Home / The Verdict's In: The Jury Speaks on Acquia Engage Awards 2016

The Verdict's In: The Jury Speaks on Acquia Engage Awards 2016

The stories of digital transformation that we hear from our customers are the best reward of working at Acquia. We’re extraordinarily proud of the role we play in our customers’ digital strategies. And that’s why we’re particularly honored to have wrapped up this year’s newly rebranded Acquia Engage Awards. The winning projects showcase the amazing digital experiences that Acquia's partners and customers are building today.

More than 150 submissions were received. Our judges, an esteemed panel of journalists who cover this market very closely, reviewed submissions from a field of 88 finalists to select the 13 winners. They evaluated each entry on the basis of the visual design, functionality, integration and overall experience as demonstrated in both the reviewed site and accompanying essay submission.

Judging an award contest isn’t easy, and that was certainly true here. The jury poured over a 100-page brief and reviewed 88 sites to narrow the field. Every finalist made a strong and worthy argument for consideration. In most cases the winners submitted entries that offered a high level of insight into their business strategies, and how digital experience delivery is helping them achieve their goals.

“The essays were large deciding factors for me,” said Laura Myers of CMS-Connected, who served as a judge for the award program. “I always looked for the exact goals to be laid out and the processes in which they were achieved. The essays often provided insight into technical challenges, project execution, results, and other outcomes which were not apparent from site evaluation alone.”

It was our pleasure to honor the winners of the 2016 Acquia Engage Awards during our annual customer conference, and we’re glad to share more insight into the judges’ commentary on the winners. Learn what set these projects apart from the field of outstanding finalists.

Brand Experience: VML and Xerox

The most impressive thing about Xerox's website was its ability to have visual representation of rebranding. The website demonstrates that Xerox is not just a print-and-copier shop. There are barely any signs of printers and copiers on the home page! A nice case of designing with branding in mind. Their results were super impressive as well.

-- Dom Nicastro, CMSWire

Commerce: HS2 Solutions and Wilson Sporting Goods

Wilson Sporting Goods had seamless integration and representation of all their brands, which was explained as a top priority in their essay. The custom creation experience was well-executed and from a marketing standpoint, they paid great attention to the huge influence that athletes have on purchasing decisions.

-- Laura Myers, CMS-Connected

Consumer Brands: MyPlanet and SpartanNash

The vast majority of shoppers choose their supermarket based on location—whichever is closest to their home or office gets their business. This means you have to give them a very good reason to visit your online presence. SpartanNash is digitizing their traditional business in very compelling ways. From the accessibility of rewards and coupons to the integration of social interaction and recipes, SpartanNash makes the customer want to shop online.

-- Beth Negus Viveiros, Chief Marketer Network

Digital Experience: Princess Cruises and Princess@Sea

A guest on a cruise is there to relax, but there are still many variables to consider when on board, from dining and entertainment options, to childcare and off-ship excursions. This mobile site is a standout because it makes it extremely easy for guests to take care of business quickly. It enhances their travel experience, and their relationship with the Princess brand.

-- Beth Negus Viveiros

External / Customer Community Sites: Miggle and ThinkNation

The ThinkNation site was very bright and eye-catching. Using video was also a great way to tell their story. My overall impression is that they are fostering the positive growth and ambition of a generation by creating a community. If that is their business goal with the website they more than achieved it.

-- Laura Myers

Financial Services: CI&T and Commonwealth Financial Network

The Commonwealth Financial Network did a fantastic job of balancing the regulations that are intrinsic to the financial services industry with important customer information that was well organized and easy to find. The financial services industry can be volatile, and the Commonwealth Financial Network demonstrated the longevity of their brand with an engaging website.

-- Beth Negus Viveiros

Healthcare: Hatch 130 and Steward Health Care

Steward had me at "what are you looking for?" This is a really nice way to greet a web visitor and offer them six different content paths in addition to a search bar. A wonderful, inviting way reflective of the mom-and-pop store manager who greets the shop visitors with a smile and handshake. You want healthcare websites to be in-and-out, and this website succeeds there. They knew their website was not patient-friendly, and now it is.

-- Dom Nicastro

Health Sciences: The Formery and DKMS.org

The DKMS website clearly fulfilled the organization’s goals and executed great results. The website establishes an effective balance of providing compelling human stories while respecting the severity of the issue. Finally, the ability to donate is easy. The implied action is clear and there is no implied stress when making a gift. DKMS is a great example of how the Health Science industry can use digital to their advantage.

-- Laura Myers

Higher Education: KWALL, Connective DX and Clark University

Clark University nailed the personalization game thanks to a hard-working mission supported by their marketing team and agency, ConnectiveDX. They collected personas and segments and used personalization effectively through the very intuitive and helpful MyJourneys feature on their website. Clark has to stand out in a competitive region for universities and they more than make their mark.

-- Dom Nicastro

High Technology: Isovera and Intralinks

Visually, the Intralinks site was engaging and streamlined. It was easy to navigate and from an integration standpoint it was impressive given all they had to tackle. I liked that their chat was obvious but not as aggressive as some, and I feel that they express their offerings very effectively.

-- Laura Myers

Media, Entertainment for Publishing: Cogapp and Yiddish Book Center

Great results from a massive undertaking. The organization rescued more than a million Yiddish books and digitized every title along with Yiddish Audiobooks of archival recordings, and more than 600 in-depth oral history videos.They've done a great job in that effort by creating a nice, visually-appealing site where a user can search across all the entire site, including all the content edited in Drupal, the Digital Library and Collections.

-- Dom Nicastro

Nonprofit: FFW for YMCA Twin Cities

Very easy to navigate and find the information needed. Hugely accessible to an array of user profiles and very modern for what I’d initially picture as a website for the YMCA. Their innovative work with Drupal 8 is also impressive and sets a new precedent for what is capable with digital.

-- Laura Myers

Public Sector: IDEO and City of Boston, Department of Innovation for Technology

Boston has set the gold standard for municipal websites. The city’s digital team has created a site that is not only attractive but easy to use. Realizing that citizens go to the site with very specific needs—parking regulations, track pick-up, street cleaning, etc.—the site makes it easy for visitors to quickly navigate around and get what they are looking for. It is extremely functional and simple to use—something rarely said about sites of this type.

-- Beth Negus Viveiros

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