Web sites will be evaluated on a point system. Submissions* will first
be reviewed by an internal panel of Microsoft judges. The top ten percent
of submissions from the first round of judging will be reviewed by a
second panel of judges that will include educators, professional Web
designers, employees and artists. Points will be subtracted for penalties
as described below.

Judges will assign points in these four areas:

  • Creativity/Original Ideas (25 Points)
    • The Web site is creative
    • Ideas fit into the specific theme listed for each contest
    • The Web site conveys personality
    • The information and ideas are in-depth and not superficial
  • Communication (20 Points)
    • Your homepage answers the question, “What is this Place?”
    • The content is organized and easy to read
    • Each page has a distinct purpose
    • The most useful and relevant content is easy to find
    • The Web site uses a tone of voice that is appropriate to the audience
    • Pages have clear headlines and headings
  • Organization/Navigation (20 Points)
    • A consistent, reliable  navigation system exists
    • Links and navigation provide flow to meet the Web site’s goals
    • The Web site has an effective and consistent layout across all pages
    • There is a logical order to page components
    • Pages do not feel cluttered (Adequate “white space” or “negative space” is used)
    • Links are clear and explicit (The user knows what clicking a link will do and can
      clearly differentiate hyperlinks from the content)
    • Users knows where they are at all times
  • Visual Presentation/Design (35 Points)
    • The Web site is consistent in the use of colors, shapes, patterns, layouts, and font styles
    • The Web site has a distinct and unique visual theme
    • The Web site has an effective and visually appealing color scheme
      (uses color to express personality, differentiate, frame, and highlight content)
    • Contrast is used effectively (uses contrast to differentiate elements,  emphasize
      dominant elements, and de-emphasize lesser elements)
    • Imagery is used to add value to the message (concentrates imagery in the
      site ID/logo, primary content, and primary navigation)
  • Point Penalties
    • Competitors will lose 10 points for each broken link
    • Competitors will lose 15 points for each image or piece of media included in
      their Web site that violates copyright law or is inappropriately cited
  • Additional Requirements
    • Pages can be HTML only (ASP and PHP files will not be viewed by judges).
    • The Web site folder that contains your submission should be converted into a single .ZIP file with the default.html or index.html page in the root of that folder. To convert your entry, right-click on the folder with all the files inside and choose, “Send To, Compressed Folder.”
    • The Web site must be created using Microsoft® Expression® Web software.
    • The final .ZIP file must be less than 10MB.
    • Judges will view the Web sites using Internet Explorer 7 or 8. Students should preview and test their Web sites using one of these browsers.