And the winner is ...

15 December 2003


A Blue Perspective: And the winner is ...

If you want to eat up a lot of bandwidth and time, it's always fun to go to some of the high profile web site awards sites and click on this week's winners. (FWA, Ultrashock) You'll be treated to the latest in full-screen, immersive, 360-degree rotating Flash from 2Advanced and you can sit there, slack-jawed with astonishment.

However, think of the sites you visit regularly: Google, Hotmail, Ebay, Amazon, ESPN, Hooters ... they're predominantly plain and simple HTML, perhaps with a bit of Flash for rich media. Most of the sites in the aforementioned awards lists you visit once, because you've heard how great they look, and then never visit again because there's often no substantive content and the experience of finding information becomes frustrating due to load times and funky effects. Although, this isn't to criticise the designers of such sites — they fill a well-defined need in the market.

My point is that the majority of web content is still delivered via HTML, and that's why I'd like to rally support from those who understand this for an awards site that recognises great looking, standards-compliant web sites — your latest XHTML/CSS masterpiece.

At the moment I am not aware of a site that gives out awards specifically to standards compliant XHTML/CSS sites. Perhaps it's because of the prevalent open-source, let's all hug attitude of XHTML/CSS developers; there isn't that competitive, self-congratulatory streak that demands satisfaction. But I don't think so; everyone likes a pat on the back every now and then. There are several sites that informally present the best XHTML/CSS designs arriving on the scene at the moment (CSS Vault, CSS Zen Garden), but I don't think that they are broad enough in their scope or offer a cohesive community voice. By having a well organised and represented awards body for XHTML/CSS we can showcase cutting edge design in this area and show users that you can have its benefits without comprimising on looks.

If you have any thoughts on the matter, or would be interested in participating in the setup of such a site, leave a comment or drop me a line.


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  1. 1/22

    Chris Stratford commented on 15 December 2003 @ 12:49

    I think its a great idea.
    I would love to be part and I think it would be great...

    I currently just place the W3 tags which link to the Validators - for HTML and CSS...

    But an awards site would be a great idea.

  2. 2/22

    Randum Ian commented on 16 December 2003 @ 01:14

    I think it is a great idea also, I would like to be involved with something like this! :o)

  3. 3/22

    Tom commented on 16 December 2003 @ 01:25

    Mmm, daily awards? It's going to be a lot of work for somebody.

    You realize you'll have some nasty arguments about how to pick the winners, then if they are "truly" XHTML/CSS sites, etc. The puritans vs. the hack lovers and so on. You'd have to have some really well defined rules.

    Anyway, in spite of all that, it would be nice to see. I'd check it out every day.


  4. 4/22

    Andrew Cameron commented on 16 December 2003 @ 01:25

    I would be very interested in something like this; I'm always on the look-out for nice XHTML/CSS examples, and I wouldn't mind some trusted opinions on some of my own creations. It may even force me to complete some sites! :o)

    If you go ahead with this please let me know either through the css-d list on which I lurk, or by email: tags at x01 dot

  5. 5/22

    Andy Clarke commented on 16 December 2003 @ 01:59

    In the pipeline is an idea for a similar site going under the name of This will showcase the best creative designs that are also accessible. Maybe the two things can intteract? Why not drop me a line on my Malarkey email address?

    Kind regards


  6. 6/22

    sosa commented on 16 December 2003 @ 03:20

    Most sites that ar so accesible and so valid are yet so ugly. If anybody can promote this kind of prize that is you. Congrats! I'd like to help!

  7. 7/22

    Simon Jessey commented on 16 December 2003 @ 05:36

    I really like the idea, but sites are so diverse in nature and content that finding criterion for judging will be difficult. It may be necessary to have multiple categories, such as commercial and non-commercial.

    BTW, Cameron. Any chance of a "remember me" cookie on your comments?

  8. 8/22

    Will commented on 16 December 2003 @ 07:07

    Someone give Ultrashock an award for most unreadable text ever. Blegh!

    Favourite Website Awards would come in a close second.

  9. 9/22

    Andy Budd commented on 16 December 2003 @ 10:25

    May be worth keeping your eyes on

  10. 10/22

    Cameron commented on 16 December 2003 @ 10:30

    Well, it seems like there's a fair amount of support for the idea, so I'll have to organise something to go ahead ... looks like a busy new year!

    Simon: it shall be cookified this time tomorrow! :D

  11. 11/22

    Cameron commented on 16 December 2003 @ 10:34

    Thanks for the tip Andy, are you involved with this one? Any idea when it'll be going?

  12. 12/22

    Rachel C commented on 16 December 2003 @ 11:02

    Great idea -- look forward to seeing it :)

  13. 13/22

    Michael Pierce commented on 16 December 2003 @ 13:30

    I'm usually wary of "awards." It seems that the sites that boast a bunch of awards, and have lots of cutesy banners/logos to go with them, are often some of the worst sites. That being said, however, I would be keeping my eyes out for sites that were recognized by this group.

    I'd agree with the earlier comment that the guidelines/rules for determining winners would have to be very clear. I'd also want to see what makes the site *unique* as part of the award. A unique approach to navigation, use of some CSS technique, for example.

  14. 14/22

    Dave S. commented on 16 December 2003 @ 18:09

    Due to the increasing, but still sparse frequency of new site launches that meet the criteria, you might want to shoot for a more managable weekly or monthly timeline. It'll keep you sane over the long run. Trust me, these things have a way of taking off and consuming way more of your time than you expected...

    Anyone involved in the design scene knows how much winning a wellvetted or Macromedia Cool site of the day means, so relevancy isn't an issue here. There are web awards, and there are Web Awards. I doubt Cameron is striving for 'cool rave site of the day' or 'best PSP tube community of the month'.

    Re: comment #3. There's a simple way to address those who complain about choices made for this reason or that: ignore them. Everyone has an agenda, but the most important when you start a site for a community is still your own.

    Anyway, all that being said, I just wanted to show some support for the idea. There's room for something like this, Paul and I haven't covered it all. Good luck, get in touch if you want to bounce a few questions off me.

    (and since we're on the topic of people complaining needlessly, sooner or later you'll make this textarea bigger. Not as a result of anyone's request, but because you'll realize yourself it's just too damn small ;)

  15. 15/22

    Andy Budd commented on 16 December 2003 @ 19:52

    The WSA site was set up by a guy called Johan Edlund from Johan has been chatting to me about the awards and I've had a look at the finished site (which looks great btw). However Johan is really busy at the moment so I'm not sure when the site will launch officially. Also Johan is looking for a few people to help him out, so if anybody is interested in being involved (Dave, Cameron?) it may be worth dropping him an email.

  16. 16/22

    Cameron commented on 16 December 2003 @ 22:48

    Well, I WAS hoping to offload daily judging of sites onto some hapless guru such as yourself Dave, but it seems not. :P

    No, it would definitely be > tri-daily. My hopeful model was to have 10 or so judges with differing areas of expertise that cast votes on submitted entries (with limited comments), winner takes all. So if any of the judges takes a break for a week or so, they wouldn't be missed.

    ... and the problem isn't the textbox, your posts are just too long :D

  17. 17/22

    Tom Gilder commented on 16 December 2003 @ 23:53

    Well, awards for sites which use semantic, valid and good markup using CSS for layout would be a good idea.

    Otherwise you exclude any HTML 4 sites, which should just as equally be up for any award as XHTML ones.

  18. 18/22

    Terry Melanson commented on 17 December 2003 @ 05:13

    I would love to get involved with this, either as a judge and/or a compiler of sites for a potential prize. I already have a good size list that inspires me.

    For those of us who design with web standards, having our own "coolhomepages" would be a godsend. A comprehensive list of sites is just what's needed to get the creative juices flowing on a new project.

    Contact here if you want someone to help:

  19. 19/22

    Johan commented on 17 December 2003 @ 11:39

    As Andy mentioned earlier I'm working on this at the moment. It will be called Web Standards Awards - . The idea behind this site would be to have a "real" awards site that could both promote good designers/developers and inspire the rest of us.
    In due time I'll try to contact all of you that has expressed an interest in helping me out, or you could mail me at: info at snowinteractive dot com

    Thanks, Johan

  20. 20/22

    The Man in Blue commented on 18 December 2003 @ 00:07

    Well, in order to avoid stepping on each other's toes, it looks like Andy, Johan and I have teamed up to get into action.

    Keep your ear to the ground for an imminent release date!

  21. 21/22

    Bryan commented on 18 December 2003 @ 03:51

    Sounds awesome. I would be up for this as well.

    Hey Terry Melanson, what is your "list" that inspires you, would love to have a peek :)


  22. 22/22

    James commented on 18 December 2003 @ 14:59

    That sounds like a really cool idea. Pretty much anything that helps organize the web standards scene is A Good Thing, and there's a bunch of talented web designers that definitely deserve to be recognized.

    If you still need someone to help out in any way, I'd be more than happy to. I'm far from a guru, especially compared to some of these other guys, but I've been researching and working heavily with web standards and web accessibility for over a year, and I like to think that I have a knack for recognizing well-thought-out websites. Let me know if you still need someone. jameslabove at email dot com.

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