Ask DN: is it just me, or do sites like AWWWARDS only appreciate 'clever' sites as apposed to well executed ideas?

7 years ago from , Founder of http://functionandform.co.uk

I saw this site on awwwards: http://www.e2save.com/if-only-it-was-4k/# I felt that it should have won a SOTD, but didn't. It may not have all the bells and whistles the rest of AWWW winners seem to have but i appreciate an excellent concept, executed simply, to what I imagine was a low budget.

What does everyone else think?

Am i the only one a little tired of seeing so many WebGl sites whose concepts don't seem to justify the technologies used?

(by the way before anyone asks, I have absolutely no connection with any one involved in that 4K site)


  • Mike Wilson, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    I think Awwwards always leans toward picking the more flashy, over-designed and over-animated sites (there are always exceptions of course). I think this is a function of the fact that it has such a big audience--they appeal more to casual amateur than the professional designer. If it has scrolling animations and random 1px outlines and diamond shapes with an overuse of serif fonts, then it will be featured on Awwwards without a doubt.

    For the best sites I usually hit up Siteinspire. Daniel Howells has impeccable taste, and his selections always feel much more mature and properly designed for their audience/function.

    33 points
    • M. AppelmanM. Appelman, 7 years ago

      Upvote for https://www.siteinspire.com/

      26 points
    • Jonas S, 7 years ago

      I agree. The level of usability is really low and the concepts are usually very hard to understand. But Siteinspire has its own shortcomings. It's the same style over and over. Grids, frames, minimalism and arty.

      9 points
    • , 7 years ago

      That's true. I do also spend a lot of time on siteinspire. its a very well collated archive of websites. but most sites they publish are pretty niche and as you say, may be appreciated by the seasoned designer as this is often who they are aimed at - architects, print designers etc, but not always a commercial audience.

      You're description of the over designed sites with diamonds was spot on by the way haha

      0 points
  • Alexander RadsbyAlexander Radsby, 7 years ago

    I'm one of the jury members on awwwards and I totally agree with you. There's a lot of sites with excellent concepts that don't get featured and personally I'd like to see planning/budgets/briefs for each project, but that would be to ask to much of the jury to look through so all we have in the end is the end result. Superficial perhaps.

    There are 4 things that we look at for each entry: — Design — Usability — Creativity — Content

    It's not often sites gets an average of at least 8 of 10 in all of these areas. One thing that's missing for each vote is at least a short motivation on why we voted as we did. This might help to clear the votes up a bit more.

    But like the others said, it's an awards site for web design & web development. It's definitely going to be as flashy as possible featuring new technologies and loads of animation (it's a fine line between perfect or obnoxious).

    I personally down vote all sites that don't have a visible scrollbar (wacom user). I mean how can the site win if it's impossible to navigate, at least add multiple navigation options if you're removing the main way of navigation.

    7 points
    • , 7 years ago

      Seeing briefs, and budgets would be great! in fact, having different categories defined by budgets would be really good too. Usability is one area that often seems to be voted much higher than i'd expect. yes, I would like to see more statements from the jury. that would also be a good addition. You make a good point about simply showcasing the latest technology. In this case it does this very well and I must admit it does often push me to experiment. I am a wacom user also, and this is something that really pisses me off. Thanks for your response Alexander. it was good to hear from someone who has a bit more inside knowledge.

      0 points
  • Dan CoatesDan Coates, 7 years ago

    The site you linked is a great idea but is really quite poorly implemented. Hard to navigate and slow to load. I think that sites need to have both a good idea and a good execution to be considered excellent.

    That said, I'm not particularly familiar with Awwwards so maybe it should have won site of the day depending what it was up against.

    6 points
  • Kieran RheaumeKieran Rheaume, 7 years ago

    (link is broken for me), but at least design awards/recognition aren't as vapid as the ad industry. This parodies the state of ad awards flawlessly: http://www.handyawards.org/

    5 points
    • Renee PRenee P, 7 years ago


      0 points
    • , 7 years ago

      haha this is great. yes don't get me started! I worked at a very large agency that I won't name, who's creative directors only come up with the loudest, most pretentious ideas just so that they could enter them into awards. Most of the time, the results were awful and didn't meet the brief, but were just designed to look good as a case study presentation.

      0 points
      • Kieran RheaumeKieran Rheaume, 7 years ago

        Gah that's tragic! I actually switched my career path from ad agency to product design agency for just that reason - substance and meaning over ego and flash.

        1 point
  • umit akcanumit akcan, 7 years ago

    Most of the winner sites are not accessible, Full of JS and looong loading times, I really don't understand their voting system.

    3 points
    • Andy StoneAndy Stone, 7 years ago

      This is coming from someone who has never won something from Awwwards…

      I feel that accolades from sites like Awwwards are for showing off heavy visual design and radical animation work to other designers. Basically, brag about design not being invisible. It's super cool stuff that we'll show around the office and think "how did they do that?"

      Well executed and thought-out sites with fast load times and easy flows are for you and your clients. For a site that is so good the design is almost invisible, the "award" for you is ongoing contracts, bigger clients, and a padded bank account.

      2 points
  • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, 7 years ago

    I think the answer can be seen in the name AWWWards.

    1 point
  • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, 7 years ago

    ha ha.. First of all, Kudos to the team 4k. They have a pulled off an awesome show with simple design, good concept and fun moments ( did you see the bear-foot one? funny, eh )

    I would totally vote them for SOTD.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1 point
  • Charlie Williams, 7 years ago

    Reminds me of:


    1 point
  • Michael WandelmaierMichael Wandelmaier, 7 years ago

    Some good alternative galleries that I check daily:




    1 point
  • Toan Nguyen, 7 years ago

    Most of websites on AWWW look so cute :D https://www.siteinspire.com/ is better.

    1 point
  • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, 7 years ago

    I have had their feed for 3 years now, and about a year ago I stopped clicking on their SOTD's, because it has become very predictable.

    I think, if your website needs a loading screen, you did something conceptually wrong.

    0 points
    • John KarlssonJohn Karlsson, 7 years ago

      Well that would be like saying "a car only needs 100hp", without taking into consideration if its a mini cooper or a 4x4 truck. Sometimes a site is unnecessarily heavy, which I agree is frustrating, but there are also times when there is a valid reason for the site weight.

      1 point
      • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

        I'm not sure I get your car analogy, I don't even have a drivers licence xD

        But yes, that is a good reminder to not put general statements out there, which I did. I'm sorry for that - so let me rephrase.

        It seems contraproductive to have a loading screen in a time, where seconds count and our combined efforts aim to reduce the time it takes for the user to consume our content / get in touch with our brand. Because ultimately, you force the user to wait, just so that video is loaded. What if your user is on 3G, like many people are, and it takes you a minute to load that video of a woman blinking?

        Of course preloaders have their valid reason, but currently, they are mostly used to make sure those huge images and videos in the background are loaded, even though these are not essential for the content, they are enhancing the experience but not essential. And essential in that term means, needed for the user to complete their goal. The users goal will most of the time not be, to immerse themselves in that nice hair cutting experience, but instead have a task to complete or an information to find. And if your core user experience only works with huge images and videos loaded, then you are not respecting the goals of your users.

        But thats of course just how I see it.

        1 point
        • John KarlssonJohn Karlsson, 7 years ago

          Sorry, missed your reply. Yup, I think we're on the same page: having to wait for a video to load when you just want to book a time at the hairdresser can be a bad experience, while waiting for some high res photos to load when deciding if you're gonna buy that new camera might be worth the extra load time :)

          1 point