Competition Categories


Technology continues to evolve with this competition, submitting a URL does not always give judges a complete impression of how your site/product/story felt to the reader. In other words, we want to experience your entry as a reader would have experienced it. If the site had live aspects, show us a video of it in play. If we are comparing redesigns, obviously before/after images are necessary. The variables of time, platforms and context can really play a key role in how entries are viewed months after initial publication.

The judges understand this tricky dilemma and will look at an assortment of materials before making their decisions. The key is always going to be overall user/reader experience.

For non-English entries, please notice that we have the option of letting us know if a translator is needed and in what language. You should also know that the more information you can give the judges about what the story is about or how to navigate through the experience, the better.

Submissions may be entered in more than one category.

Judges retain the right to move your entry into another category if they think it would fair better in another category. If you have questions regarding categories, email us at snd.digital.comp@gmail.com


1. World’s Best

The World’s Best is a very different category than the others you will find on this list. Each year during our judging weekend, a smaller group of judges are chosen to carefully look over what they consider to be the best work they have seen over the last year in digital design. In the past we have given this award to websites and apps, as might be expected, but also to overall experiences or to organizations that have fundamentally shifted how news and information is delivered across digital platforms.

Still, we encourage you to nominate yourself if you feel that you or your organization has done something that should be look at by our judging team. But because of this different aspect of the competition, this category is NOT a paid entry.

The World’s Best nomination form can be found here.


2. Breaking/Daily News: Single-subject project

Submit a single URL of work based on a breaking news event. A single subject project represents work in a single news cycle. Work that spans multiple days or cycles should be entered in Non-planned coverage.


3. Breaking/Daily News: Planned coverage

Submit the URLs for coverage of a single topic including between five and eight individual pieces. Breaking News planned coverage includes topics that can be prepared in anticipation of an event, but the final data and information is not available until the news occurs. Examples are elections or sports events. (For native app entries, please attach screenshots as well as a way for judges to download and find your entered work.)


4. Breaking/Daily News: Non-planned coverage

Submit the URLs for continued coverage of a single topic, including at least five to eight individual pieces. Breaking News non-planned coverage include topics that cannot be prepared for ahead of time. The coverage can include work over consecutive days if the information continues to change. Examples: Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, accidents.


5. Features: Single-subject project

Submit the URL of an individual piece of work.


6. Features: Coverage

Submit the URLs of continued coverage of a particular topic, including at least three to eight individual pieces. (An example of this might be an extended series.)


7. Graphics: Breaking news

Submit the URL(s) of an information graphic. These entries can be one individual piece or continued coverage of a topic (three to five individual pieces) of a breaking news with graphics or combined graphics/data projects produced during the news cycle. Examples: Explanation of military actions, diagrams of injuries/shootings, protests, natural disasters and coverage of a sporting event.


8. Graphics: Features and planned coverage

Submit the URL(s) of an information graphic. These entries can be one individual piece or continued coverage of a topic (three to five individual pieces) of a features event or other enterprise project.


9. Graphics: Motion graphics

Submit the URL(s) of a motion graphic. These entries can be one individual piece or continued coverage of a topic (three to five individual pieces) that incorporates motion design and animation as the primary storytelling or explanatory device. Entries can include produced videos, code-based animation or social media videos. These can also be smaller parts of a larger project. 


10. Graphics: Social media graphics

Submit URLs of individual or a group of graphics from a story or series. This entry can be on one specific social media platform or across the many different platforms.


11. Special events: U.S. elections

Submit one or more pieces — up to five individual pieces — related to the 2016 United States elections.


12. Special events: 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Submit one or more pieces — up to five individual pieces — related to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio deJaneiro.


13. Special events: Refugee crisis

Submit one or more pieces — up to five individual pieces — related to the refugee crisis.


14. Portfolio: Redesign

Submit examples showing judges before/after. Please include examples of front, section and story pages as well as two to five other pages or examples. Examples of before design can be sent as whole-page JPGs, but working websites are desirable. At least three before/after examples should be submitted.


15. Portfolio: Individual

Submit a portfolio of work for — three to eight individual pieces. This body of work should be designed or have significant contributions by an individual designer.


16. Portfolio: Organization

Submit a portfolio of work for — three to eight individual pieces. This body of work can be designed by different people, staff efforts.


17. Portfolio: Social media strategy

Submit screenshots or URLs showing a larger social media strategy using visuals. This could be an overall strategy or something you have worked on for a topic/story specifically. The entry could be specific to one social media platform or how you have unified things across all platforms.


18. Product Design

Submit work that demonstrates the use of thoughtful or innovative product design or user experience design.  This could include such things as native apps, special sections, internal tools, design systems, etc. These can be submitted as screenshots, a URL or a URL to a download page. In other words, please supply us with the materials you think are needed to explain this entry in the best way possible.


19. Experimental Design

Do you have a product that doesn’t necessarily fit with these categories? Did you create something for virtual reality or a wearable product this year? Please submit anything you can to show us your work. This could include a URL to a download page or a video showing it in use. Please include as much pertinent information as possible to give judges the best opportunity to see your work how a reader/viewer would see it.


News Organization Definitions

Large
If your news organization meets ANY ONE of these standards: more than 100 editorial staffers, more than 50,000 combined page views across all web properties on any device in any month of 2015 or more than 15,000 app visitors across all apps in any month of 2015.

Small
If your news organization meets ALL of the following standards: 99 or fewer editorial staffers, 49,999 or fewer combined page views across all web properties on any device in all months of 2015 or fewer than 14,999 app visitors across all apps in all months of 2015.

Student
If your news organization is primarily made up of student journalists and does not rely on professionals for primary development, editorial leadership or reporting.