The jurors have a daunting task to select the best of approximately 2,000 entries that will become finalists for IDEA honors. Although the jury makes their best effort to thoroughly examine each entry, first impressions are very important.
Good story telling will bring your design to life so explain clearly why the jury should consider your design for an award. Beauty alone is not enough to win an IDEA honor.
Here are some tips to make sure your entry stands out:
- Although you may submit either a PDF with up to six pages or individual JPEG images in addition to the “glamour shot,” it is highly recommended that you use the PDF format so that YOU control how the story unfolds to the jury. A PowerPoint presentation can be easily converted to a PDF for submission. This is a great way to build and tell your story in a compelling fashion using both images and text.
- The first image of the PDF should visually summarize the challenge(s) and why your design is a superior solution. Captions and call outs are extremely helpful to call attention to the unique features and benefits of your design. Remember the jury is seeing it for the very first time and what may seem obvious to you may not be obvious to the jurors who are less familiar with the specific problems your design solves. Focus on the elements that are unique to your design, not the generic features that are found on similar or previous designs.
- From there, build your story in a logical manner by stepping through the challenges and solutions in a clear, succinct and cogent way. Make sure that each additional page contributes new information that will give the jury a better understanding of why your design should be selected.
- If applicable, pictures of previous versions and competitive products are helpful to illustrate how your design is better. (Although, don’t try to mislead the jury by showing the worst examples you can find!).
- Most products are intended to be used. Therefore, whenever possible show the product in use so the jury can better understand its context in the world. This is especially important for interaction submissions.
- Short videos are very helpful to demonstrate the use and interaction with a design, but please refrain from sending videos that don’t contribute anything beyond what is clearly illustrated in the still photos.
- If there were distinctive aspects to your research and design process that contributed to your unique solution, demonstrate that to help the jury understand the diligence that led to your superior solution.
- If your submission requires a lengthy explanation, be sure you have a concise executive summary in your PDF submission so the jury can quickly understand the essence of your design before delving into your more in-depth backup materials.
In summary, make your presentation as concise and visually compelling as possible—tell a great story that speaks to the award criteria and puts your design in the best light. We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ve accomplished!