Pinnacle Awards: Scoring criteria

Each area is ranked from 1 to 10 points for a total possible of 100. Judges are required to submit comments relating to each score. These comments will be provided to each applicant individually, without judge’s names attached.

Team Size: 30 Points

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.

Content: 10 Points

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’s been developed for the Web because it’s clear and concise and it works in the medium.

Organization: 10 Points

The organization of a site: arrangement of content, ranking of information, and the method in which you move through the site. Winners should have a site with navigation that is consistent, intuitive and transparent, providing information quickly.

Design: 10 Points

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. Rated on overall layout, color usage, photo quality, typography, and consistency of design across the site.

Performance and Flexibility: 10 Points

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.

Accessibility: 10 Points

The site takes into consideration those with special access needs. Although not required by every jurisdiction, aims to meet Section 508 guidelines. Certain sites may also acknowledge target users who may speak English as a second language. Alt tags are present and relevant to the images they describe. Elements powered by plug-ins or javascript do not break or have alternate ways to obtain the content.

Standards: 10 Points

Use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for type formatting. Sites that excel will use validating CSS for display formatting instead of tables.

Interactivity: 10 Points

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.