Inspirations From The 2019 Webby Awards


The Webbys

The Webby Awards are arguably the most important awards for operators in the digital arena. I have been lucky enough to contribute to 5 projects that accrued 6 Webby Awards. Each time you hear about the honor there is a feeling of accomplishment that is kind of like winning the World Cup or the Superbowl.

The awards distributed early this year, celebrating the best of digital work done in 2018, show a lot of industry “chic” and setting trends for what we will see in the coming years. Much like the clothing you see at a runway show for fashion, you’d never actually wear this stuff, but it’s awe-inspiring artistry to bewonder in an ever-evolving space.

Webby Winner: Best Homepage

The 2019 winner for best homepage is Barovier E Toso:

The Barovier E Toso website is really spectacular. On desktop and mobile, wherever your mouse hovers or finger touches is highlighted and shows motion, and the entire site has a liquid feeling that represents the famous Venitian waterways, floating city, and style. In every way, this highly-stylized site has details that represent the culture their product represents.

Of course with such a highly stylized website, the cost is site speed, and even with the most advanced devices and operating systems you will experience a little bit of lag. With the coming of 5G and the enhancements being made to browsers these days, it won’t be long until sites even heavier than Barovier will be flawless.

There are a lot of elements to this site I would recommend for brands who are looking for more chic design inspiration, so it’s definitely worth a look. Pay attention to the details.

People’s Choice Winner: Best Use Of Animation Or Motion Graphics

The People’s Choice winner for best use of animation or motion graphics is the Twenty One Pilots, “Bandito” immersive experience:

It’s always interesting to compare the People’s Choice winners to the winners selected by Webby. A vote on the internet is one of the easiest things to manipulate and so often you’ll find some winners that make no sense. In the case of the Twenty One Pilots immersive experience, this is a winner that deserves to be where it is.

The band imagery, music and abstract elements all come together to create an experience that captures your senses and makes you feel as though you are experiencing the end of an epic journey. As a former music industry guy, and as a long-time web guy, I can say this is a fantastic way to experience an artist’s music.

For those brands looking for an immersive experience, I think there is a lot you can learn from this example. There are controlled interactive elements that keep a visitor interested throughout the journey, and there are focal points where the user is supposed to interact in order to achieve something. If you made it to the end like I did, you’ll realize you’ve spent more time interacting with a single web page than you have on most other websites in recent time. Mission accomplished.

What Is It?

The Webby Awards

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the internet.

Established in 1996 during the Web’s infancy, The Webbys is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS)—a 2000+ member judging body.

The Academy is comprised of Executive Members—leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities—and Associate Members who are former Webby Winners, Nominees and other Internet professionals.

Reflecting the tremendous growth of the Internet, The Webbys now honors excellence in 7 major media types: Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Apps, Mobile, & Voice, Games, and Podcasts.

Learn more about The Webby Awards on their website here:

Webby Winner: Best User Experience

The 2019 winner for Best User Experience is Basic Agency’s “Move” site:

User experience is without question the most important element in the modern digital ecosystem. There are different philosophies on what “good” user experience is, and I personally feel the conversation is far more complex than simply picking a side. Moreover, I think UX direction is tied closely with a company’s industry, and the business goals of the digital product. I think this is exemplified perfectly in this year’s Webby winner for UX.

For anyone other than a brand design agency, Basic Agency’s “Move” site might be considered “over-designed.” As a person who loves to see the boundaries of UX stretched, I think the site is excellent. There are small details I haven’t seen before like filling up text outlines by clicking and holding, and then expertly-executed elements I have seen before like snapping the cursor to certain elements at exactly the right time. There is so much detail here that you really just need to experience it for yourself.

For brands looking for motion graphics inspiration, you’ll find nearly all of it in one website right here. I don’t recommend building something like this unless you are a brand or design agency, but there’s a lot to love in this digital chic website.

Final Thoughts

The Webby Awards are a great source for inspiration, but not necessarily the best place to find practical digital experiences.

I enjoy perusing the Webby Award winners each year and looking at all the interesting things happening in the industry our company operates in. Mostly I’m a nerd for the inter-webs, but as a business we can get a sense of where things are going – from technology to design and even with devices and platforms.

When you look for benchmarks for your projects like we do, the Webbys can be a great source for inspiration. Keep in mind that most of what you’ll find is internet-chic, and not well executed products for most cases. You’ll find wonderful examples of modern techniques, look & feel, cross-device/platform displays and interactions, and plenty of other digital candy that can make you feel like you’re in an Alice In Wonderland setting. Have fun, and try to imagine practical applications for some of the over-the-top experiences you’ll find looking through the Webby Awards Winners.