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
The Webby Awards
The Webby Awards scheme has been operated since 1996 by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Awards are granted each spring for websites which demonstrate Best Practice in: Content, Structure & Navigation, Visual Design, Interactivity, Functionality, and Overall Experience. 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." Cost of entry is between $100 – $300 USD per site with trophies costing in excess of $1000 USD.
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.
Website design awards
Awwwards aims to recognize and promote the best of innovative web design and the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers and agencies in the world. Awwwards goal is to discover, recognize, and promote the talent and effort of web designers, developers, and agencies who create unique digital experiences that are useful, innovative, intuitive, and beautiful. An international jury of the best experts vote to determine the winners. Cost of entry is $50 USD per site. It is widely regarded as the premiere website design competition to submit to. The best year-round submissions are awarded at Awwwards' annual conferences held in iconic cities all over the world.
Daily handpicked Website of the Day Award. Free submission. Site of the month and the big site of the year award. Just the best of the best website will pass the jury.
FWA stands for Favourite Website Awards, an industry recognised internet award program and inspirational portal, established in May 2000. FWA showcases one site every day, a Site Of The Day (SOTD), with a Site Of The Month (SOTM) being selected at the end of each calendar month from that month’s SOTDs. At the end of each year the twelve SOTM winners enter the contest for the People’s Choice Award (PCA), first introduced in 2002. Cost of entry is £35.25 GBP per site. Winners receive certificates signed by the founder and sole operator.
CSS Design Awards
CSS Design Awards began operating in 2010 and grants industry awards on a daily, monthly and annual basis. Solo designers and large agencies are entered into two separate competitions. Entries are evaluated by an internal judging team for Website of the Day with monthly and yearly winners judged by an international panel of experts. Submitted sites receive a score from 1 to 10 based on the site's creativity, code, functionality and usability. Cost of entry is $30 USD per site with trophies shipped to annual winners of the Website of the Year and Designer of the Year competitions.
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.
Web-based advertising awards
The Addy Awards are operated by the American Advertising Federation 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).
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