Competition Categories

Competition Categories

Changes in design and technology are revolutionizing storytelling not just for journalism but across all industries. The goal of the SND Digital Design contest is to identify the best of journalism that pushes the boundaries of design and technology. By submitting, you help define the state of the art for our industry and all storytellers.

When submitting entries, it’s important to remember that 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, before/after images are necessary and if judges need specific hardware to view the story, please say so. 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, give a thorough summary of the story/project in English. SND will try to have a translator — if needed but the more information you give judges about the story and how to navigate the experience, the better. Some organizations have submitted an English language version of their work alongside the original.

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.

Questions? Email us at:

1. World’s Best (Nominations)
Each year, the highest goal of this competition is to identify work that has fundamentally shifted or improved how news and information is delivered across digital platforms. This award has been given to websites and apps, but also to overall experiences or organizations.

We encourage individuals, teams, and organizations to nominate themselves or any worthy websites, apps, experiences and organizations. When submitting, make sure to explain how the work has influenced digital design over the last year. The best entries should challenge the industry, stretching the notion of creativity visually and technically. Winners should make a statement to the design community.

To encourage the widest field and most diversity of entries, it is FREE to submit World’s Best entries. Think broadly about what could be included. The 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 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 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 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 event: Natural Disaster Coverage
Submit one or more pieces — up to five individual pieces — related to natural disaster coverage in 2017, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires.

12. Portfolio: New Sites and Redesigns
Submit examples of home, section and story pages as well as two to five other pages or examples. If submitting for redesign, submit examples showing judges before/after. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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. Use this category to showcase your organization’s design work across the board. Portfolios focusing on a specific topic should be submitted in Features: Coverage or Special Event categories.

15. Product Design
Submit work that demonstrates the use of thoughtful or innovative product design or user experience design. This could include such things as newsletters, 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.

16. 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.