18th Annual Webby Judging Guidelines

Overview

The end goal of the judging process is to arrive at the 5 best works in each category.

As judges you will simply need to review the shortlisted sites in each of the categories where you choose to vote, cast your vote for the 5 best ones, and rank them in order of preference. The 5 entries with the most votes in each category will be Webby Nominees. The Nominee that receives the most amount of #1 votes will be the Webby Winner.

We believe that your knowledge and experience will be more than sufficient in establishing the best. That being said, it's important that you understand some of our rules, when and where there may be a conflict of interest, and what criteria we use to evaluate entries.

About Changing Font Size of Categories

You'll notice that the names of the categories are listed from largest in size, to smallest, in each of your sections. The larger the font size, the more the category needs your attention, and we determine what needs your attention on two factors: one specific category in which you have extraordinary knowledge (David Bowie's category is Music, for example) and which categories have the fewest amount of votes. Categories you have already voted in are listed in gray with a checkmark, at the bottom of category lists.

Schedule

  • March 4, 2014: Webby Judging Begins
  • March 21 2014: Polls close at 11:59 PM PST
  • April 8 2014: Webby Nominees and the Webby People's Voice Awards Announced 
  • April 29 2014: Webby Winners Announced
  • May 19 2014: 18th Annual Webby Awards

Rules

There aren't very many. While we have mapped out The Academy's processes from The Call for Entries to the awarding of The Webbys in May, we have tried to leave the selection of the nominees and winners largely at the discretion of The Academy.

However, the one thing that we take great lengths to guard against is conflict of interest.

Conflict of Interest

You may not vote in any category that would create a conflict of interest. You have a conflict of interest with a category if any of the following are true for any of the five nominees:

  • You own the work;
  • Have consulted with the work or its owner;
  • Have worked extensively with a direct competitor to the work;
  • Or, have any personal or professional bias for or against this work that would inhibit your objectivity.

Basically, if a work's success or failure is intertwined with your own success, personal or professional, it is probably a conflict of interest.

If you are not sure whether a particular nominee constitutes a conflict of interest, please ask our Senior Academy Manager Seth Callaway, at Seth@iadas.net

Criteria

Creating Webby-winning work is not an exact science - many elements must combine to make a site worthy. With a lot of help, we have chosen the following criteria that we'd like you to consider while making your selection. While you may have your own idea what each of these things means, our definitions are here as guidelines. Lastly, we encourage you to consider the relevance of these criteria to the category in which you are voting.

Websites

Below are the six criteria by which The Academy evaluates Websites.

Features

We encourage you to consider these special criteria when evaluating Best Animation/Motion Graphics, Best Copy/Writing, Best Structure/Navigation, Best Video or Motion Graphics, Best Visual Design (Aesthetic & Function)

Content

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Features Categories

We encourage you to consider these special criteria when evaluating: Best Use of Animation/Motion Graphics, Best Copy/Writing, Best Structure/Navigation, Best Use of Video or Moving Image, Best Visual Design (Aesthetic & Function), Best Practices, Best Use of Typography, Best Use of Photography, Best Home/Welcome Page

Quality of Craft:

The strength of the work (writing, sound, motion graphics or moving image) being evaluated, regardless of the medium.

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?

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Interactive Advertising & Media

Below are the three criteria by which The Academy evaluates Interactive Advertising & Media.

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 marks advertising that is engaging and relevant. Advertising that has resonance and a point of view. It may be informative, useful, funny, or technically mind-blowing but overall it always leaves you wanting more.

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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 because 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?

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Overall Experience

Demonstrating that the entry be frequently more -- or less than the sum of their 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.

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Online Film & Video

Below are the four criteria by which The Academy evaluates Online Film & Video.

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? Determining the quality of Concept & Writing considers all the elements that go into the creative process and how successfully the original idea is communicated.

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Quality of Craft

Determining 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.

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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?

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Overall Experience

Demonstrating that the film or video be frequently more -- or less than the sum of their parts, the overall experience encompasses 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 return to view more.

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Mobile & Apps

Below are the six criteria by which The Academy evaluates Mobile & Apps.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Social

Below are the four criteria by which The Academy evaluates Social.

Criteria

Content

Content is any information expressed: text, music, sound, animation, video—anything that conveys meaning. Good content should be appropriate, relevant, and engaging. It has a voice and point of view.

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Creativity

Creativity isn’t one thing—it takes many forms: concept, content, design, technological innovation, craft, overall user experience. It’s not something easily definable, but what applies to top-notch creative is the ability to stand out through the strength of such forms or a culmination of them.

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Engagement

Success in social ultimately comes down to engagement. What strategy, tactics, and creative support reaching an audience and community? Hard metrics are one measurement, but so is the work itself in the context of the audience.

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Overall Experience

Social is new territory still evolving and being defined—both a challenge and opportunity. Successful overall experience demonstrates that the sum is greater than its individual parts, encompassing concept, creativity, content, structure, visual design, functionality, interactivity, as well as intangible elements.

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Contact Information

Have questions? Something changed? Something not working? Don't hesitate to let us know.

David-Michel Davies
Executive Director
dmdavies@iadas.net 
Claire Graves
Managing Director
claire@iadas.net
+1 646-918-5007 
Seth Callaway
Senior Academy Manager
seth@iadas.net
+1 212-786-7059