Webby Website Winners 2011 Review

The 15th Annual International Webby Awards took place last Monday (13th) in New York. Here is a full (stupidly-long!) list of all the winners in the ‘website’ section, with some of my favourites pulled out. Warning – you may need to get yourself a cuppa before starting to read this! It’s always good to see examples of best practice though, even if you don’t always agree that they should have been in the list in the first place, so it’s worth taking some time to browse through.


  • Activism Redu – Creative Artists Agency

Subject matter aside – I prefered the Conservation International – Save a Mile website to Redu. Although, the International Rescue Committee (also nominated) seems to be doing the best job at using their homepage for strong calls-to-action which do not get lost in too much ‘noise’ (as is the case on most of the others!).

The idea of a digital museum which people can ‘visit’ and is kept alive and fresh with changing exhibitions, is a great one. Not sure that there is enough opportunity for ‘exploring’ available in this to help enhance the experience, but great nonetheless.

I really LOVE this campaign website by Subaru, so great to see that they have beaten Mercedes in this category! They built an entire, fun and engaging website around a ‘boring’ car, complete with lots of beige and brown, a build your own (boring) car tool, great videos, games and even a fake mission statement. Each page subtly offers you the opportunity to click to something ‘more interesting’ which leads you to the all-singing all-dancing Subaru website. A stark contrast to what you have just come from, making the Subaru brand offering seem all the more exciting.

The rapidly changing background of the Lego homepage gives the user a great introduction to the various products and characters, whilst keeping true to the brand values.

  • Best Navigation/Structure Hidden Heroes – Grimm Gallun Holtappels Werbeagentur GmbH & Co. KG
  • Best Practices Dropbox – Dropbox
  • Best use of animation or motion graphics Monet 2010 – Lets 84 and faberNovel

I touched on this whilst looking at the nominations when they were announced – Monet 2010 is a great website which is beautifully put together and gives a unique and innovative view of the work of the artist.

Another strong contender for this category was The Room by Armani, which features interactive video of either Christiano Ronaldo or Megan Fox (wearing not very much!). You can share snapshots from the video at any point with your social networks, and at the end you have the chance to click around the hotel room to discover more images, featured product info and competitions.

  • Best Visual Design – Function TED.com – TED
  • Blog – Business TechCrunch – AOL
  • Blog – Cultural The 99% – Behance
  • Blog – Political Truthdig – Truthdig
  • Celebrity/Fan Team Coco – Team Coco Digital
  • Charitable Organisations/Non-Profit Historypin – We Are What We Do

This is such a fantastic idea, and nicely executed too.

Strange to see OpenIDEO and Twitter in the same category, when they seem like totally different propositions to me?

The content on Nowness is wonderful, but I’m still a big fan of The Cool Hunter or Fubiz  (which is perhaps a bit more ‘art’) when it comes to keeping up with the latest trends. They were not even nominated!

The battle for bricks just got bigger…

A well deserved win, although to be fair they were already on to a winner having both Lego AND Star Wars to work with!

The brief for this website was to create something which would get the message across to French youth about their manipulation by tobacco companies. Recognising that France is the second largest market for Manga after Japan, they used a legend from this industry to create an amazing interactive experience. This has to be the most unusual anti-smoking message/campaign I have ever seen, but also the most beautiful and inspiring.

My favourite in this category, like the eventual winner, does not seem like a promo for an international film which would show in cinema and then eventually move onto DVD, but rather something which was made specifically for the digital medium – 127 Defining Moments enables you to watch and explore some spectacular and inspiring stories which have been submitted by others and put together in a beautiful interactive website.

I much preferred the Sounds of Pertussis website, which focuses on a fatal illness otherwise known as Whooping Cough in a bid to get more children vaccinated in the US. Great use of video and real life stories in order to create an impact, as well as being informative and easy to navigate.

It has to be said that I am not the biggest fan of Vimeo in the World, but I was genuinely quite sad that 1000memories didn’t win this category rather than one of the ‘bigger boys’, purely because I think it is such a lovely concept. Sharing memories, photographs, stories and video of a lost loved one in an online community space is something which people have been doing for years via Facebook anyway, but this tool makes it easier and much, much better!

LG Optimus have used an innovative way to share the best points of their phones, and show how they can help you with your day-to-day life.

Mobile Movement was the clear winner for me in this category, with their fresh approach to helping communities in less-developed parts of the World using mobile phones and community advice/feedback/donations/encouragement.

Phew! (takes a big breath). Right – got through that lot, now for a look at the other sections in the Webby Awards, including interactive advertising and mobile…….but not now! I think I’ll save those for another post!

Please share your thoughts on the various winners and losers – anyone not nominated who you think should have been included?

Webby awards: website nominations

The Webby awards are looming and the nominations have been revealed. Here are a few of the contenders within the best website categories.

It’s hard to separate your emotional response to a particular cause from the execution of the website when looking at the Activism category nominations, but noticeably the major charities and organisations don’t seem to be in the shortlist this year. There were a couple missing who I believe should have been included (Save the Children in particular), however check out REDU

Beautifully created website, but more importantly in my opinion is its great integration with other digital channels and activities. Lovely introduction video too.

Conservation International is also a strong contender in this category. Their ‘save a mile’ online presentation is beautifully done, with a great concept behind it. Not much in the way of integration to other channels, but in terms of its website as a stand-alone, you can see why it has been nominated.

I always think you should forget about SEO and usability when looking at websites falling within the Art category – see them more as a digital ‘work of art’ rather than anything really functional. However, it is sometimes the case that their use of the medium to create something which is both stunning and playful is something that the more ‘traditional’ or commercial websites could learn a thing or two from!

The RootsXDouglasCoupland website is a lovely example of this. The intro and build may not do them many favours with regards search engine referrals, but it is indeed a pleasure to watch. Infact, the entire website is a joy to interact with.

Aveda Colour Karma, in the Beauty and Cosmetics category is an interesting nomination within the ‘websites’ arena, given that it was the overall campaign and Facebook app, which predicted your future depending on what colour you choose to dye your hair, which made them stand out, rather than the website itself. However, it does have some nice elements which are worth checking out.

It’s easy to see why Ben The Bodyguard is up for best homepage, however. The unique design approach, which shows the main ‘character’ walking down a street and conversing with you about the importance of security for your passwords, photos and other personal data, really does make this site stand out from the crowd.

The Monet 2010 website – up for Best Visual website design and Cultural Institution website – is a beautiful example of how to create an interactive online experience. The paintings are brought alive within a digital journey which enables the user to participate via their webcam. Stunning (if you like the paintings or not!). A great use of digital media.

Great to see Lonely Planet nominated within the Travel category, if not just for their fantastic and engaging content. Likewise, really chuffed that 1000 memories has been nominated within the Social Media category. The website enables people to share memories, anecdotes, photographs and video of loved ones after they have died, in a really simple and easy to use design. Such a great idea.

You can view the full list of website nominations within all the categories here. Let me know what you think – any stand out for you, or are missing that you think should have been included?