To my mind, the UK Digital Experience Awards have always showcased the best the UK has to offer in terms of UX and CX. I have had the pleasure of judging the awards twice now, once in 2014 and then again in 2016, both times in the Best B2C Experience category.

The standard this year was higher than ever, not just in terms of the standard of work, but how projects were presented.

What has become particularly clear to me this year is that it’s not enough to have a piece of work that of award-winning standard, you need to have an award-winning pitch to tell the story. What this year’s DX Awards has taught me is that a little story telling goes a long way to making your project shine.

Therefore, I thought I would share some the key observations from the strongest presentations and projects that I felt resonated well with the judges. Each point is broken into easily digestible Dos and Don’ts for each theme.

Set the scene

Do: Try and set the scene with some information about the current landscape, user/consumer behaviours, the state of the industry, digital trends, etc., that helped inform the project. Back it up with some insights about how you unearthed the challenge that your project solves. Visceral detail such as this helps paint a picture in the judge’s mind of the problem you set out to solve. This will not only the judges understand the problem will keep them more engaged throughout your pitch.

Don’t: Assume the judges will know and/or care about the industry or landscape in which your project habits. Without setting the scene the judges will not understand the challenges or true impact of the results.

What were you looking to achieve?

Do: Demonstrate clear objectives of the project. What were you helping to solve and how did you determine what success should look like at the outset? Also show how these objectives would be a benefit to the user experience. In other words, how did it make their life easier?

Don’t: Use thin or irrelevant measurements or objectives that mean nothing to the overall experience. For instance, stating that an objective was to make the experience more on brand doesn’t hold much value to the user.

Show your working out

Do: take the time to show how you researched the problem to arrive at your solution, whether that be workshops, user testing, or other forms of research. How did you get the user involved?

Don’t: Forget the user. Failing to perform any user and/or market research of any kind will immediately put the judges on a back foot regardless of how good the idea or execution.

Show differentiation

Do: Highlight what make this project unique amongst

Don’t: Assume what you are doing is innovative. What might be innovative for your business might not be innovative for the industry. For instance, even in 2016, there were entries that claimed to be innovative because they had gone ‘responsive’ with their solution. That’s not innovation, that’s simply catching up with the times.

Demonstrate the results

Do: Show how this changed customer behaviours.

Humanise the outcome: How did it make their life better through solving the problem? Make the stories more human and show the judges how this changed the industry landscape.

Don’t: Just show numbers. Business benefits such as increased conversion and traffic are great to show but they don’t demonstrate the improvement to the user’s experience on their own.

To conclude:

Remember, the UK Digital Experience Awards are exactly that; a celebration of the best ‘experiences’ delivered through digital channels. They are not an award for the prettiest redesign or best technical platform. By putting the customer’s story at the heart of your presentation will result in a highly competitive entry and put you in good stead for an award.

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