2011 – The Year Everything Changed at FWA
It all started in 2007
Up until February 2007, FWA had almost entirely been awarding Flash websites. For 7 years, every day, a new Site Of The Day (SOTD) was being announced and it was always, almost completely, Flash deployed. The team at Ogilvy Singapore changed everything when they submitted Levi’s Copper Jeans and it went on to win SOTD on 21st February 2007. This site still stands shoulder to shoulder with the best non-Flash sites of 2011 and will always stand out as the seed of change at FWA.
Fast forward to 2010
For the next three years we saw the occassional plugin free site win an FWA but in 2010, the playing field was destroyed when The Wilderness Downtown landed on the FWA judges. The interactive short film immediately earned its place in FWA history as it went on to win Site Of The Year (SOTY) for 2010. Whilst raising a lot of eyebrows amongst some of FWA’s hardcore fans, I know personally and amongst the judges for SOTY that there was no doubt that Arcade Fire’s “We Used to Wait” promo site had raised the bar to a level we were not quite expecting.
2011… when everything REALLY DID change at FWA
CSS and HTML showcase sites had been rife for a number of years already and I had personally been keeping an eye on them for some time. My ethos with FWA was to always emphasise creativity, no matter what the technology used was. Agreed, FWA had possibly painted itself into a Flash corner over the years but I do feel the focus of the web had almost entirely been Flash and I was fully aware things were changing but I didn’t want FWA to jump on the trend wagon unless there was creativity there that was worthy of showcasing at FWA. In 2011, the knock-on effect from The Wilderness Downtown was immediately apparent as early in January we started to see a rise in plugin free submissions to FWA.
What we didn’t want to do was to just start showcasing Flash free sites for the sake of it as I feel many of the CSS/HTML showcase sites have done and still do. Thankfully, some agencies and many individuals have done what we saw back in the late 90s and early 00s, when FWA was founded, and that is to get very creative and lead the way for others to follow in the fast changing world of interactive.
Finally, before we start with this pioneering list of inspirational plugin-free websites that have changed FWA and the interactive world in general, I must point out that Flash is still the dominating force right now and the most exciting sites and submissions we still see are made with Flash and other plugins. Yet I do appreciate how the playing field is indeed changing and welcome the growth and diversity the web has and always will bring and, rest assured, whatever is cutting edge and future thinking, will always be showcased at FWA as we continue our focus and dedication to highlighting and awarding the greatest creativity and innovation via our long established SOTD!
This feature list will start back in January 2011 and will move through the year to October 2011, in itself showing how things are changing incredibly fast…
See full feature here