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The Web industry has established various award schemes for websites, following the example of the Tony, Oscar, BAFTA, Cannes Film Festival and Emmy awards which are granted in the fields of theatre, film and television. This article covers notable awards.
General website awards
There are numerous general website award schemes including:
The Net Awards
Now in their 16th year, net's The Net Awards recognize the new talent, trends, and technologies that have pushed the web forward over the previous twelve months, as well as recognizing outstanding contributions by established individuals and companies. The annual judging panel is made up of notable industry veterans and thought leaders in the web design and development fields. Categories include Agency of the Year, Individual Outstanding Contribution, Developer of the Year, and Best Collaborative Project.
The Webby Awards
The Webby Awards scheme has been operated since 1996 by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which is based in New York, USA. Awards are granted each spring for websites which demonstrate Best Practice in: Content, Structure & Navigation, Visual Design, Interactivity, Functionality, and Overall Experience. Other award categories include: Activism, Commerce, Fashion, Humor, Kids, News, Politics, Science, and Sports. There are Business Website awards covering categories which include: Automotive, Financial Services, Professional Services, Retail, and Travel. The main awards are decided by a panel of judges. The related People's Voice Awards are decided by online public vote. The "Webbie" Awards actually first appeared in 1995, sponsored by the Academy of Web Design, San Francisco. The award entity was later transferred to the International Academy, and the spelling was changed to "Webby."
Awwwards is a professional web design and development competition body. It aims to recognize and promote the best of innovative web design. It is widely regarded as the premiere website competition to submit to. The best year-round submissions are awarded at Awwwards' annual conference in Spain.
The WebAwards scheme has been operated since 1997 by the Web Marketing Association, based in Simsbury, Connecticut, USA. It grants annual awards to websites in 96 industry categories including Advertising, Architecture, Automobile, Banks, Broadcasting, Insurance, Investor Relations, Legal, Leisure, Media, Medical, Military, Movies, Music, News, Pharmaceuticals, Political, Real Estate, Retail, School, Sports, Technology, Travel, and University. Entries are judged by three or more expert judges on seven criteria, each of which is given equal weight. The criteria are: Design, Innovation, Content, Technology, Interactivity, Copywriting, and Ease of use.
The Horizon Interactive Awards
The Horizon Interactive Awards was founded in 2002 and is based near Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. The competition recognizes outstanding achievement and excellence in the broad interactive media industry which includes website design, interactive displays, video, online advertising, email marketing and mobile apps. The yearly competition evaluates entries based on their overall aesthetics and design, creativity, communication of message, technical merit and the overall effectiveness of the solution.
Website awards for advertising and design
The Addy Awards are operated by the American Advertising Federation, which is based in Washington DC, USA. In addition to awards for print, poster, and television advertisements, there are several categories for interactive media. These include: Business to Business Websites, Consumer Websites, Banners & Pop-Ups, E-Cards, Micro & Mini Websites, Online Games, Online Newsletters, Podcasts, Mobile Marketing, Internet Commercials, and Webisodes. Selection is based on a judgement of creative quality.
The Clio Awards program, which is based in New York USA, is operated by Nielsen, the Dutch media conglomerate formerly known as VNU. Clio awards recognise excellence in advertising and design. There is an interactive category, which grants awards to websites. Other categories include: TV/Cinema, Print, Poster, and Billboard. The Clio jury comprises more than 100 judges drawn from more than 60 countries. Awards are granted during the four day Clio Festival, held each May in Miami, Florida.
The D&AD awards program is operated by D&AD, a non-profit organization based in London, England, and founded in 1962, which represents the global creative, design and advertising communities. D&AD offers several annual awards for websites, including awards for: Websites, Microsites, New Uses of Websites, Writing, Sound Design, Interface & Navigation, and Photography. Two levels of award are granted: the Yellow Pencil (equivalent to a silver award) and the coveted Black Pencil (equivalent to a gold award).