It was a bit of a leap in the dark when we launched the Archiboo Web Awards earlier this summer. Would anyone enter?
Would there be enough practices and companies willing to challenge convention by embracing multimedia elements such as video, as a way of bringing their work to life?
We received a total of 300 entries from the UK and our hunch was right: architects are realising that great photography and visually appealing graphics are not enough.
A website has to be well designed for mobile devices, it has to include buttons to social media channels, such as Twitter (and many of you now display your Twitter feed directly on your website) and the user experience has to be intuitive, user-friendly and fast.
And as judges, we warmed to websites that establish an immediate emotional connection and made us want to explore further. The websites shortlisted in three or more categories do this very well.
We’ve credited the name of the web designer and web builder as it’s their work we’re celebrating but also because it shows the shift away from practices designing their website in-house -which is a good thing.
Most of the shortlisted websites were designed in the last year because the web, like everything else, is subject to fashion and at the moment the trend is towards simple but compelling messaging and long-scrolling.
We plan to say more about all this when the winners are announced in September but for the moment, congratulations to those who made it to the final cut. The competition was tough and we expect it to become tougher as more of you dedicate time and resources to your online presence.