully experience the quality of the work, or are there technical or media-specific issues preventing you from experiencing it to its fullest? Does the work successfully integrate animation, sound or video to enhance its message? If the Interactive Advertising is part of a bigger integrated campaign, how well does it do its job? Unlike print or television, interactive advertising is unique becasuse it creates a direct interactive experience with the consumer. Does the work succeed as a piece of online advertising by integrating technology, innovation and an integrated marketing message?

Overall Experience

Demonstrating that an entry frequently may be more -- or less than the sum of its parts, the overall experience encompasses creativity, content, structure, visual design, functionality, and interactivity, but it also includes the intangibles that make one respond. One has probably had a good overall experience if (s)he is intrigued and moved to click through.

Online Film & Video

Criteria

Concept & Writing

The strength of the concept and writing being evaluated respective to the category entered. Is the story or concept unique? Is the storytelling or narrative coherent and does it hold your attention? Does the writing have resonance and stay with you long after viewing it? Determing the quality of Concept & Writing considers all the elements that go into the creative process and how successfully the original idea is communicated.

Quality of Craft

Determing the Quality of Craft focuses on the filmmaking process and technical execution. This includes the appearance and quality of the captured image, editing, the sound design and audio integration, the performances, lighting, and all the aspects that account for a memorable viewing experience. This is of course relevant to the category entered. For example, entries in the Student and Viral categories will be held to different standards than those in other categories. Quality of Craft means more than just a pretty looking film or video and it doesn't necessitate that it be cutting edge or trendy.

Integration

How well the work is implemented in the medium. Can you fully experience the quality of the work, or are there technical or media-specific issues preventing you from experiencing it to its fullest?

Overall Experience

Demonstrating that a film or video can be more, or less, that the sum of its parts, the Overall Experience encompasses content, structure, visual design, functionality, and interactivity, as well as the intangibles that provoke viewer response. Repeat viewing or visiting generally indicates a generally positive overall experience.

Mobile

Criteria

Content

Content is the information provided on the mobile site. It is not just text, but music, sound, animation, or video -- anything that communicates a sites 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, 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 mobile 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

Visual design is the appearance of the mobile 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

Functionality is the use of technology on the mobile 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, to file format and 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

Interactivity is the way that a mobile site allows you to do something. Good interactivity is more than a rollover or choosing what to click on next; it allows you, as a user, to give and receive. It insists that you participate, not spectate.

It's input/output, as in searches, chat rooms, e-commerce and gaming or notification agents, peer-to-peer applications and real-time feedback. It's make your own, distribute your own, or speak your mind so others can see, hear or respond. 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.

Overall Experience

Demonstrating that mobile sites are frequently more -- or less than the sum of their parts, the overall experience encompasses content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, and interactivity, 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 stays for a while, intrigued.