and the winner is…

For a few years now, Web Directions conference has incorporated The McFarlane Prize, which recognises excellence in web development.

Although a relatively small prize, it is hotly contested, peer reviewed and any sites that are shortlisted (let alone those that win), have achieved very high levels of excellence in coding, usability, design and accessibility (that’s all together, not categories!). It is truly an achievement and I encourage people to visit the McFarlane site and view some of the entries.

Usually, the contenders are relatively small sites from well controlled environments. Not to take anything away from their achievements, but it’s tempting to think such accolades are beyond the reach of large and diverse organisations. Well, this year’s prize winner put paid to that assumption.

Swinburne University of Technology took out the main prize. For those of us in the know about how difficult it is to pull together a university website this is an achievement that ranks alongside climbing Everest, cycling the Nullarbor and completing the Hawaii Ironman.

They deserve: 1) a huge pat on the back and 2) five minutes of your time to visit their site and check what makes it tick.