About the Awards
The UX Design Awards are a singular international competition with a focus on user experience, a key added value for connected life and work.
With the awards, International Design Center Berlin (IDZ) honors innovative solutions that increase the added value of new applications, technologies and services through positive experiences – and thus contribute to shaping a future-oriented world.
The competition is held annually and presented at the global technology show IFA in Berlin, Germany.
Further details: Participant Benefits.
The experiences of customers, employees and stakeholders shape the image of companies and organizations. Positive experiences promote the acceptance of new solutions and strengthen positive identification.
How do we experience our world of life and work, how do we wish to interact with new systems and technologies? Which expectations and wishes do future users have? Which solutions will prevail?
With the knowledge about user motivation, existing solutions can be improved and new business models can be developed. Successful experience design produces offers that increase joy of life through meaningful product experiences and that promote inclusion through intuitive handling.
Accomplished experience design offers real added value by helping people to achieve their goals in effortless and inspiring ways. Positive user experiences strengthen the success of products, systems and services on the global market.
Enhancing Brand Communications
Communicating positive experiences strengthens people relations and inspires brand recognition. Experience design is a strategic element of successful brand building.
The UX Design Awards offer great communication value to enterprises and design consultancies. A distinction for excellent user experience enhances the recognition of brands, skills, products and services in the international marketplace.
The number of competition participants is limited, increasing the prestige of each successful nominee and awarded title. By presenting all nominated solutions at the global technology show IFA, the Awards draw the attention of an international trade audience and the general public alike.
“Experience or User Experience is not about good industrial design, multi-touch, or fancy interfaces. It is about transcending the material. It is about creating an experience through a device.” – Marc Hassenzahl
The UX Design Awards recognize outstanding user experience in digital and electronic products, services, environments and professional concepts. All distinguished participants acquire an unlimited, worldwide right of use to the assigned titles.
Winners distinguished by the competition Jury are publicly announced at a festive Awards Ceremony during the IFA trade show, ensuring broad publicity.
The following award titles and distinctions are assigned:
UX Design Award | Nominated
Among all valid submissions, the Jury nominates a limited number of competition entries. Successfully nominated product solutions and concepts acquire the distinction “UX Design Award | Nominated”. All Nominees are presented in the UX Design Awards exhibition at IFA, the global technology show in Berlin, Germany.
UX Design Award | Product
The competition jury honors excellent product solutions with the title “UX Design Award | Product”. The Product Awards recognize market-ready solutions that address highly relevant use cases, combining excellent design and user experience qualities in specific product areas. The number of Product Awards assigned each year is determined by the jury panel.
UX Design Award | Concept
By assigning the title „UX Design Award | Concept“ the jury recognizes forward-thinking application concepts and visionary use cases with high UX potential. The number of annual Concept Awards is decided by the competition jury.
UX Design Award Gold
One outstanding product solution or concept may be honored with the premium title “UX Design Award Gold”. The jury awards the Gold title to solutions representing an exceptional level of innovation and consistent user experience excellence. The Gold Award Winner is considered as the “best of the best” in each competition year.
UX Design Award | Public Choice
Users worldwide assign the title “UX Design Award | Public Choice” among all competition nominees. The Public Choice Award is determined through an extensive online vote. The winner of the Public Choice is announced at the beginning of November, ensuring additional communication opportunities.
Further information: Entries for the UX Design Awards competition
The shift from individual products and services towards connected ecosystems, the Internet of Everything, requires interdisciplinary concepts and a cross-sectoral approach.
In a connected world, meaningful user experiences act consistently across products, services and applications, dissolving traditional product categories.
Consequently, UX Design Awards eschew narrowly defined product classes. The competition is open for submissions in the following areas:
Launched or market ready products, services, environments
Entries for the “UX Design Award | Product” may include for instance: Electronic products, digital applications, apps, software-based solutions, services, physical and virtual spaces containing electronic functions or digital touchpoints. Entries must have either been launched on the market no longer than two calendar years prior to their submission date, or should be planned for a launch within the year of submission.
Product studies, product- and service prototypes, interaction concepts, research projects
Entries for the “UX Design Award | Concept” may include for instance: Technological product studies, product or service prototypes, pioneering interaction solutions, research projects or solutions not (yet) intended for a market entry. The development process must have begun no longer than two calendar years prior to the submission date.
User experience covers all aspects of emotional, cognitive and physical interactions with a product solution or service. This comprises user expectations (context and anticipation), the use process itself and the lasting impression (emotional identification or distancing). Successful submissions must solve a challenge in an elegant and useful way.
Requirements for a Nomination
To be nominated for the competition, submissions must fulfill a majority of the fundamental questions listed below. This ensures a comparably high level in user experience design among all award nominees. Applications must be self-explanatory and must clearly convey the user-centered approach.
Preconditions for Award Considerations
To qualify for an award, nominated solutions must excel in a majority of the evaluation criteria listed below. Impact, relevance and innovativeness range among key jury benchmarks. Prospective award winners should –
- Generate new added value for a relevant user group;
- Significantly improve a situation;
- Open up novel application fields;
- Enhance human knowledge and abilities;
- Further inclusion and participation;
- Reveal innovative approaches to solve an existing challenge;
- Anticipate pioneering solutions for future challenges;
- Skillfully apply novel technologies to generate compelling user benefits.
Jury Evaluation Criteria
The following criteria should be regarded as guidelines, supporting the competition judges in their individual decision-making process.
1. Fundamental Questions
What is the objective of the product solution?
The objective of use and problem-solving potential must be clearly identifiable for the user.
Is the solution straightforwardly accessible?
Access must be intuitive. All functions, assistance and feedback must be comprehensible and should support the user process.
How well is the product solution designed?
The visual and formal design must be convincing and consistent. Form, function and materials must be in an appropriate balance with one another.
How have users been integrated in the development process?
The product development must be based on a user-centered process; the quality of the research methods and their subsequent integration are decisive for the success of the product.
2. Use Flow
Is the use sequence intuitive?
Information architecture, symbols and the use of color must be self-explanatory and contribute to intuitive user guidance that is consistent with user expectations. Thereby, learning time should be minimal.
Is the solution universally comprehensible?
A wide range of different users must be able to securely operate the product solution in various situational scenarios; errors must be easy to correct.
How should the emotional and cognitive aspects be assessed?
The sum of expectations, behaviors and reactions before, during and after use must be predominantly positive.
3. Contents and Functions
Do the functions and media support the objectives of use?
The functions must correspond to the objectives of use; unnecessary actions and interactions should be avoided; appropriate information and media must support the communication objectives.
Are the contents appropriate?
The quality of the contents used must be in accordance with the context and objective of use.
4. Design and Service Quality
Is the product customizable?
Adaptations to different expectations and user requirements should be facilitated.
Is a high service quality guaranteed?
The service must be coherent and offer a positive user experience across all touchpoints.
5. Relevance and Innovation Value
Is the submission relevant?
The product must offer genuine or new added value for relevant user groups, or should represent a significant improvement to a usage situation.
How innovative is the product solution?
The entry should set new standards as a whole or in individual areas. Innovative solutions distinguish themselves through scalable business models that enable novel application fields, support participation and further knowledge exchange. They enhance human abilities by way of advanced technologies, data analysis or artificial intelligence.
Further information: How to enter the UX Design Awards competition
- Permanent presentation of each nominated product solution in the Awards online exhibition including product image, video and description, company information and logotype.
- Visual highlight of each Award Winner including individual jury statement.
Social Media and Newsletters
- Announcements, reviews, films and individual features on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.
- Announcements and reviews in International Design Center Berlin newsletters to more than 6,000 recipients (design afficionados, design consultancies, corporations and multipliers).
- Full page presentation of each nominated product solution (download 2016 edition).
- Distribution at IFA: Awards exhibition, press and trade visitors, Award ceremony guests.
- Print run: 20.000 (English / German)
- Flyer distribution at IFA: Awards exhibition, IFA press conference / visitor informations / trade visitor bags (print run: 40.000).
- Highlight in the official IFA fair guide app
- Highlight as an IFA Special Area