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There are over seven billion people on the planet, and over three billion of them use the internet. But with a saturated market of almost one billion websites – how are you going to stand out?

The 2015 Webby website award winners may have some ideas. Let’s take a look.

Simple. Clean. Visual.

Three words that spring to mind when landing on TED’s website – voted Best Home Page both by Webby judges and the people. The home page is uncluttered, set against a white background and makes good use of the site’s wealth of video content by using thumbnail images to add colour and vibrancy. The names of talks are snappy and create interest, and overall copy is simple and concise. Navigation is intuitive and gives users many different ways to consume content: you can search for something specific, ask to be surprised or watch the most popular talks.

Nail the user-experience

Speaking of intuitive navigation, NASA took out the award for Best Navigation/Structure for their GeneLab website. The site’s information architecture is well structured for ease of navigation – the isolated panel on the left hand side and scrolling homepage giving users the best possible experience. No unnecessary pages here, and no unnecessary words either. One word page names and two word sentences deliver the information users need, quickly.

Show who you are

Your website should communicate your identity: your passions, what you believe in and what you want to achieve. When San Francisco’s Unified School District revolutionised the way it delivered school meals, its new site took out this year’s award for Best Corporate Communications.

The site takes the user on a journey based on the premise that “This is what school lunch could be. But it’s not.” It explains why change was necessary, using infographics to illustrate the surprising facts – such as only 57% of students that qualify for free meals actually eat them, choosing to go elsewhere or not eating at all. Once readers are engaged, the methodology is explained.

Communicate your value, simply.

For businesses wanting to promote services, look to freelancer.com for inspiration – this year’s winner of the Professional Services award. They’ve managed to communicate the value they add in just a few lines on the home page – expertly drawing visitors in. The homepage visuals rotate with different inspiring images to capture people’s imagination and convey the message that “the sky’s the limit”.

What do you make of this year’s winners? Leave a comment below.

 

 

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