How the Best of the Web Awards Are Judged

Contest criteria outlined in the Best of the Web entry form.

by / August 22, 2012

How the Best of the Web Awards Are Judged

The 12th annual Best of the Web awards are judged by Center for Digital Government executives and representatives of the previous year’s winning entrants, which are ineligible to compete. Contest entry forms and narratives are self-submitted by U.S. cities, counties and states that choose to participate.

Below is the contest criteria outlined in the Best of the Web entry form.



This criterion focuses on the "Wow!" factor — that is, the innovative use of technology or stand-out approaches. We are looking for what hasn't been done before or what is cutting edge. We are also interested in new ways of innovating across agencies or jurisdictions and co-creation through social networks and other collaborative platforms.

A competitive submission will clearly describe its latest innovation through a website, Web service or other online application, delivered across devices including mobility devices. It will also explain the degree of innovation, why the innovation was needed, and how the innovation has improved service delivery and the user experience.


This criterion focuses on the functionality that supports online transactions with high ease of use and satisfaction for interactions between citizens, businesses and governments. A competitive submission will include but is not limited to:
SECURITY: the ability to securely complete transactions;
PRIVACY: a plain language statement explaining safeguards for any personally identifiable information collected or displayed through the site;
USABILITY: clean appearance and ease of navigation, and commonality of look, feel and functionality among transactions or interactions of similar type (or within the same environment or domain); and,
ACCESSIBILITY: a commitment to universal design consistent with accessibility standards (commonly known as Section 508 or W3C Level One guidelines) and subject to third-party validation or certification.


This criterion focuses on measuring the impact of the solution on the operations of governmental institutions. Does it accomplish the agency/organization vision as well as improve business processes and economic benefits? How broadly replicable is the entry for similar agencies/organizations?
A competitive submission will identify:
(a) what method was used in assessing the impact? For example, if a Return on Investment (ROI) method was formally used (if so, was it Cost Benefit, Value-add, Net Present Value, etc.);
(b) what those measures indicate;
(c) combined with soft-dollar benefits, what was the impact on the cost; and
(d) the degree to which the website contributed to easing financial pressures while preserving service delivery.