Webby Awards — Calgary Connection

It’s that most glorious time of year again, The Webby Awards have graced us with her (its?) presence.
For those of you not in the know, the Webby awards celebrated it’s 20th awards show on May 16. That means that they have been handing out awards for internet excellence since 1996. Do you remember what websites looked like in 1996? Yikes.

The Webby awards are pretty much the internet’s answer to the Oscars, but as the internet grows so does the award categories. They honour internet excellence in: websites, advertising and media, online film and video, mobile sites and apps and social. They are essentially awards for us nerdy web designer types, like the Calgary web design team here at Sparrow Studios.

Every year the Webby’s get bigger, this year, it was hosted by Parks and Rec’s Nick Offerman and had appearances by the likes of Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian, who accepted her award for breaking the internet in the Webby tradition of 5 word acceptance speeches, “nude selfies ‘till I die.”

Some big brands won awards this year: Ted Talks won a best practices award, the New York Times won for best use of photography, and the ever popular, Giphy won a people’s choice webby. Reuters TV won for best user interface and music giant Spotify won for best visual design and perhaps unsurprisingly, media giant Vice.com won for best cultural website.

Canadian company WealthSimple beat out a ton of financial giants to win the financial services website webby. Congratulations to them, their website and marketing is top notch.
Other than WealthSimple Canadians were woefully underrepresented for web design.

So what does that mean for media and web design in Calgary?

Well for one, it will make us Canadians in general and Calgarians in specific step up our game, with the possibility of winning a webby as the end prize.

It also means that some of the trends and designs that won Webby’s will eventually trickle down into the general consciousness of people looking to get a website designed in Calgary and the trends we saw yesterday will be more prevalent in the year to come.

For instance, amongst the majority of the winners and the honourable mentions from this year’s website awards, there was something missing… the hamburger menu. Say goodbye to the trusty hamburger menu, it is going away. Big winners like MTV, TedEd, and Vice have all said goodbye to the hamburger menu in favour of visible menus for navigation. Even YouTube got rid of the hamburger, while they didn’t win a Webby this year, they are arguably one of the biggest of the internet giants.

Large, rich visuals with an impact are here to stay. Ok, so it’s not a new trend per se, but it is one that has been poo pooed by an awful lot of bloggers on the internet because it has become so trendy. There’s a reason it is trendy, because if it is done right it looks great and navigates even better. Great examples of this include: That’s Not Cool, winner for charitable website and the New York Times online magazine, winner of the best use of photography.

Teeny tiny amounts of content was the big winner at this years Webby Awards. Almost every single web winner and honourable mention had something in common. Next to nothing in the way of content, 1 – 10 words seems to be the new standard on landing pages. The minimalism in content trend will ensure that website writers and web designers in Calgary will have to be more thoughtful with their word choices and make every single word have meaning. While we at Sparrow Studios have been preaching thoughtful content as best practice, it would appear as though it is also the winning practice.

Of course, there is a myriad of other trendy takeaway from this year’s Webby Awards, but those are all that we have space for right here at the moment. If you want to talk more about how to integrate some of these winning design trends into your new website, give us a call and we will see what we can do for you.

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