The winners of the Webby Awards were announced earlier this week, and anyone visiting the Webby website to browse the winning work might have noticed that it has gotten a fresh look.
The awards' executive director Claire Graves told me that while the existing gallery was already "a source of inspiration for anyone who wants to create award-winning digital work," the site was last redesigned five years ago. So it was time to rethink things, resulting in the launch of a new Webby Gallery + Index
After all, the Webbys are continually expanding into new categories, like podcasts — as Graves put it, "We’ve expanded as the internet has expanded to honor things that are created on the internet" — and she wanted the gallery to fully showcase all that work.
The gallery also serves as a tour of internet history, as much of the winning work (like a digital ad campaign) might not be available anywhere else online. So rather than just presenting the winners from a specific year, Graves wanted visitors to be able to see how digital advertising and other creative work has evolved over time.
The new gallery was designed by branding and design agency Basic (naturally, a Webby winner itself), whose CEO Matt Faulk described the awards as "the pinnacle of what we do." He added that his goal for the project was to turn the gallery into "a more robust research tool and define a new kind of design language and system for the Webbys brand."
So the new site supports things like listening to podcasts and playing games, while also making it easy to browse by category, to search for all the work by a specific brand or company and to filter based on things like year (it goes back to the first Webby Awards in 1997) and award level.
Not every winning work is currently viewable in the gallery, but Graves said her team is talking to past winners and the larger Webby community about filling in the gaps.
"We want this to be the one real resource to connect the dots between those media types, to see what’s best across the breadth of the internet," she said.