Structured service design for a family of six web applications

The D&AD Awards are very well known in the creative industries, one of the reasons being their yearly Awards show and Yellow Pencils.

The process of entering the Awards, logging and checking entries, and staging the Awards week at Olympia runs from October to March, and is a massively over-arching and organised process.

Being involved with the rebuilding of every stage required massive in-depth planning, and complete understanding of D&AD’s business process coupled with clear, robust long term service design.

The D&AD Judging App on an iPad Mini

Integration with D&AD’s SalesForce CRM keeps our systems data in sync, allowing the apps to concentrate on their specialist tasks without overlap.

Intelligent use of cloud servers allowed for more instances to be spun up during busy times near the entry deadline, to cope with demand. We also made clever use of the cloud to prepare image and video assets supplied at entry for logging, delivery to juror’s mobile devices and integration on the web site when winners were announced.

The D&AD Judging App on an iPad Mini

But the most impressive – and reassuring – aspect of the whole awards system is that the twelve month project, involving the whole jaypee team, was delivered on-time and within the agreed budget.

The D&AD Judging App on an iPad Mini

The Process

  • Entry

    The journey to win a Pencil begins with entry. A clear and helpful Category Finder helps entrants find the best fitting category for their specific work. Fill in some information about the entry, print out the auto-generated postal forms to send off the original work, and pay the entry fee. The first part of the process is complete.

  • Logging

    The entries arrive at D&AD headquarters in London, and every item is scanned and logged, and assessed to make sure all information is correct and the work is entered into the most appropriate categories.

    Any problems are communicated back to the entrant via the administration system and web site.

  • Administration

    With an enormous amount of entries, a lot of work is done by the team at D&AD over the course of the six months in chasing information.

    Details about the people who contributed to the submitted work, liaising with individuals and agencies around the world, correcting data and ensuring all entries are ready and prepared for the judging week at London Olympia in March.

  • Pre-Judging Online

    To make the judging week manageable, pre-judging takes place via an online system that allows judges to quickly discount work that hasn’t answered the brief, isn’t original or well crafted. This is also another opportunity for work that May have been submitted to an incorrect category to be spotted and corrected, giving it a fair chance.

    Pre-judging is performed by jurors from all over the world, in the comfort of their own studios and homes, on a mobile device optimised web application.

  • The Judging Event

    Judging week is an extremely well choreographed show. The Olympia is full of outstanding work from dozens of categories from Radio Advertising to Product Design.

    The judging happens in ‘rounds’, with strict criteria governing which pieces of work make it through to the next round and ultimately what accolade they may win. Using the system, D&AD staff can quickly create rounds to pit individual works head to head, or answer any one of the unpredictable scenarios the jurors may happen upon. An Intuitive and flexible system means the show goes on.

  • The Act of Judging

    The actual judging process takes place in groups of six to eight jurors, all luminaries in their particular field, assembling at the London Olympia.

    All jurors use an iPad Mini to cast their votes for pass, fail or abstain. The mobile devices communicate in real time with the cloud servers, allowing D&AD staff to have accurate snapshots of a judging round at any point in time, and see if a juror’s device has failed to “phone home” and cast their votes.

    It is imperative no votes are lost, and no-one has to re-vote in a round, so we developed a few fail safe mechanisms for catching and retaining every vote, with no errors or omissions.