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Judging criteria

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences evaluates entries using different criteria for each category.

  • Websites

    The Academy evaluates websites 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 Lovie Award Winner or Shorlisted entry scores 10's across the judging table. The weight of each criteria varies with the goal of each site; a website is much more than the sum of its parts.


    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 organisation of content, the prioritisation 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 supports. 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 centre 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 and commenting, 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 separate 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.

  • Online Advertising

    Creativity Most award-winning online 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 characterises 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 is the work 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 online advertising is part of a bigger integrated campaign, how well does it do its job? Unlike print or television, online 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?


    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.

  • Internet Video

    Concept & writing The strength of the concept & 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.


    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 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 than 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, visiting and sharing generally indicate a generally positive overall experience.

  • Mobile & Apps

    Content Content is the information provided on the mobile site or app. 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 & navigation Structure and navigation refers to the framework of a mobile site or app, the organisation of content, the prioritisation of information, and the method in which you move through the site. Sites and apps 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 or app. 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 supports. It communicates a visual experience and may even take your breath away.


    Functionality Functionality is the use of technology on the mobile site or app. Good functionality means the site or app works well. It loads quickly, has live links, and any new technology used is functional and relevant for the intended audience. The site or app 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 centre stage and the technology invisible.


    Interactivity Interactivity is the way that a mobile site or app allows you to do something. Good interactivity is more than 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, 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.


    Overall experience Demonstrating that mobile sites and apps 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.


  • Social

    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.


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


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


    Overall experience Social is new territory, it is still evolving and being defined - both a challenge and an 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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