design for experience awards

The International
Design for Experience
Awards

We're excited to kick off this year's Design for Experience (DfE) Awards program, celebrating the best of experience design, research, strategy, and technology in 2014. Presented in partnership with UX Magazine, the DfE awards recognize people, teams, and companies that have achieved success in the design of user- and customer-centered products or services.

If you know of any companies, individuals, projects, or products that deserve recognition, or if you're involved with something cool yourself, let us know by submitting a recommendation! And if you're ready to apply, you can begin an application today.

Application
Window Is Open
Final Deadline:
February 28

How the DFE Awards
Work for You

The Design for Experience (DfE) awards program offers unique opportunities for user- and customer-centered leaders to gain well-deserved recognition and credibility. The program rewards notable products, services, practices, and teams, creating an opportunity for you to showcase the story of your successes in a way that reaches and enlightens the experience design community.

All applicants will be given a permanent page on the DfE site to showcase their accomplishments and may be featured in future articles and whitepapers on UX Magazine.

What Winners Receive

  • Prominent exposure in UX Magazine, the leading publication in the realm of experience design. UX Magazine will be turning information submitted by winners into articles exploring the unique successes they’ve experienced and the journeys that got them there.
  • A dynamic physical award that does more than just collect dust on a shelf—it catches people’s attention and prompts conversations. We’re currently refining the prototype; sign up for email updates to be notified when photos and videos are available.
  • A permanent, public listing on the DfE awards site congratulating winners and linking to their permanent page on our site.

What Runners-Up Receive

  • Inclusion in UX Magazine features exploring the outcomes of judging in each category.
  • Public listing on a permanent runner-up page on the DfE awards site linking to their permanent page on our site.

Recognizing masters
of many
categories

We've crafted a set of categories that reflect the nuances and complexities of user-centered design, research, strategy, and technology. Not sure which category is the best fit for you? Want help crafting a strong application? Just click here to let us know and we'll assign someone to assist you.

  • Academic Program
  • Accessibility
  • Advanced Experience Ecosystem
  • Bringing Big Data to Life
  • Building Trust
  • Championing User Interests
  • Complete Customer Experience
  • Consumer Product
  • Digital Media and Entertainment
  • Disruptive Experience
  • Effective Agency Team
  • Effective In-House Team
  • Enterprise or Business Solution
  • Experience for Children
  • Experience that Makes a Difference
  • Experience Design Strategy
  • Innovative Tool or Technique
  • Interactive Advertising or Marketing
  • Mobile Solution or Application
  • Public Sector Experience
  • Academic Program

    For as vast and influential as experience design has become, there are too few academic programs that provide a direct onramp into experience-oriented professions. This award recognizes academic programs in both traditional and nontraditional settings that do the best job of preparing students with the right information, skills, soft skills, and experience to contribute valuably to experience-driven projects.

  • Accessibility

    In a fundamental way, making technological experiences accessible to people with physical and sensory impairments and those with needs for special modes of interaction represents the true heart of experience design. However, accessibility remains under-adopted as a hard-and-fast requirement for products and services, and fragmentation threatens progress toward universality of accessible experiences. This award recognizes companies, teams, individuals, products, and services that are shining examples of how accessibility can be embraced and explored using new technology to create experiential value for users.

  • Advanced Experience Ecosystem

    At the same time that wearable technology seems to have finally found its footing, sensors are now small enough to be embedded in just about anything, creating the opportunity to design experience ecosystems where mobile devices, pieces of wearable technology, and previously quiet products and appliances are able to communicate freely. This award recognizes compelling examples of products and experiences designed to seize this potential.

  • Bringing Big Data to Life

    The rate at which data is created and collected never ceases to increase, and buried in these mountains of data is a treasure trove of potential for giving users a fully realized sense of their past and present, while helping them determine their own futures. Unlocking the value of “big data,” requires new ways of connecting, interpreting, and visualizing massive data sets. This award recognizes compelling examples of how the design of digital visualizations, interfaces, interaction models, and other user experience solutions can advance our understanding of complex questions and concepts.

  • Building Trust

    To quote a recent UX Magazine article, "Simply put, trust is the 'good' in good experience design." If users trust a product or service, they are significantly more likely to use it again and again. It’s easy to talk about trust in design, but it’s quite another thing to actually implement it into your process. This award recognizes products, services, teams, and organizations that have found ways to put trust into their designs in a way that resonates with users.

  • Championing User Interests

    While designing a product, service, or other experience, project team members have to make decisions with the best interests of users in mind. Very few of these decisions can be made in consultation with actual users, so it falls to the team to attempt to see the world from the users’ point of view and make informed decisions on their behalf. This award recognizes companies, project/product groups, and other groups that promote a well-informed empathy for users among team members, fostering greater success in their work.

  • Complete Customer Experience

    Companies with successful customer experience (CX) strategies deliver a cohesive, comprehensible, and unified experience that allows users to interact with the company through a well-coordinated ecosystem of products and touchpoints. As technology keeps adding sophistication and depth to these interactions, companies have to mold experiences that are unified and robust in order to remain competitive. This award recognizes companies offering a consistent, cohesive customer experience that maintains a sense of brand, delivers value, and is easy to navigate.

  • Consumer Product

    More and more consumer products are being designed with user needs and usability in mind, which is indicative of the growing awareness and interest in the practices of user-centered design. This award recognizes consumer products that create or enable excellent experiences for their users, and demonstrate design that was strongly influenced by user-centered research and design practices.

  • Digital Media and Entertainment

    The way we consume media has changed dramatically over the past three decades. Whether it’s news, entertainment, or games, users are engaged with media in completely new ways that hinge on the influence of design and technology. Successful digital media experiences give users new and rewarding ways to connect with the things they value, whether it’s the show they want to watch, a delightful moment in a game, or timely and relevant information. The award recognizes experiences across all types of media that have improved how people discover, access, and engage with digital media.

  • Disruptive Experience

    While the term “disruptive” is frequently overused, truly disruptive products and services are the benchmarks we design against. Whenever practitioners are able to find the potential for experiences that can change our relationships with technology in fundamental ways, they can send ripples of inspiration across our industry. The award recognizes truly disruptive experiences with the power to change the way we look at design, both as practitioners and as users.

  • Effective Agency Team

    Great experiences originate the minds and combined efforts of effective experience-oriented teams. Investing in the design and creation of an experience-driven product or service requires an effective team to reduce risk and improve upside potential. This award recognizes experience-oriented product teams, UX business units, project groups, or any other kind of agency team that consistently designs or creates effective or exemplary digital experiences.

  • Effective In-House Team

    Great experiences originate the minds and combined efforts of effective experience-oriented teams. Investing in the design and creation of an experience-driven product or service requires an effective team to reduce risk and improve upside potential. This award recognizes experience-oriented product teams, UX business units, project groups, or any other kind of in-house team that consistently designs or creates effective or exemplary digital experiences.

  • Enterprise or Business Solution

    Historically, usability hasn’t been a priority for business and enterprise software. As users have become critical of the finely tuned experiences consumer products offer, however, the bar has been raised on workforce solutions. Unwieldy, confusing applications are no longer acceptable, and this award recognizes enterprise and business solutions that put a premium on user needs while also meeting key business requirements.

  • Experience for Children

    Children can be sophisticated users of technology, and with newer methods of interaction such as touch and gestures, digital systems are accessible to an even younger set of potential users. Every age bracket of children has different specific needs for content, navigation, interactions, and other aspects of product experiences. This award recognizes digital products for children that deliver excellent value, engagement, and ease of use for their users.

  • Experience Design Strategy

    Companies that provide exceptional experiences in their products and services understand that user and customer experience are high-level strategic values, not just low-level tactical practices. This award recognizes companies that have thoroughly and effectively embraced experience design as an overarching strategy, with the success in doing so evident in executive leadership, design and engineering teams, and general staff with the ability to influence user and customer experiences.

  • Experience that Makes a Difference

    Technology has incredible potential to make a positive impact in people’s lives, whether on an individual level or by addressing societal or global concerns. This award recognizes digital products, systems, and other experience design initiatives that contribute meaningful improvements to people’s lives, to society, and/or to the world, where the quality of the product or system’s user experience is essential to its success.

  • Innovative Tool or Technique

    Although there’s striking consistency in the research and design techniques employed by practitioners and companies, there are still opportunities for existing techniques to be improved upon, or for altogether new ones to be devised. There's also a certain uniformity to the tools available to experience designers, such as those used to create wireframes and prototypes. Here, too, there’s room for improvement and innovation. This award recognizes new or improved research techniques, design techniques, and design tools that affect the quality and success of experience design.

  • Interactive Advertising or Marketing

    Nearly every major advertising or marketing campaign has significant online and/or interactive components, but they don’t always reflect the needs of the business and its hopes for how customers might behave. This award recognizes interactive advertising or marketing campaigns that deliver real value, engagement, and/or utility to customers while creatively complementing the other facets of the campaign.

  • Mobile Solution or Application

    Mobile devices and mobile-platform computing have literally gone global, leading to an astonishing number of mobile applications and solutions. Many of these are created without sufficient regard to the needs of users and the opportunities inherent to the mobile platforms. This award recognizes mobile applications and solutions that work with unique device capabilities, contexts of use, and modes of use of mobile devices to expose new and valuable experiences to users.

  • Public Sector Experience

    A vast litany of factors, budgetary, security, and compliance—routinely make the quality and usefulness of technology systems built for public sector entities lag far behind the private sector. Nevertheless, there are extraordinary opportunities to use user-centered practices to effect positive changes, and this award recognizes digital solutions, applications, services, and other experiences created by or for public-sector entities that deliver real value to citizens.

Chosen by the
Community,
Judged by
Experts

Your recommendations will help drive application for the awards program, and a panel of prestigious, expert judges will choose winners. We're excited and grateful to have these masters of experience design, research, strategy, and technology supporting the DfE Awards.

Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson
Experience Design Strategist
Richard Anderson is a UX practice, management, and organizational strategy consultant with international management, cross-organizational development, and more than 20 years of experience. He started and directed the Experience Center at Viant, as well as the User Research & Experience Strategy discipline at Studio Archetype and Sapient, and has held and supported other management roles in an assortment of companies. Through numerous consulting, advisory—and employment roles, and his workshops, courses, conference programs—he has helped move experience design' into a position of greater influence in numerous companies.
Mark Baskinger
Mark Baskinger
Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon School of Design
Mark Baskinger is an associate professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University who teaches courses in industrial design with an emphasis on form and interaction. His interests include exploring new paradigms for interactive objects and interpretive environments, and methodologies of design drawing and visual thinking to promote collaboration. He has published papers and articles on the language of designed artifacts, inclusive/universal design, visual “noise” in product design, tangible interaction, and methodologies of visualization. He is also the co-author of Drawing Ideas: A hand-drawn approach for better design.
Abby Covert
Abby Covert
Independent Information Architect
Abby Covert is an independent information architect living and working in New York City. She specializes in delivering a collaborative information architecture process and teaching those that she works with along the way. She speaks and writes under the pseudonym Abby the IA, focusing on sharing information architecture content with those working within the design and technology communities. She is the author of How to Make Sense of Any Mess, a book about information architecture for everybody. She teaches information architecture at The School of Visual Arts and General Assembly NYC. She is the current president of the Information Architecture Institute, a global non-profit membership organization focused on empowering IA leadership, currently serving members in 73 countries.
Joseph Dickerson
Joseph Dickerson
UX Lead at Microsoft
Joseph Dickerson is a writer, technologist, and user experience lead who has designed multiple mobile and Internet applications—working to make technology easier and better for users for over a decade. He is the author of several books, including UX 101 and Experience Matters. Dickerson is a regular contributor to many websites and serves as the editor of This Week in UX, This Week in Geek, and The Twin Peaks Gazette.
Sarah Doody
Sarah Doody
User experience designer, consultant, and writer
Sarah Doody is a user experience designer, consultant, and writer based in New York City. Sarah works with early stage start-ups and entrepreneurs to help establish their initial product and helps companies already in market evolve their existing user experience. Sarah is passionate about helping companies use the power of storytelling to help teams shift their focus from products to people.
Vidya Drego
Vidya Drego
Experience Strategy Consultant
Vidya is a user research and experience strategy consultant based in San Francisco. She currently consults with early stage startups helping define their initial product offering and establish a culture of user-focused innovation. Prior to consulting, she ran Experience Strategy for the Salesforce professional services organization and was a Principal Analyst at Forrester in the customer experience space. There she spearheaded research on mobile user experience and user research. When she's not at work, Vidya can be found running after her dog, Manny, at a San Francisco beach.
Debra Levin Gelman
Debra Levin Gelman
Director, Experience Design at EPAM Empathy Lab
Debra Gelman is a researcher, designer and strategist in the field of interactive children's media. She creates sites, apps and virtual worlds for clients including PBS Kids Sprout, Scholastic, Crayola, Pepperidge Farm, Campbell's Soup and Georgia Public Television. Deb led the research and design of Planet Orange—a site designed to teach 1st through 6th graders financial literacy—which won a USA Today Education "Best Bet" award. Deb holds undergraduate degrees in Visual Media and Psychology from American University, and a Masters in Information Design and Technology from Georgia Tech.
Steven Hoober
Steven Hoober
President of 4ourth Mobile
Steven Hoober is a mobile strategist, architect, and interaction designer whose 4ourth Mobile helps large companies, mobile service providers, and startups understand how to exploit mobile technology to meet the needs of their users. He has been doing mobile and multi-channel design since 1999, working on everything from the earliest app stores, to browser design, to pretty much everything but games. Steven wrote the patterns and technical appendices for the book Designing Mobile Interfaces, maintains a repository of mobile design and development information at the 4ourth Mobile Patterns Wiki, and publishes a regular column on mobile in UX Matters.
Jan Jursa
Jan Jursa
Team Lead Conceptual- & UI Design at idealo
Jan is an information architect who was born in Prague but is living in Berlin. He is a co-founder of the German IA Summit and MobX Mobile UX Summit. He hosts a Design & Marketing podcast, co-organizes the Berlin IA Cocktail Hour and is Editor-in-chief of UX Storytellers, in which 42 UX masterminds share their stories as experience design professionals.
Peter Morville
Peter Morville
Information Architect; President of Semantic Studios
Peter is a pioneer of the fields of information architecture and user experience. His bestselling books include Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Intertwingled, Search Patterns, and Ambient Findability. He advises such clients as AT&T, Cisco, Harvard, IBM, Macy’s, Vodafone, the Library of Congress, and the National Cancer Institute. He has delivered conference keynotes and workshops in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His work has been covered by Business Week, NPR, The Economist, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Peter lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Knowsy. He blogs at intertwingled.org.
Alex Schleifer
Alex Schleifer
 
Bio pending.
Scott Stroud
Scott Stroud
UX Consultant & Strategist
Scott is an independent UX Consultant in Washington, DC. Scott helps organizations implement Lean UX practices including frequent, effective user testing in Agile development environments. He's the former Director of User Experience at LivingSocial and was the Lead Experience Architect at NPR responsible for designing the NPR iPad app and NPR Music iPhone app. Scott is also an RYT-500 certified yoga instructor.
Jason Cranford-Teague
Jason Cranford-Teague
Senior Creative Director, Digital Design at Capital One
Jason is a designer, writer and teacher with two decades of experience combining creative and technical know-how to help people communicate online. He has worked with businesses and organizations, including USA TODAY, Marriott International, AOL, Virgin, The Aspen Institute, and The Solar Energy Industry Association. His is currently hard at work on a book about web typography which will be out in 2014. Jason is also a highly sought after speaker, presenting regularly at WebVisions, Voices That Matter, SXSW, edUI, MoDev, and HOW.
James Torio
James Torio
Digital Manager at McKinsey Digital Labs
James Torio is a solution manager for McKinsey & Company's Digital Labs. He has consulted for startups and fortune 500 companies in financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and insurance. He designs products that people want to use and delivers business impact. He leads product development transformations helping organizations improve quality, reduce development costs and shrink time to market by leveraging LEAN and Agile methodologies.
Tyler Wells
Tyler Wells
Hospitality Consultant at Nice Coffee
Tyler Wells co-founded the Los Angeles Arts District-based roasting works and coffee bar, Handsome Coffee Roasters, which was recently acquired by Blue Bottle. Tyler is now on to consulting, most recently with Blacktop Coffee. He's spent a lifetime working in just about every aspect of the service industry and has distilled his accrued expertise into a powerful vision for what superb customer experience looks and feels like. He also co-owns Buenos Buenos catering because he really enjoys cooking for people.
In Memoriam
Gabe Huskey
Colleague and cherished friend
As we were wrapping up the 2013 Design for Experience awards, we lost our dear friend and valued colleage, Gabe Huskey. As DfE’s lead project manager, Gabe’s professional career was just beginning to blossom, but his passing has been especially tragic for us because we miss his kind and vibrant presence. Gabe could always be counted on for a warm smile, a sly comment, and/or a timely eye-roll. Both Design for Experience and UX Magazine owe a great measure of their continued success to Gabe. As we continue to mourn his absence, our thoughts remain with his family and loved ones. We miss you, little buddy.

Recognizing mastery
to advance
learning &
opportunity

Teaching and learning are at the heart of Design for Experience’s mission and service to the UX community. Through UX Magazine and our other programs and initiatives, we’re continuously adding to the base of freely available resources that help practitioners grow their skills and careers, and opening doors for new people entering the field.

In keeping with that mission, the purpose of the DfE awards isn’t just to recognize excellence for its own sake, but to also draw valuable lessons from leading examples of mastery in UX and related fields. This focus on learning will be central in the selection of award winners; a key consideration in the judging process will be the strength of what can be learned from the applicant’s example, and how well their work can advance understanding of best, leading practices in UX.

Apply for a Design for Experience Award

We’ve designed the application process to be very easy to complete by limiting the number of questions we ask upfront and eliminating any requirement that you prepare labor-intensive media supplements to your application. You don't need to have been previously recommended or nominated to apply.

if you're ready to fill out an application, you can get started here. If you're considering applying for a Design for Experience award, unsure of which categories to apply for, or have questions about the application process, please let us know and we'll assign someone to help you personally. And check out our downloads area for a collection of documents that will help you prepare your application.

There are 20 categories in this year’s Design for Experience awards program, and submissions are welcome from any company, institution, team, group, or individual that’s doing exceptional work in experience-related fields. If you’re not sure which category is the best fit for you, just let us know and a DfE representative will follow up with you to discuss the possibilities.

As you’re preparing your application, remember that in accordance with the philosophy of the awards program, one of the most important criteria for judging will be how well your example can teach other UX professionals and help them become better at their work.

Dates and Fees

This year's program is a retrospective on the best of UX in 2014, so the application window opened on November 21st and the last day to apply is February 28th. We will be evaluating applications continuously during the application window and beyond, and if our judges have any questions we will contact you to ask follow-up questions until winners are announced on March 25th.

In last year's program, nearly all of the applications came in within a couple days of the deadline, and we were compelled to extend the deadline to accomodate a large number of late applicants. We're hoping to avoid doing that again to ensure our judging process is smooth and on-schedule, so we've created a tiered application fee structure to provide an incentive to apply ahead of the final deadline. The base application fee is $245, and the fee increases according to this schedule:

  • On or before January 3rd: $245
  • On or before January 24th: $325
  • On or before February 14th: $405
  • On or before Februrary 28th: $490

Application fees are charged to your credit card when the application is completed and submitted. If you're planning to apply or have an application in the works, make sure you've let us know so we can help you meet a deadline and consider any mitigating factors. We're also pleased to offer discounts to students, non-profits, and others who have a compelling case for special considerations; contact us for more information and assistance.

The application fees from the DfE awards program go first to fund the program itself, which requires considerable staff, engineering, infrastructure, and other expenses. The remainder will fund DfE's activities in 2015, most notably continuing to operate UX Magazine as a free community resource, but also includes a number of initiatives aimed at improving educational opportunities in the UX field, supporting local communities of professionals, bridging the gap between academic research and the practitioner community, and a number of other initiatives that are in the works. Follow Design for Experience on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, or sign up for email updates to stay connected to DfE's community-focused activities, programs, and initiatives.

Submitting an Application

The application process is done online through a form on this site. You'll need to complete a one-time account registration to access the form, and that will allow you to save partially completed applications and/or submit multiple applications under the same account.

While it is possible to create your application entirely in the form, we recommend that you prepare your answers separately in a document you can easily edit and save, and then paste your answers into the form when you’re ready. To help facilitate the process of applying for a Design for Experience award, we’ve created Word document downloads for each category that contain the category description and all of the application questions. The documents are editable so you can use them to prepare your application question responses before pasting them into the actual application form. Visit our Downloads area to find these useful documents.

Multiple Applications

We welcome you to submit as many applications as you’d like. Each application is for one project, product, service, company, organization, etc. in one category. You can submit the same thing for multiple categories and/or submit multiple things for the same category, but each will be a separate application.

Responding to Questions

You are free to decide how long to make your responses to the questions on the application—there are no word limits or minimums—and all of the questions are optional. The application questions are designed to be simple and open-ended, allowing you to respond however you see fit.

As well, we invite you to provide whatever information and materials you already have readily available instead of creating new content for the application. You are of course welcome to specially tailor your responses to this award application, but write-ups and materials prepared for other purposes are perfectly acceptable if they can help us understand the important aspects of your product, project, service, solution, team, etc.

Think of this application as a means of introducing us to your product, service, company, team, etc., and as the beginning of a conversation. If your application passes initial screening and the judges indicate they're interested in learning more, the DfE representative assigned to you will work with you to add greater detail to your application to improve its chances of reaching the final round.

Supporting Files and Media

You are not required to submit videos, presentations, images, or other media to accompany your application. Nevertheless, it will often be helpful for you to provide screenshots, images, deliverables, case studies, documents, and other such supporting materials to support your application. The award application form includes a place where you can provide web addresses for any files that you’d like to have accompany your application. We understand that often these materials are not meant for public dissemination, so they will be accessible only by DfE staff and the judges unless you give us explicit permission to use them in a UX Magazine article or on the awards showcase site.

Because of file size and storage capacity limitations, we are unable to accept uploads directly from the application form. Instead, we ask that you upload materials to your company’s web server or to a file sharing service such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or other similar services. If you need to assign access privileges to a specific email address, please use awardapps@designforexperience.com. You can list up to 25 links on the award application, and you can also package multiple files into a ZIP file.

Application Contents

The application consists of a simple, one-page, web-based form that's divided into three brief sections:

  1. Applicant Information: the name of the entity or individual submitting the application, and contact info for the person responsible for the application.
  2. Application Information: two questions to help us understand how to handle your application. This is where you’ll indicate which category you’re applying for, but if you're uncertain which category is the best fit for you, just choose the "Unsure / Help Me Decide" option. You'll still be able to complete the application, and a DfE representative will follow up with you to help you decide which categories are the best fit.
  3. Questions: three general questions about the company, product, service, organization, team, etc., that’s the subject of the application.

After completing this page, you’ll proceed to the payment page, and then the application will be submitted.

List of Categories and Their Questions

Below is a list of each of the 20 categories. Click on a category name to view a description of the category and its application questions. We ask roughly the same three questions for each category (although the wording of the questions is slightly different to fit the category) to try to make it very easy to apply for as many categories as fit for you. As a reminder, you are free to decide how long to make your responses to the questions—there are no word limits or minimums—and all of the questions are optional. The application questions are designed to be simple and open-ended, allowing you to respond however you see fit.

Academic Program

For as vast and influential as experience design has become, there are too few academic programs that provide a direct onramp into experience-oriented professions. This award recognizes academic programs in both traditional and nontraditional settings that do the best job of preparing students with the right information, skills, soft skills, and experience to contribute valuably to experience-driven projects.

1. Please tell us about your academic program generally and help us understand what makes it noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your academic program (your website, articles featuring your program, public praise and accolades, etc.)?

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Accessibility

In a fundamental way, making technological experiences accessible to people with physical and sensory impairments and those with needs for special modes of interaction represents the true heart of experience design. However, accessibility remains under-adopted as a hard-and-fast requirement for products and services, and fragmentation threatens progress toward universality of accessible experiences. This award recognizes companies, teams, individuals, products, and services that are shining examples of how accessibility can be embraced and explored using new technology to create experiential value for users.

1. Please tell us about how you focused on accessibility and/or how you improved the successfulness of a product, service, experience, etc., through attention to accessibility.

2. Where should we look for more information about your approach to accessibility and/or your product, service, experience, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Advanced Experience Ecosystem

At the same time that wearable technology seems to have finally found its footing, sensors are now small enough to be embedded in just about anything, creating the opportunity to design experience ecosystems where mobile devices, pieces of wearable technology, and previously quiet products and appliances are able to communicate freely. This award recognizes compelling examples of products and experiences designed to seize this potential.

1. Please tell us about how you created a product or service that plays a key part in the establishment of an elegant experience ecosystem or how you’ve used connected devices to create such an ecosystem.

2. Where should we look for more information about your product or service and/or the elegant ecosystem you’ve created or become a part of? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Bringing Big Data to Life

The rate at which data is created and collected never ceases to increase, and buried in these mountains of data is a treasure trove of potential for giving users a fully realized sense of their past and present, while helping them determine their own futures. Unlocking the value of “big data,” requires new ways of connecting, interpreting, and visualizing massive data sets. This award recognizes compelling examples of how the design of digital visualizations, interfaces, interaction models, and other user experience solutions can advance our understanding of complex questions and concepts.

1. Please tell us how you were able to bring big data to life and what effects your solution had, helping us understand what makes this solution noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about how you brought big data to life and, where applicable, any related products, services, experiences, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Building Trust

To quote a recent UX Magazine article, “Simply put, trust is the ‘good’ in good experience design.” If users trust a product or service, they are significantly more likely to use it again and again. It’s easy to talk about trust in design, but it’s quite another thing to actually implement it into your process. This award recognizes products, services, teams, and organizations that have found ways to put trust into their designs in a way that resonates with users.

Please tell us what you did to create an experience that gave users trust in your product or service, and help us understand what makes your approach to building trust noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about how you created a product, service, or experience that instilled a sense of trust in your users? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Championing User Interests

While designing a product, service, or other experience, project team members have to make decisions with the best interests of users in mind. Very few of these decisions can be made in consultation with actual users, so it falls to the team to attempt to see the world from the users’ point of view and make informed decisions on their behalf. This award recognizes companies, project/product groups, and other groups that promote a well-informed empathy for users among team members, fostering greater success in their work.

1. Please tell us about how you promoted empathy for users and/or how you improved the successfulness of a product, service, experience, etc., through attention to user empathy.

2. Where should we look for more information about your promotion of empathy for users and any related products, services, experiences, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Complete Customer Experience

Companies with successful customer experience (CX) strategies deliver a cohesive, comprehensible, and unified experience that allows users to interact with the company through a well-coordinated ecosystem of products and touchpoints. As technology keeps adding sophistication and depth to these interactions, companies have to mold experiences that are unified and robust in order to remain hecustomer experience that maintains a sense of brand, delivers value, and is easy to navigate.

1. Please tell us about your company’s customer experience, and help us understand what makes your story noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your company's customer experience and, where applicable, any related products, services, experiences, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Consumer Product

More and more consumer products are being designed with user needs and usability in mind, which is indicative of the growing awareness and interest in the practices of user-centered design. This award recognizes consumer products that create or enable excellent experiences for their users, and demonstrate design that was strongly influenced by user-centered research and design practices.

1. Please tell us about your consumer product, and help us understand what makes your product noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your product and, if possible, how can we obtain or access a demonstration product? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, coupon code, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Digital Media and Entertainment

Description goes here.

1. First question goes here

2. Second question goes here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Disruptive Experience

While the term “disruptive” is frequently overused, truly disruptive products and services are the benchmarks we design against. Whenever practitioners are able to find the potential for experiences that can change our relationships with technology in fundamental ways, they can send ripples of inspiration across our industry. The award recognizes truly disruptive experiences with the power to change the way we look at design, both as practitioners and as users.

1. Please tell us about your product or service, and help us understand what makes it truly disruptive.

2. Where should we look for more information about your product or service and, if possible, how can we obtain or access a demonstration of the product or service that will help illustrate its disruptive nature? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, coupon code, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Effective Agency Team

Great experiences originate the minds and combined efforts of effective experience-oriented teams. Investing in the design and creation of an experience-driven product or service requires an effective team to reduce risk and improve upside potential. This award recognizes experience-oriented product teams, UX business units, project groups, or any other kind of agency team that consistently designs or creates effective or exemplary digital experiences.

1. Please tell us about your team and what makes it successful. Help us understand what makes this team noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about this team and, where applicable, any artifacts or products of its success? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Effective In-House Team

Great experiences originate the minds and combined efforts of effective experience-oriented teams. Investing in the design and creation of an experience-driven product or service requires an effective team to reduce risk and improve upside potential. This award recognizes experience-oriented product teams, UX business units, project groups, or any other kind of in-house team that consistently designs or creates effective or exemplary digital experiences.

1. Please tell us about your team and what makes it successful. Help us understand what makes this team noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about this team and, where applicable, any artifacts or products of its success? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Enterprise or Business Solution

Historically, usability hasn’t been a priority for business and enterprise software. As users have become critical of the finely tuned experiences consumer products offer, however, the bar has been raised on workforce solutions. Unwieldy, confusing applications are no longer acceptable, and this award recognizes enterprise and business solutions that put a premium on user needs while also meeting key business requirements.

1. Please tell us about how you created an enterprise or business solution that keeps usability at its core while still effectively meeting business needs.

2. Where should we look for more information about your solution and how it enables users? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Experience Design Strategy

Companies that provide exceptional experiences in their products and services understand that user and customer experience are high-level strategic values, not just low-level tactical practices. This award recognizes companies that have thoroughly and effectively embraced experience design as an overarching strategy, with the success in doing so evident in executive leadership, design and engineering teams, and general staff with the ability to influence user and customer experiences.

1. Please tell us about your company’s experience design strategy and help us understand what makes your story noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your experience design strategy and, where applicable, any related products, services, experiences, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Experience for Children

Children can be sophisticated users of technology, and with newer methods of interaction such as touch and gestures, digital systems are accessible to an even younger set of potential users. Every age bracket of children has different specific needs for content, navigation, interactions, and other aspects of product experiences. This award recognizes digital products for children that deliver excellent value, engagement, and ease of use for their users.

1. Please tell us about your experience for children, and help us understand what makes it noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your experience for children and, if possible, how can we obtain or access a demonstration? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, coupon code, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Experience that Makes a Difference

Technology has incredible potential to make a positive impact in people’s lives, whether on an individual level or by addressing societal or global concerns. This award recognizes digital products, systems, and other experience design initiatives that contribute meaningful improvements to people’s lives, to society, and/or to the world, where the quality of the product or system’s user experience is essential to its success.

1. Please tell us about the difference-making experience generally and how it’s caused positive outcomes, helping us understand what makes this example noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about this experience and, where applicable, any related products, services, experiences, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Innovative Tool or Technique

Although there’s striking consistency in the research and design techniques employed by practitioners and companies, there are still opportunities for existing techniques to be improved upon, or for altogether new ones to be devised. There's also a certain uniformity to the tools available to experience designers, such as those used to create wireframes and prototypes. Here, too, there’s room for improvement and innovation. This award recognizes new or improved research techniques, design techniques, and design tools that affect the quality and success of experience design.

1. Please tell us about your innovative technique or tool generally and how it leads to positive outcomes, and help us understand what makes this innovation noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about this innovative technique or tool and, where applicable, any related products, services, experiences, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Interactive Advertising or Marketing

Nearly every major advertising or marketing campaign has significant online and/or interactive components, but they don’t always reflect the needs of the business and its hopes for how customers might behave. This award recognizes interactive advertising or marketing campaigns that deliver real value, engagement, and/or utility to customers while creatively complementing the other facets of the campaign.

1. Please tell us about the interactive elements of your campaign and how they affected the broader campaign, helping us understand what makes this example noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about this interactive campaign and, where applicable, any related products, services, experiences, etc.? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Mobile Solution or Application

Mobile devices and mobile-platform computing have literally gone global, leading to an astonishing number of mobile applications and solutions. Many of these are created without sufficient regard to the needs of users and the opportunities inherent to the mobile platforms. This award recognizes mobile applications and solutions that work with unique device capabilities, contexts of use, and modes of use of mobile devices to expose new and valuable experiences to users.

1. Please tell us about your mobile solution or application, and help us understand what makes it noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your mobile solution or application and, if possible, how can we obtain or access a demonstration? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, coupon code, or anything else is required for able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Public Sector Experience

A vast litany of factors, budgetary, security, and compliance—routinely make the quality and usefulness of technology systems built for public sector entities lag far behind the private sector. Nevertheless, there are extraordinary opportunities to use user-centered practices to effect positive changes, and this award recognizes digital solutions, applications, services, and other experiences created by or for public-sector entities that deliver real value to citizens.

1. Please tell us about your public sector experience, and help us understand what makes it noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your public sector experience and, if possible, how can we obtain or access a demonstration? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, coupon code, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Unsure of which category is best for you? We’ll help you choose.

Even if you're not sure which category to choose, you’ll still be able to complete an application. Just answer the general questions listed below, and a DfE representative will follow up with you to discuss the possibilities. Once you've settled on a choice, your DfE representative will work with you to add more category-specific detail to your application.

1. Please tell us about your company/product/service/organization/team/practice/etc. generally and help us understand what makes it noteworthy or exceptional.

2. Where should we look for more information about your company/product/service/organization/team/practice/etc. and, where applicable, how can we obtain or access a demonstration of it? If a username/password, special instructions, a serial number, a coupon code, or anything else is required for us to be able to access something, please also provide that here.

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Links to Supplemental Files and Materials

If you have any files or materials that you think would help us better understand and evaluate your application, there’s a spot at the bottom of the form where you can list up to 25 links. You can also bundle multiple files together in a ZIP file and submit them as one link. If any of the links you list require passwords or other access instructions, there’s a field where you can provide that information.

Because of file size and storage capacity limitations, we are unable to accept uploads from the application form. Instead, please upload materials to your company’s web server or to a file sharing service such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or other such services. If you need to assign access privileges to a specific email address, please use awardapps@designforexperience.com.

Submit a Recommendation

Thanks for recommending someone for a Design for Experience award! All fields except the first one are optional; just give us as much information as you have available and we'll take it from there. You can submit unlimited recommendations, including ones for your own work, team, or organization.

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Get Assistance with the Award Application Process

If you're considering applying for a Design for Experience award or have questions about the application process, please let us know how to contact you and we'll assign someone to help you personally.

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Useful Downloads to Support Your Award Application

To help facilitate the process of applying for a Design for Experience award, we’ve created Word document downloads for each category that contain the category description and all of the application questions, as well as a document with just the general program information and category descriptions. The documents can be edited so you can use them to prepare your application question responses before pasting them into the actual application form.

General Information and Category Descriptions

This document contains detailed information about the application process and content, and descriptions of each of the 20 categories. Once you’re ready to start preparing your application, you’ll find that the category-specific Word documents in this download area are a better place to prepare your responses, as we’ve designed them to be easy to fill in.

Download the General Info & Category Descriptions document

Category-Specific Documents

These documents contain information about the application process and content, as well as detailed explanations of all of the questions that will be on the application for that category. These documents have been designed with fillable regions to make it very easy for you to fill in your responses to each of the questions.

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