Australian Web Awards

How To Enter The Australian Web Awards


Entering the awards is an exciting experience and one that AWIA hopes to make as straightforward as possible

You can start your entry and come back to complete it for submission and payment before the entry period closes. 

There are a few steps you’ll need to undertake before your entry is ready and you can press submit. Please read the information on this page as it will outline exactly what you need to do to make sure your site is ready to be judged.


Eligibility

In order to be eligible, sites must be:

  • Launched or significantly re-launched (in terms of design and/or major features) between July 1 and December 31 the year prior to the award year
  • Primarily developed in the state of entry
  • Entered by the site developer or owner
How To Enter The Australian Web Awards

Choose a category

A single website can be entered in up to two (2) categories. Each category requires a separate entry. Take a look at each of the categories for more detailed information and to see the criteria weighting for judging.

Startup

The Startup Category is open to new businesses that at as of July 1st this year, have been operating for less than two years.

Small business

Small Business is open to any business that has been trading for more than two years as of July 1st this year, which turned over less than $2 million in the twelve months prior to July 1st. 

Businesses less than two years old can choose to enter this category or they can enter the startup category.

E-commerce

This category is for websites whose primary purpose is to sell products or services online.

Commercial

The Commercial category is suited to businesses that are more than two years old and are turning over more than $2 million p.a.

If the principal focus is selling online from a catalogue of products using the website, it should be entered in eCommerce category. If the site is more focused on the branding, information or services, it belongs here. Some sites could fit either category, in which case choose the one you prefer.

Government

This category is for websites of government, government agencies or wholly government-funded programs.

Given the Australian Government's stated commitment to accessibility, government sites should aim to meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.

Education

The Education Award is for educational institutions such as schools (private, public, primary and secondary), Registered Training Organisations and universities.

Typically, the sites would support the ongoing business of education and recruitment of prospective students, as well as supporting current students and staff.

Not-for-profit

Candidate sites can be Not-For-Profit organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) or industry associations.

Innovation

This is a broad category designed to acknowledge innovation/experimentation in any aspect of web technology. 

It could be on any platform; e.g. web, mobile, application, internet of things. Because we are looking at the boundaries of what is possible, WCAG 2.0 conformance is not a prerequisite, although minimum conformance should be part of outstanding practice where it can be applied.

Social Media

This category acknowledges business success and innovation in social media marketing.

Entrants are encouraged to provide real-world business metrics for assessment by the judges. Please note, any commercial information you provide will not be publicly disclosed without the entrant's prior written agreement.

The recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required are:

  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level AA, as a minimum.
  • Content - spell checked

Check the judging criteria

Familiarise yourself with the awards process, paying close attention to the judging criteria. Consider how well your site entry meets the criteria to make sure you’re entering the right category.

Test your website

Test your site entry using validation tools and include evidence of your testing in your entry. To get you started, the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required for every category (except Social Media) are:

  • Markup: HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors
  • Accessibility: WCAG 2.0 Level A, as a minimum (this is dependent on the audience demographic)
  • Page Speed Testing
  • Content - spell checked

At a minimum, you should test for HTML5 and accessibility. Each category this year has an indication of testing requirements especially around WCAG 2.0. 

Evidence is either screenshots or PDFs of the end of the test report for both Markup validation and Accessibility checking. This is to be for the WHOLE site, not just the parts that you consider to be tested.

A site may be ruled ineligible if it has more than three (3) unique HTML validation errors or is a site that does not meet the WCAG level criteria for the category of entry. A unique error is an error that happens on either once or many times throughout the website.

Some readily available tools we recommend are:

Take high-quality screenshots of your site

Ensure that high-quality screenshot images of your entry are submitted with your entry. AWIA will use these images in promotional material for the Australian Web Awards, including social media, this website and PR purposes.

Tips for entrants

Tips for entrants

To help you on your quest to glory in the Australian Web Awards, here are 8 things you can do to give yourself the best chance of winning:

  1. Make sure your site is free of HTML markup errors, because we check it automatically when you enter, so if you have lots of errors, your site will not be judged by humans.
  2. Due to the increasing complexity of vendor-specific CSS, we no longer eliminate sites for this. Instead, we judge how the site performs on different platforms and devices.
  3. We do not penalise sites for using video, third party widgets or online advertisements that install invalid code on your site, but you should mention these in the Challenges section of your entry form.
  4. In the Startup, Small Business, eCommerce, Commercial, Education and Not for Profit categories, if you specify that your target market does not include people who are vision, mobility or cognitively impaired, we will not eliminate or judge your entry on accessibility grounds.
  5. In the Startup and Small Business categories we do not eliminate any sites for accessibility performance, but it's still a judging factor.
  6. As a guide, in the eCommerce, Commercial, Education and Not for Profit categories, sites in the bottom 20% for accessibility testing (using the OzArt tool, with some manual oversight) will be eliminated before personal judging. Other sites will then be judged normally, which includes judging for accessibility.
  7. If your site performs poorly using automated tools but there are explanations for that, or if certain accessibility factors are out of your control, you should specify those things in your entry.
  8. Lastly, let the robots in. Your sites must grant access to our performance, accessibility and validation bots. Sites that have robot exclusion texts (which link checkers are a type of) can't be judged.

Criteria weighting for each category

Every entry is judged according to the above criteria and each component has a particular percentage weighting (out of 100).

Take a look at the weighting for each category below, and note that not all criteria apply to every category.

Startup

UI Design - 22%
Content - 21%
UX Design - 22%
Development - 25%
Accessibility - 10%

Small business

UI Design - 25%
Content - 20%
UX Design - 25%
Development - 20%
Accessibility - 10%

E-commerce

UI Design - 22%
Content - 21%
UX Design - 22%
Development - 25%
Accessibility - 10%

Commercial

UI Design - 20%
Content - 25%
UX Design - 20%
Development - 25%
Accessibility - 10%

Government

UI Design - 20%
Content - 25%
UX Design - 20%
Development - 25%
Accessibility - 10%

Education

UI Design - 22%
Content - 23%
UX Design - 22%
Development - 20%
Accessibility - 15%

Not-for-profit

UI Design - 15%
Content - 25%
UX Design - 25%
Development - 25%
Accessibility - 10%

Innovation

UI Design - 10%
Content - 5%
UX Design - 10%
Development - 15%
Innovation - 60%

Small business

Content - 20%
UX Design - 10%
Innovation - 10%
Success - 60%

Entry fees

Non-AWIA Member

$170 (inc. GST)

Per entry | Per category

Enter Now

AWIA Member

$85 (inc. GST)

Per entry | Per category

Enter Now

Personal & Not-For-Profit

$55 (inc. GST)

Per entry | Per category

Enter Now

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Contact

For all questions and comments – including the Australian Web Awards or Edge of the Web – please complete the contact form and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.

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