Our Guiding Principles
The judging process for the Interactive Media Awards™ competition is taken very seriously by us. We select individuals to serve as judges who have distinguished themselves in their field and who demonstrate exceptional leadership ability and vision. We hold our judges to the highest standards of fairness, accuracy and integrity. The entire judging process adheres firmly to these guiding principles.
Equal Treatment of All Entries
We believe the Internet is one of the world’s greatest equalizers and unifying forces. It allows for people all over the world to compete in the same arena, providing equal access to information and global markets. IMA judges evaluate every entry with a discerning eye towards project scope and strategic goals. A site is not less worthy than its peer merely because it is smaller. We recognize that a young freelancer can build a website as impressive as a team in a Fortune 500 company. A professional execution under a limited budget is more worthy than a mediocre execution for a well-funded initiative. It is execution and workmanship that matters not total project scope.
We make all efforts to avoid conflicts of interest in the judging process (such as inadvertently assigning a judge to evaluate an entry with which he/she is associated). At least three judges are assigned to each entry at random from within the pool of judges whose expertise is relevant. All judges are screened before being assigned an entry. All judges are bound by a code of ethics to uphold our guiding principles (see above) and recuse themselves from judging an entry that may present a conflict of interest.
All of our judges are distinguished professionals and members of the Interactive Media Council, Inc. (IMC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the standards of excellence on the Internet. IMC also serves as a main sponsor and the governing body of the Interactive Media Awards competition. Our judges are leaders in web design, advertising, public relations, publishing, news and other industries. They are proficient in such areas as user interface design, communications and marketing. We select judges who we believe will uphold our guiding principles (see above) and for their expertise and knowledge. All decisions of the judges are final; judges’ decisions cannot be appealed. Membership in IMC is by invitation only.
Our Judging System
In evaluating websites our judges utilize a proprietary system developed by IMC. It is a comprehensive, points-based scoring system which allows each entry to receive a maximum of 500 points. By adhering to the specific guidelines and criteria of this system our judges are able to maintain the highest degree of fairness, accuracy and integrity; competently and effectively evaluate entries; and, deliver clear results.
Each site is reviewed by at least three judges. After each judge has finished evaluating an entry, IMC (1) automatically eliminates the lowest of the three scores, and (2) computes the average of the two higher scores to determine the judges’ overall score. In order to achieve the highest level of objectivity and recognition for subtle quality of workmanship and other important yet non-visual factors, certain components of each judge’s score (such as Standards Compliance and true Cross-Browser Compatibility) are elevated or lowered by the site’s performance in a series of automated standards and accessibility tests.
Websites receiving an overall score of 480-500 points receive our “Best in Class” award. Websites receiving an overall score of 460-479 points receive our “Outstanding Achievement” award. Under our system, it is possible that no entry in a given industry category will qualify to win a Best in Class or Outstanding Achievement award. Conversely, it is also possible that more than one entry may qualify to win the same award in the same year. All decisions of the judges are final; judges' decisions cannot be appealed.
Best in Class Award (480-500 points)
The Best in Class award is the highest honor bestowed by the Interactive Media Council. The winner of this award has excelled in all areas of the judging criteria and achieved a perfect, or near perfect, overall score. This site represents the highest standards of professionalism, standards compliance and impeccable planning and execution. This is one of the world’s most well executed websites.
Outstanding Achievement Award (460-479 points)
The Outstanding Achievement award, like the Best in Class award, is an extremely challenging award to win and represents excellence and great accomplishment. However, in allowing for slight leniency in the judging process, this award recognizes that outstanding websites worthy of honor and recognition need not achieve scorecard perfection. In most cases, these sites have received top marks in four of the five judging criteria and we believe that by lagging slightly in one criterion the entire work should not be disqualified.