Each area is scored up to 10 points for a possible total of 100 points. Judges are required to submit comments relating to each score. The scores and comments are provided anonymously to the respective entries.
The information provided on the site — text, music, sound, animation, or video — anything that helps complete a site’s mission. Good content should be engaging, accurate, timely, and appropriate for the audience. You can tell it has been developed for the Web because it is clear and concise, and it works in the medium.
The organization of a site — arrangement of content, ranking of information, and the method in which you move through the site. Entries should have a site with navigation that is consistent, intuitive and transparent, providing information quickly.
Visual design is the appearance of the site. It is not necessarily a master class in Photoshop, but graphic elements that are relevant for the audience and the message they are supporting. Sites are rated on overall layout, color usage, photo quality, typography, and consistency of design across the site.
The site works well — quick-loading, valid links and images, page titles make sense, etc. The technology used to drive the site is functional and relevant for the intended audience. The site should strive to work well cross-platform and be browser-independent. High-scoring sites appreciate the diversity of user requirements; including screen resolution, file formats and device sizes, and connection speed. The underlying code is clean and well-formed.
Use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for type formatting. Sites that excel will use validating CSS for display formatting instead of tables.
Site encourages the target user to give and receive with the site in its input and output. Chat rooms, discussion boards, and mailing lists; e-commerce; public education games; mapping/GIS applications; connections to social media and customer service applications are all examples of such features. The strongest sites will utilize the web as the best medium to convey a message that cannot be executed as well in traditional outlets.
The site has an open data catalog and has a publicly posted open data policy. The open data in the catalog will contain data that follows the 8 Principles of Open Government. The highest points will be awarded to sites who have a public open data policy and an open data catalog. Sites who also offer application programming interface (API) access to their data will receive more points.
The site utilizes a design template that adapts to any screen resolution regardless of screen orientation. Sites that do not have a responsive design will not score points in this criteria.
What is the size of your day-to-day web team? What are their responsibilities? You must document their level of involvement (content editor, code development, graphic design, management, etc.) Was the site developed internally or with the help of outside contractors? Is the day-to-day maintenance of the site performed internally or by outside contractors? Teams with smaller teams will receive higher scores.