Creating an entry form your judges will love

How much do you consider your awards program judges when designing an award entry form?

Entry form design can be a tricky task, and it’s important to make the experience a pleasant one for both the entrants and the judges who will assess each entry.

judgejudy.gif

Judges are often overlooked in this part of the awards program planning. But, if you want your judges to return year after year, it’s important to consider them from the very start.

It’s very common for awards programs to use VIP judges or respected leaders in the industry. By providing an intuitive judging experience, you’re letting them know that you know their time is valuable.

Award Force, an adjudication software, makes it easy to design your program criteria with best practices in mind, making your judges excited to come back year after year.

Here are 6 tips on how to better design your entry form

1. Ask for specific criteria

This will allow you to align a scoring criteria with the entry criteria, making it quick and easy for judges to associate each piece of criteria with a corresponding score. With a submission evaluation platform like Award Force, you have the option to create a score for each piece of criteria, in addition to overall scoring.

Specific criteria.png

2. Break it down, with instructions.

If you have long-answer criteria in your awards application form, use a bulleted list for entrants in the instructions/details section of the form so they can reference it in their submission. This creates uniformity and common patterns within entrant responses, allowing judges to quickly isolate specific points and score more effectively.

Judging instructions.png

Award Force makes it easy to provide content for the judging instructions, easily organized by numbered or bulleted lists.

3. Order it logically.

When building questions into your entry form, use content fields for headings and order all fields in a logical sequence. This will not only create a great experience for your entrants but for your judges too. A clean submission makes it easier and faster to judge.

4. Apply word limits.

Consider applying word or character limits on your entry criteria. This will help provide a level playing field for all entrants and create a consistent and time-effective experience for judges.

Word limits.png

5. Limit attachments.

Cap how many supporting documents and attachments entrants you require for each entry. This effectively forces entrants to consider the quality of what they’re supplying and ensures judges only see their best work.

6. Require consistency in file types.

Using Award Force, take advantage of the file upload (single) field, which allows you to request specific documents and uploads such as a logo, headshot, letter of reference, etc. You can set the required file type, such as an image of PDF file to create consistency and save time for your judges.

Field types.png

Providing a consistent and predictable experience for your judges across categories removes inconsistency in your entrant submissions. This also allows judges to "know" what to look for and where to find it, entry upon entry. And this can greatly improve your judges’ experience, increase the chances of your judges returning next year, speed up the time needed for judging and define a level benchmark for all your entrants.

The Award Force judging suite gives you ultimate control to configure your judging quickly and easily. Powerful options allow you to create your judging workflow just so. Learn more