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Award Winning Sites Embrace Total User Experience in 2006

The end of the year is often a good time to take a look back on the major trends of 2006 in website development and look ahead for 2007 and beyond.

The Web Marketing Association will be releasing its 2007 Internet Standards Assessment Report, an industry by industry assessment of current standards of excellence, in February, in the mean time, I thought it would be a value to our readers to give a heads up for what to expect.

At the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association summit, a few months ago, I discussed the concept of Total User Experience. This is how I best sum up what made some Websites stand out above the rest in the 10th annual WebAward Competition for Website development.

I define total user experience as a Web site that combines text, sound, animation and video within its pages to deliver an informative and entertaining experience. Today a website should not require users to download a plug in, or click a link to have a video player pop up. Rather today‚Äôs award winning sites are integrating video and audio and graphics directly into the page. Users do not want to be interrupted; they want a seamless integrated experience. A Web page is more than just text and graphics, it needs to come alive to compete with the other media outlets available to consumers today. A good example of this is the 2006 WebAward Best of Show winning Website “TBS: Department of Humor Analysis” at, which also won Best TV Website. This flash based Website creates a total user experience to highlight the funny TV shows on TBS.

In the ISAR study, we will be releasing specific data relating to a decade of Website evaluations. If you are interested in receiving a free copy when it is published and download a copy of the 2006 report, add your name to the ISAR Study page.

Happy holidays to all and a very merry new year!

Bill Rice
Web Marketing Association