IMA Top 10 Websites of the Year — 2012
Listed below are the nominees and winners for IMA Top Ten Websites of the Year. There were 35 nominees in total, from nearly 5,000 submissions originating in 45 countries.
In order to qualify for this list, each entry had to undergo a comprehensive evaluation by IMA judging teams and earn a "Best in Class" award, the highest award level offered by IMA. The entries listed below represent the highest scoring evaluations from among all Best in Class winners. Simply put, they are the best of the best.
Each nominee achieved exceptionally high marks in the following criteria:
- user experience
- home page
- social media integration
- cross-browser compatibility
- cross-platform compatibility
- cross-device compatibility
- privacy/cookie transparency
Considering the degree of scrutiny and analysis each entry underwent, and the high marks they achieved, it is fair to say that each entry is worthy of the top ten honor. However, only ten can make the list. Winners are determined by IMC annual judges by popular vote.
List of Top 10 Nominees &
- Nominated By
- Web Advanced Website
- Web Advanced
- Camping Center Nord Website
- Taste the Glenlivet Website
- Reading Room
- United Kingdom
- Business Aspect Website
- Synapse Website
- MD Hub Website
- Liquid Light
- United Kingdom
- New 49ers Stadium Website
- Channel 1 Media Solutions
- Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital Website
- EpiCenter Website
- Gravity Switch
- Siteworx Website
- Disney Baby Website
- Disney Interactive
- Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Website
- MoneySmart Website
- Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Microsite
- Ohla Hotel Website
- Asnuntuck Community College Website
- Gravity Switch
- Urban Renewal Authority Corporate Website
- Urban Renewal Authority
- Hong Kong
- Outshine Interactive Website
- Outshine Interactive
- The Centre Website
- Waggener Edstrom Website
- Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
- GovHK - One-Stop Government Portal
- HKSAR Government
- Hong Kong
- Pfister Faucet Website
- Web Advanced
- Reading Room - Digital Conversations Blog
- Reading Room
- United Kingdom
- Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3
- Actualise Design Website
- Actualise Design
- Orkin: The Pest Project Website
- THINK Interactive
- Fiat 500 Abarth Website
- Catholic Medical Center Website
- International Festival of Arts & Ideas Website
- Flyleaf Creative
- Make the Connection Website
- U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs
- Ai Website
- Alexander Interactive
- Hotel Avenida Palace Website
- GuestCentric Systems
- Ocean Conservancy Website *
- Digital Pulp
- Scholars Strategy Network Website *
- Blue Coda
- Bill.com Website *
* Wild Card Nominees: There are three wild cards on the list this year (#33, #34 and #35). The agencies that built these sites had many significant achievements during the year, including several Best in Class awards. Each agency just barely missed recognition as an IMA Top 10 Agency of the Year. As a way of recognizing these highly accomplished agencies, we included their highest scoring entry on this list of nominees.
1. Web Advanced Website Category: Professional Services Nominated By: Web Advanced Location: Irvine, CA / USA
This is the website for Web Advanced, a fast growing, full-service digital agency based in California that offers strategic business consulting, internet marketing, and web design and development services.
Web Advanced has been submitting exceptionally high-quality work to IMA since 2009. They almost always earn IMA's highest awards, with an occasional second place finish. This site, their flagship site, is a testament to their relentless pursuit of perfection.
2. Camping Center Nord Website Category: Toy/Hobby Nominated By: Euroweb Location: Düsseldorf / Germany
This website is about camping equipment and services. It was built by one of Europe's most successful digital agencies, Euroweb (based in Düsseldorf, Germany). It incorporates the latest in web technology, including HTML5, CSS3 and responsive design techniques. The site works seamlessly across desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
Referring to the site content, Euroweb says: "When entering the site, the viewer should really get in the mood for camping and easily picture himself leaving the tent early in the morning and breathe the fresh air of the lake... The composition of all the small details create a perfect impression of camping at its best."
3. Taste the Glenlivet Website Category: Blog Nominated By: Reading Room Location: London / United Kingdom
Reading Room, a highly successful digital agency based in the U.K., built a blog for U.K. aficionados of Glenlivet single malt whiskey. The blog provides article after article about tasting, drinking and mixing whisky.
The people behind The Glenlivet production make regular appearances on the blog discussing everything from cask making to making whisky. Stories related to whisky and popular culture, such as whisky in the movies, are also featured on the blog. Users frequently comment on posts, contributing ideas of their own, and inspiring others to appreciate the whisky in fresh new ways.
Recognizing that accessibility to content is critical in a mobile age, Reading Room made sure the blog was designed to adapt to different screen sizes. It can transition seamlessly between desktops, tablets and smartphones.
4. Business Aspect Website Category: Consulting Nominated By: Brightlabs Location: Brisbane / Australia
Business Aspect is an Australian consultancy committed to helping other companies solve intricate business problems.
Business Aspect approached Brightlabs, a highly reputable and experienced digital agency based in Brisbane, Australia, to develop and implement a brand new website that could showcase in the best manner possible their new brand identity. Brightlabs provided Business Aspect with a high quality online solution that portrays the reputation and standing of the company while improving awareness of their services.
Brightlabs implemented the website on a modern, scalable platform with an easy to use Content Management System (CMS) which allows automation of website tasks and empowers Business Aspect staff to quickly and easily update the website. The website also features a calendar, sitemap, photo gallery, social media tools, RSS feeds and rich media.
5. Synapse Website Category: Nonprofit Nominated By: Zeroseven Location: Brisbane / Australia
Synapse, the Brain Injury Association of Queensland, provides a range of innovative services for people with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). These services involve training, accommodation, publications and a range of other services which raise awareness of ABI.
The highly talented team at Zeroseven, a digital agency based in Brisbane, Australia, were brought onboard to give the ABI site a new, modern look and feel, and improve other critical areas of the site, like making donations and accessing training services.
The site features a range of accessibility tools such as enlarging site content and translation options, as well as options for sharing via the 'Share' toolbar and RSS feed. Other site features include: full e-commerce capabilities, Microsoft Dynamics integration, color coded sections, newsletter signup, events, fact sheets, RSS feed, Google translate, forms, brochures and downloads repository.
6. MD Hub Website Category: Professional Services Nominated By: Liquid Light Location: Brighton / United Kingdom
MDHUB is a premier, peer-to-peer business growth network for Managing Directors and Senior Board Directors in the south of England. They provide peer-to-peer workgroups, a leadership and development program, and information from inside and outside the MDHUB.
Liquid Light, one of the U.K.'s top digital agencies, was asked to re-build MDHUB's website. The new site had to factor in new branding, simplified messaging, scalability, access by multiple types of devices, and many other goals. Liquid Light delivered a solid, clean and distinctive site, built on a fully responsive flexible platform and able to support MDHUB's growing business needs.
7. New 49ers Stadium Website Category: Sports Nominated By: Channel 1 Media Solutions Location: Toronto / Canada
This site was built to help users explore the benefits and amenities of the new 49ers (NFL) stadium in Santa Clara, California. Built by Channel 1 Media, an award-winning Canadian-based digital marketing agency specializing in professional sports, the site helped users learn more about the stadium while under construction and what they could expect upon completion.
8. Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital Website Category: Healthcare Nominated By: Brightlabs Location: Brisbane / Australia
The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) is Australia's pre-eminent specialty eye and ear hospital. From their base in East Melbourne and outpatient clinics around Victoria, they reach over 243,000 people a year.
The hospital has over 50 different outpatient clinics for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of vision and hearing loss and provides a 24/7 emergency eye and ear, nose, and throat health service.
Brightlabs, a highly successful digital marketing agency based in Brisbane, Australia, built a website for RVEEH that conveys the hospital's standing and reputation, while also improving awareness of RVEEH information and services. The site was built on a modern, scalable platform with an easy to use Content Management System (CMS). RVEEH staff are now empowered to quickly and easily make updates to the site. Many other site tasks are now automated.
9. EpiCenter Website Category: Professional Services Nominated By: Gravity Switch Location: Northampton, MA / USA
EpiCenter is an ERP consulting company. They implement, optimize and customize market leading ERP platforms such as Epicor and NetSuite.
Gravity Switch, an award-winning web design and development firm based in Massachusetts, was asked to re-build EpiCenter's website with a focus on highlighting the company's products, conveying a good first impression, and starting a conversation with prospective customers. Gravity Switch delivered a website with a bold new look. It conveys EpiCenter's many success stories and stands out in the ERP industry.
10. Siteworx Website Category: Web Design/Development Nominated By: Siteworx Location: Reston, VA / USA
Siteworx, a leading digital agency based in Virginia, looked to reaffirm its cutting edge capabilities and industry leadership, with a revamped responsive design for siteworx.com, its most important sales, marketing and recruitment tool.
The new website combines the best in design and technology to appeal to Siteworx' target customer base: marketers and technologists in the Fortune 1000. The site uses responsive design to support desktop, smartphone and tablet resolutions using a single code base and URL. Its single page design, unusual for a content-rich site, is SEO-friendly; i.e., all significant content items have dedicated URLs. The news section features Pinterest-like browsing.
To improve SEO, Siteworx retired its corporate blog which was run under a separate domain and consolidated then revised the blog and website content to achieve a unified voice.
11. Disney Baby Website Category: Family Nominated By: Disney Interactive Location: Glendale, CA / USA
DisneyBaby.com, a one-of-a-kind destination designed to inspire and delight new and expecting parents, is filled with imaginative products, mom-tested tips, and an easy-to-use tool that allows parents to upload and share pictures of their baby's most magical moments.
The site is organized around key moments of the day, showcasing best-in-class Disney Baby products, alongside inspired ideas, tips and activities to help parents make the most of the everyday moments. From quiet time in the Nursery to silly sounds at Playtime and messy mouthfuls at Mealtime, Disney Baby's unique blend of content and product gives parents the essentials they need to create bonding moments with their baby.
Central to the site is Magical Moments, an easy-to-use tool that lets parents upload, capture and preserve favorite photos and memories. The simple upload interface and streamlined registration process offer parents an easy way to collect and share their best baby stories.
Disney Baby was built with state-of-the-art technology and is optimized to work across digital platforms.
The DisneyBaby.com experience is consistent and fast on a PC, tablet or smartphone. The clean and modern layout allows the unique products and feel-good parenting content to stand out. The floating navigation bar allows for quick access to all site categories, while elegant filtering options let parents and gift givers easily find just the right Disney Baby product for the little one in their life. Infinite scroll gives parents the option to browse content and product endlessly, or get up close and personal with a single product through an enhanced zoom tool on product images.
With every stich, and every tip, Disney Baby helps parents create magical moments right from the start.
12. Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Website Category: Natural Environment/Green Nominated By: Visceral Location: San Diego, CA / USA
Visceral, an award-winning digital communications agency based in San Diego, California, partnered with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning to plan, design and build a new website for the Coalition's national Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI).
GHHI is a national non-profit organization focused on implementing a cost-effective and integrated approach to housing interventions by combining federal and philanthropic investments in weatherization, energy efficiency, health and safety. GHHI is setting a new standard for policies and practices to create more sustainable, affordable and healthier homes.
The purpose of the new site is to create awareness about the initiative's efforts while providing information and tools for GHHI's key audiences, which includes families and children, and policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.
The site design uses stark, engaging visuals, focused data visualization and iconography to guide audiences to helpful resources and news. The site offers a clean user experience across devices (desktop, tablet and mobile) using standards-compliant HTML and responsive CSS styles. The site's content approach and Drupal CMS structure allow GHHI leadership and staff to easily maintain and use the site as an effective publishing and awareness-creation platform.
13. MoneySmart Website Category: Financial Information Nominated By: ASIC Location: Sydney / Australia
MoneySmart, a website by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), is designed to help people make smart choices about their personal finances. The target audience is broad, covering Australians who are rich or poor, young or old, investing or paying off debt.
The site offers smart tips on dealing with the ups and downs of life such as unemployment, having a baby, divorce or separation, and buying a home. The site is built to assist the target audience with a simplicity of design, navigation and language that creates a friendly and easy-to-use environment.
The layering of information means the first level of information is simple and engaging, but additional levels provide more details for sophisticated users.
Over 20 calculators are available to provide answers to a broad range of financial transactions.
A recent survey of users found that eight in 10 visitors found the site useful overall.
14. Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Microsite Category: Computer Hardware Nominated By: Huge Location: Brooklyn, NY / USA
Dell asked Huge, a highly reputable, Brooklyn-based digital agency, to help build a microsite for its XPS 13 Ultrabook product launch, which would live on Dell.com and drive awareness and sales. All promotional efforts would drive to this microsite, which introduces the product and tells the story of how it is crafted, highlighting key product features and benefits.
Dell wanted to convey the craftsmanship and quality of the product, along with its performance capabilities, while still humanizing the product and grounding it in real-life. The site had to be developed using Flash rather than HTML5, which would allow the client to integrate the site with its existing platform in just a few days.
Huge and Dell created the concept of a long page that "builds" the actual product as the user scrolls down. The team devised an innovative way to use the browser scrollbar to control the Flash content, so the site looks and feels more like it was built with HTML.
The site was organized into a few key sections:
The first, called "Story," shows how premium materials were selected and crafted together to make the product. The laptop is "constructed" as the user scrolls down the page.
The second section, "Why XPS," highlights the benefits of the product features in the context of users' lifestyles.
The last section, "Gallery," shows product images, videos and reviews in a few different feeds, to help create visual interest and generate excitement around the product.
15. Ohla Hotel Website Category: Hotel/Resort Nominated By: eMascaro Location: Barcelona / Spain
The Ohla Hotel's website combines Flash and HTML technologies into a responsive design that seamlessly transitions from desktop to tablet to smartphone. The site offers 360° views of Barcelona and many powerful images of the hotel itself. This site is highly innovative, visual and appealing. All the design and especially the search engine has been design for being unique and different from the rest.
16. Asnuntuck Community College Website Category: College Nominated By: Gravity Switch Location: Northampton, MA / USA
Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) asked Gravity Switch, a highly talented and accomplished digital agency based in Massachusetts, to redesign their website to help them attract new students and better support their current students and staff.
The target audience of the site includes residents in and around Enfield, Connecticut, and students varying in age from 18 years to 50-somethings looking for continuing education opportunities.
Gravity Switch focused on building a design concept that was warm and inviting. The production included an on-campus photo shoot. The resulting images are now featured throughout the site. The new site is built on a customized Drupal platform, allowing for better maintenance and enhanced functionality. The ACC staff can now easily make updates to site content.
17. Urban Renewal Authority Corporate Website Category: Building/Construction Nominated By: Urban Renewal Authority Location: Hong Kong
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA), a statutory organization established by the government of Hong Kong, is committed to improving the living conditions of residents in dilapidated urban areas and addressing the problem of urban decay. The new URA website is designed to effectively convey their mission, policies, projects and news. The site adheres to web standards and accessibility guidelines. A text version of the site is available for the disabled viewers and a mobile version is available for smart phone and portable computer users.
18. Outshine Interactive Website Category: Web Design/Development Nominated By: Outshine Interactive Location: Austin, TX / USA
Outshine Interactive, a full service digital agency based in Austin, Texas, redesigned their website with the goal of capturing their core philosophies of connection, experience and community.
Wanting to highlight the importance of their unique local culture, they photographed Austin's natural beauty and worked with an artist to create sketches and paintings of these photographs.The artwork inspired a new agency brand and is featured throughout the new site.
The site is built with HTML5 and is optimized for mobile, tablet and widescreen displays.
Once the new site was completed, Outshine wanted to do something special that would highlight their commitment to the human connection. They produced a web video that features prominently on the home page that immediately accomplishes this goal.
19. The Centre Website Category: Automobile Nominated By: Elevator Location: Carlsbad, CA / USA
The Centre is a completely new concept for the auto industry: A Lexus dealership trying to be a hub of community activity, not just a place for buying cars.
They built a 350,000 square foot building in San Diego and brought in a 4-star restaurant, retail amenities, golf simulator, and more. All of the amenities were selected to appeal to the Lexus clientele and intended to make spending time at The Centre an enjoyable experience.
Elevator, a creative agency based in Carlsbad, California, built The Centre's website. They recognized early that the typical formula for car dealership websites would not work. They researched other industries and drew inspiration from the resort spa world. They sought to portray a high end establishment that provides excellent customer service and makes visitors feel comfortable and relaxed.
20. Waggener Edstrom Website Category: Public Relations Nominated By: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Location: Bellevue, WA / USA
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide is a global communications agency based in Bellevue, Washington. The primary goal for their new agency website was to improve the user experience for three key audiences – clients, potential clients and job seekers. They wanted to reflect Waggener Edstrom as a global, multi-capable agency where clients go to solve their business problems and a great place to work.
To keep content fresh, Waggener Edstrom created a new blogging interface that allows for better viewing and searchability of all agency blogs.
The site design is intended to be simple. The hero graphics provide pops of color, but are not distracting. The language is descriptive and vernacular.
Waggener Edstrom's experience designer describes the site as follows: "This new site creates a unified web presence that engages our audience by showcasing our great work and through support of social connection. It is bold, clean, fresh and modern."
21. GovHK - One-Stop Government Portal Category: Government Nominated By: HKSAR Government Location: Hong Kong
GovHK is the one-stop portal of the Hong Kong government, making information and services of the public sector easier to find and use. GovHK is the first place to go when citizens want to deal with the Government online.
GovHK aims to transform the government-centric model of service delivery, where bureaux/departments operate within individual silos, to a citizen-centric approach that puts emphasis on meeting the needs of citizens through cross-departmental collaboration and service integration. Based on a user group/service clustering approach, users can obtain e-government services and information according to their interests and needs, without having trouble with the internal structure of the Government.
22. Pfister Faucet Website Category: Catalog Nominated By: Web Advanced Location: Irvine, CA / USA
For over 100 years, Pfister has been a leader in the plumbing field, offering a wide variety of innovative, first-to-market plumbing fixtures and many additional products that have helped define the industry.
The Pfister website redesign had a main goal of merging the trade and retail catalogs into a single, easier to browse catalog. Once the Web Advanced and Pfister teams had an industry-leading product browse process with live filtering, they didn't stop there. Navigation was updated, new areas such as the Inspiration Gallery were created, and features like the Faucet Selector and Universal Tub and Shower microsite was created.
The Inspiration Gallery invites users to explore the variety of kitchens and baths that Pfister faucets are a natural fit for. This gallery was created using AJAX technologies and updates as you select elements. Social sharing features ensure that users can share the photo and marketing text to Pinterest, Facebook, and other platforms at a click.
The Faucet Selector allows users to click through a fully dynamic selection process that assists with finding the perfect faucet.
And the mobile and desktop enabled Universal Tub and Shower highlighted great faucet technology with great web technology: adaptive mobile page for phone size devices, HTML5 video, and amazingly interactive features such as the spray pattern selector.
23. Reading Room – Digital Conversations Blog Category: Blog Nominated By: Reading Room Location: London / United Kingdom
There are blogs. And then there are responsive blogs such as the Reading Room Blog. This repository of leading-edge digital knowledge is responsive in that it reshapes itself automatically to fit content perfectly on any mobile device. This blog features an innovative drop down menu that adapts to different screen sizes.
Accessibility across device platforms is just one of the great things about the blog. As they say, content is king, and be it social media, technology, creative, user experience or strategy, you will be able to find a broad range of high quality topics on the blog.
24. Call of Duty -
Modern Warfare 3
Category: Games – Industry Nominated By: SapientNitro Location: Miami, FL / USA
In the almost $50 billion a year video game industry there is no bigger franchise than Activision's Call of Duty. The challenge for SapientNitro was to develop a digital hub that would serve both the franchise and the MW3 title, and ties the brand and its passionate global audience together. To that end the agency built callofduty.com/mw3 to be a modular, flexible multimedia showcase that ties the voice of the consumer into every page via live streaming social media feeds. A primary goal was to establish callofduty.com/mw3 as the foundation for all franchise marketing initiatives.
25. Actualise Design Website Category: Web Design/Development Nominated By: Actualise Design Location: Chatswood, NSW / Australia
Actualise Design is an Australian-based business founded in late 2011 providing specialist web services. Their website was created to educate viewers about the business and encourage users to order a project for services offered. Actualise Design's services are a major part of the website with each service having its own dedicated page.
Each service presents itself with a simplified description so as to not overwhelm anyone and features a persistent call to action to order a project. To make the ordering process quick and streamlined, custom page forms have been designed to acquire all the relevant information with direct uploading of assets.
The overall site design has been approached to result in a simple to understand IA structure and features a simple usable interface and navigation design to guide the user throughout.
The site's creative direction was explored and ultimately set in black and white with select use of graphics and iconography. This direction has been chosen to keep the user focused on the unique content of each page but still allow them to easily identify with the consistent design elements.
The site theme features a polished GUI with use of graphics, icons and imagery all made by Actualise Design.
26. Orkin: The Pest Project Site Category: Education Nominated By: THINK Interactive Location: Atlanta, GA / USA
Orkin, the pest-control company, was looking for new and exciting ways to use digital channels to increase overall consumer awareness of their expertise and industry leadership. Orkin turned to THINK to develop a unique campaign that showcased the company's extensive knowledge about bugs in an experiential and entertaining way. THINK met the challenge with The Pest Project, a visually rich, content heavy experience that allows users to read stories, view high resolution photography and play videos about all things "Bug".
The Pest Project is a parallax site that explores the roles pests play in our world and helps educate people on the positive and negative ways they affect us – in a rich and engaging way. It features more than 40 insects and 12 exploration areas, and is the most innovative source of insect and pest information Orkin has produced to date. This website is helping Orkin better communicate their vast knowledge in entomology and solidify their position as the top experts in their field.
27. Fiat 500 Abarth Website Category: Automobile Nominated By: SapientNitro Location: Miami, FL / USA
28. Catholic Medical Center Website Category: Hospital Nominated By: SilverTech Location: Manchester, NH / USA
As a community hospital aiming to earn an extended regional patient base, Catholic Medical Center wanted to place a greater emphasis on quality of care, and specialist and specialty centers while creating a positive, engaging online presence.
The new CatholicMedicalCenter.org features large hero imagery, an experience-driven navigation and streamlined access to patient and healthcare services information.
While Catholic Medical Center offers a multitude of specialist services and centers, only those which are of the highest strategic importance to the customer are featured in the primary navigation, though navigation to any center requires no more than two or three clicks.
The platform is built on a fully-customized content management system, allowing for more robust content connections.
An expandable footer offers further information and fast-access to centers, the CMC mission and directions. The directions module integrates with Google Maps API to avoid the typical "from North" or "from 293" directions, and offer patients and family fast access to a route that more accurately applies to them based on their address.
29. International Festival of Arts & Ideas Website Category: Arts/Culture Nominated By: Flyleaf Creative Location: New York, NY / USA
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut, is a comprehensive 15-day festival made up of more than 100 events with several connected themes and genres.
Ranked among the top 100 event destinations in America, their goal is to foster dialogue among artists with their audience which totals nearly 100,000 per year. 80% of the festival events are free to the public and most visitors spend nearly three times the national average visiting local stores, restaurants, museums and galleries in the area.
Flyleaf Creative designed this site which aimed to achieve three primary goals:
- improve the mobile experience for festival attendees "on-the-ground",
- improve event browsing and searching, and
- migrate all site content to an open source platform (Drupal).
The site is built using Responsive Design techniques that adapts to the wide range of devices, ranging from tiny smartphones to desktop browsers.
The taxonomy structure was completely overhauled to drive audiences to easily jump around festival events intuitively and explore related themes from any event or calendar page.
The calendar module was designed to showcase the duration of events to help attendees plan an art-filled day, night or weekend.
The megafooter provides quick links to content areas and social media so that users are not forced to scroll all the way up to navigate elsewhere.
The site also features unique post-festival content that includes a growing library of "in case you missed" video, which keeps the dialogue relevant year-round.
30. Make the Connection Website Category: Military Nominated By: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Location: Washington, DC / USA
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the Make the Connection campaign to introduce veterans and their loved ones to the resources and treatment they have earned and deserve, particularly for mental health related challenges.
At the heart of the campaign is MakeTheConnection.net – an interactive and dynamic website that provides a one-stop online resource for visitors to privately explore information on mental health issues, hear other veterans and their families share their stories of resilience, and easily find and access support. The site hosts hundreds of videos from veterans, members of the National Guard, reservists and their loved ones.
On MakeTheConnection.net visitors are able to customize their online experiences and view content that allows them to "see themselves" through tailored information based on area of service, gender, race, ethnicity, signs and symptoms, life events, and characteristics of military experience such as combat exposure and branch of service.
Based on the categories they choose, visitors are introduced to videos of people who share their backgrounds and experiences and provide compelling examples of the positive outcomes for treatment, recovery, and the many paths that can lead to more fulfilling lives.
Research shows that the most effective way to overcome resistance to help-seeking and to change behavior is through a "contact-based" approach that provides people with direct contact with individuals who have personal experience with mental health conditions. This type of contact typically occurs on the micro or grassroots level, where direct personal interaction is possible. This website makes this personal approach viable at the macro level.
The website also features a resource locator, which allows visitors to quickly identify VA and other services available in their communities providing a critically important connection with support for those who are encouraged to seek help during their time spent on the web.
31. Ai Website Category: Web Design/Development Nominated By: Alexander Interactive Location: New York, NY / USA
The digital landscape changes constantly with daily advances in technology, design trends, and hardware. In keeping at the forefront of the digital space, Alexander Interactive launched a responsive redesign of their agency's website. They gave the site the technology to automatically restructure itself to its users' platform – be it a desktop, tablet or phone.
Making the site responsive has many advantages, but their main goals in the redesign were to give their users the best web experience possible, build a website optimal for the increasing use of mobile technologies, and showcase the dimensionless potential that responsive design has to offer the rest of the web community. The target audience are potential clients, potential employees, and media outlets.
32. Hotel Avenida Palace Website Category: Hotel/Resort Nominated By: GuestCentric Systems Location: Lisbon / Portugal
The Hotel Avenida Palace, located in the center of Lisbon near the Bairro Alto and Chiado, is a 5 star hotel where luxury and a unique charm cross, and is considered a city's historical heritage. They asked GuestCentric to build a website that captures their unique look and feel while streamlining their online business.
33. Ocean Conservancy Website Category: Nonprofit Nominated By: Digital Pulp Location: New York, NY / USA
The Ocean Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the oceans and its wildlife. Considering that oceans make up 70% of the Earth's surface, this is an enormous undertaking.
The Ocean Conservancy asked Digital Pulp to make their website more understandable and relevant to the average American. Digital Pulp responded with a site that moved away from complex terminology and legislative topics, and instead told a story.
The story begins with why "The Ocean Matters" and continues with the organization's vision and approach to making it a reality.
The imagery on the site delivers an emotional impact – one that makes the viewer want to explore further and understand why their donation is so critical. Various site features, such as a parallax experience for "The Ocean Matters" section, make the experience richer and more engaging.
34. Scholars Strategy Network Website Category: Politics Nominated By: BlueCoda Location: Cambridge, MA / USA
The SSN brings together many of America's leading scholars to address pressing public challenges at the national, state, and local levels. Their target audience is extremely diverse, consisting of policymakers, journalists, bloggers, citizens, SSN members and affiliates. The site therefore needed to have a user-friendly UX, provide an easy means to access the site content, and provide a flexible platform for future site enhancements.
Here's what was at stake for SSN: The old site had a completely outdated design, with no calls to action, or means for users to easily self select their relevant content and learn more. Users were also confused by the site structure, unable to navigate to the extensive resources and library tools. The site lacked a CMS for the staff to update any content, making site maintenance costly and time consuming. Finally, there were screen resolution and cross-browser display issues.
Blue Coda, an award-winning, Cambridge, MA-based digital agency, built a vastly enhanced site for SSN. They introduced a clean new design with dynamic rotating content prominently placed on the site, driving users to their desired content.
The new site contains new content for their diverse target audience and a simplified main navigation.
The new site is completely CMS driven allowing for in-house updates and editing of all site content. New content can now be posted daily eliminating the bottlenecks from before and new features are brought online with much greater ease.
Lastly, the robust search allows all users to find targeted content quickly and efficiently.
35. Bill.com Website Category: Financial Services Nominated By: Extractable Location: San Francisco, CA / USA
Bill.com is a cloud-based cash flow command and control system that manages accounts payable and receivable for businesses of all sizes. Offering online bill pay, custom invoicing services, unlimited document storage, collaboration tools, and mobile access, Bill.com's services sync to users' accounting software programs and online bank accounts to better control company financials. Bill.com has more than 100,000 registered users.
Bill.com had a complex business challenge. Previously they had a hard time explaining their products and services since there were many variables and options. In addition, the branding lacked consistency and caused confusion. Bill.com needed a new way to present the brand and the products. Additional needs were to streamline the purchasing process.
Extractable, an award-winning, San Francisco-based digital agency, built a new platform for Bill.com that makes it easy to learn about their products, how they work, and how to sign up. Bill.com is now also personalized through imagery and content so that each user is presented with the most relevant experience. Tools were added such as, "Is it right for me?", so users can visualize the benefits of the product easily.