Watch, see and listen

What judges have to say about audio visual and true interactive digital publications.

The audio/visual industry has completely changed since the silent movie era where it all started. Those movies attracted people to cinemas in droves. They mesmerised audiences with images that sped by on a ‘gigantic’ screen – life literally flashed before their eyes. And then there was sound. And colour. And then came touch – fingers on cold surfaces, moving images and words around to tell a story, to entertain, to inform, to entice, to interact.

Today, visualised information is deeply appealing to us; it elicits emotion, is readily processed and stored in our brains, and a lot more fun than just words. That is probably the reason entries for the Audio-Visual and Digital Projects categories in the competition have, over the last few years, increased at the speed of light. Judges have been overwhelmed by the standard, creativity and innovation of these. User experience has become the new norm.

The advantages of audio-visual communication are numerous as it:

  • can reach a large audience instantly,
  • is more appealing to more senses than other means of communication,
  • enhances and reinforces the impact already made by oral and written communication,
  • may have a lasting effect on the receiver,
  • has entertainment value, and
  • is suitable for illiterate receivers.

A huge benefit of the audio-visual format is that it allows the receiver to hear vocal tones and to see facial expressions and gestures which enhances the clear understanding of the message. This is why user experience is so important. By focusing on how your audience interact with your content, you can create exceptional experiences they will remember for far longer. Of course, the first step is creating great content to share.

As for coding, judges will scrutinise producers’ and designers’ skilful use of the digital platform and the treatment of screen space.They will be looking for the answer to the question: “Is the production lively, captivating and would it retain the target audience’s attention?”

It should be anunequivocal: YES

 A word from a former judge:

Paul van der Merwe, SAPF’s IT guy, is a former judge and has some insightful advice and guidelines.

“Your reason for going digital should not only be the cost saved on printing and distribution of publications, but this format should be for the benefit of the audience. Going digital allows you to do so much more!”

Responsive design

Gone are the traditional page-by-page layouts of printed publications. The screen is your new best friend. No matter the device used by a reader – a responsive design will deliver content that is attractive, custom-made, relevant and engaging all the time. It is not just one or more features that make true interactive digital publications attractive – it is the sum of its parts. Every function you build into a digital publication should serve more than one purpose or complement another function.

Audio-Visual entries

Suitable content will always be the benchmark for producing a successful product. The target audience must be able to retain and understand the message and producers should always keep the needs of their audience foremost in mind. Technical standards and creativity of the production should also be exceptional; entries should be lively and captivating.

Interactive Digital Publications

First-rate design, writing and communication are still the objectives judges measure in publications entered in this category. These must also include different multimedia and interactive elements such as video, sound and animation. Judges will assess User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design: The publication must be user-friendly, and display the attention paid to navigation menus, font sizes and more.


Tracking and true analytics

Due to their digital/electronic nature, everything in these publications can be tracked and monitored, from unique readership, total and unique page views, time spent on any page, time spent on videos, links clicked and more. This feature will also receive the judges’ attention.

Interactive links

Do you drive traffic toward your websites, and your own products or services? Since readers are already online, they can just click and follow the trail you want to lead them on. Yes, this can also be achieved in a PDF – but can you deliver the analytics and did you keep readers’ attention?

Have a look at some of the award winning Digital Projects from 2021