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Disqualified... Why?
By Wendy and David Russell -- February 18, 2004
Every well-written and intuitive award program must have concise criteria for which an award is earned...

It must also define with clarity and precision, on which issues will disqualify an applicant from earning the award.  We think all award program owners should agree with this point.

Where we may not all agree, is in the following statement... Allowing the unsuccessful applicant to understand why and what disqualified them.

 

Wendy and David Russell

We still remember our earliest experiences within the awards community. They were confusing and frustrating to us. If we applied to an award program, the only manner in which we could understand that we did not earn the award was we did not hear from the award master of the program. The award program would often write within their program... “due to time constraints, only winners will be notified.”

Does this really serve the applicant or the award master in any meaningful capacity?  And not to be critical of those who prefer to use this provisional statement . . . it really does not aid the applicants who wish to understand... ”Why did I not make the cut?”
 
For this very reason our awards program states it very clear . . . that all disqualified applicants will be notified of the reason. We do so for a number of reasons...

  • First, it allows the applicant to have some idea as to why they were unsuccessful with their application. Why is this important to the awards program owner? The reasons are these; the applicant will appreciate your feedback and more than likely improve upon their site to meet your criteria and then return for re-application to your program.
     
    The likelihood of success with re-application is definitely improved. Why is this important? From our personal experiences, the added effort on our behalf, equals satisfaction for all involved. The applicant understands why, and the awards master does not have to go through the repeated process of disqualifying potential winners. we think it is well worth the effort. Others may disagree, but it works for our program.
     
  • Second, we believe this is part of the improvement process. To become a better Webmaster, feedback is important. Although, we stop short of offering ideas as to how to improve, this much we leave up to the applicant. This is always an interpretive and personal choice. We want to encourage that potential creativity, and not stifle it.

These points are of course just a few observations and opinions we have. They may not be met with total enthusiasm or agreement; but nonetheless, we feel are important.

We hope our input may be met with some open-minded receptiveness.

Copyright 2004
All Rights Reserved
Wendy and David Russell

About the Author
Wendy and David Russell are the owners/managers of Casey’s Celtic Charm and awards program, which is rated AS! 5.0 and is a WTA with Superb Website Awards. They are both members of CEM/CEMA, Apex and AEC Global.

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