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Niklas Mortensen
Sep 8, 2015
Ready, set, submit!

…or; 3 do’s and 1 don’t from a former Awards addict.

Last november, as we were looking through hundreds of Awards submissions, former Interaction Awards Co-chair, Janna DeVylder and myself found ourselves discussing the «recipe» for entering a design competition like the IxDA Awards.

1. Do read the evaluation criteria
The criteria are there to guide the jury through a rigorous selection process and you do yourself and your project a great favor by responding to these four questions. What opportunity was the project addressing? Who were you designing for? What was the impact? What was the project’s design process? Looking at each and every project with these lenses enables the jury to judge a great variation of work based on a unified set of criteria, ultimately selecting the exemplars of Interaction Design today.

2. Do think about your category
It’s heart-wrenching to watch fantastic projects being faulted in the peer-review and jury process because they reside in the wrong category. The Interaction Awards categories are specially designed to cover all types of work without having to resort to the infamous «open» category.
A good written rationale for why you belive your project is an exemplar within the chosen category is a surefire hit with jury and will put you on the path to eternal glory in the gilded halls of the IxDA.
(Ps. You can enter your project in multiple categories if you want)

3. Don’t let the video-piece scare you (alt. Don’t overthink it)
Don’t for a minute think that pulling out all your fx skills will impress the judges. In fact, if your piece is all style and no substance I can almost guarantee that the jury will quickly move on to the next project. Your project is unique, your story is unique – share it with your peers!
There is a multitude of free (or nearly free) software for your computer, tablet or smartphone that will deliver great quality video. Pick your weapon of choice and get going!
(Pro tip: Respect the 4 minute limit)

4. Do Enjoy it!
As professionals we tend to move on quickly to the next project or feature with little or no time to reflect on the (sometimes) epic undertaking you have been part of. Preparing your project for competition entry is an excellent retrospective exercise for you and your team. If all goes to plan, you’ll be standing on stage in Finlandia Hall next march, basking in the glory of your peers. If not, you have at the very least made a fantastic case presentation to put in your portfolio. It’s a full fledged win-win situation all around.

Happy Awards-hunting, see you in Helsinki!
Niklas

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