Assigning a Quality Score for Design Competitions - Main and Secondary Details
Abstract: Main and secondary details of a design competition are simple definitions that we use to understand what the competition is about. Main details are the name of the competition, categories and sub categories, the focus of the competition, the competition type, the general orientation, target participants and main restrictions plus contact information. Secondary details are the languages, the origin country, if there is an English website, how many times it has been organized, the repeating frequency, whether the competition repeats annually etc. to name a few. It might seem that this information does not affect the quality of a design competition in a great way, but lack of such information does, this paper discusses how we could calculate a quality score for the main and secondary details.
First of all, to calculate a raw quality score for main details, we are going to check public communication by the competition organizer to find out relevant information from flyers, call for entries and posters, plus we check the competition website and any press releases. If we cannot find this information with aforementioned methods, we send the competition organizers an email to ask them. We use the main details score sheet to calculate the raw store for main details, and secondary details score sheet to calculate a raw score for the secondary details..
Main details score is calculated from the following criteria: Keywords, Category and Focus (Design Competition Name, General Category, Sub Categories, Main Focus, General Competition Type, Orientation, Target Participants, Particular Restrictions). Core Contacts (Website, Contact-us Page, Email).
Secondary details score is calculated by considering the following information: Languages and Origin (Country of Origin, Primary/Native Language, If there is an English Website), Repeating Frequency and History (First time organized, How many times has the competition been organized, Does the competition repeat every year, Repeat Frequency of the Competition)
Please note that for the main and secondary details scores, we do not consider other factors such as jury details, designers rights, evaluation etc. as they are discussed in detail separately.
Collected Information: Main Details and Secondary Details.
Main Details Score Sheet:
- If we could define keywords, Score++
In order to define some relevant keywords, we need to clearly understand what the competition is about, if we cannot define keywords that means the competition is not so clear.
- Category and Focus
- Competition Name, Score++
Usually all the competitions have a name, but it could happen that sometimes when companies organize competitions they just forget about it.
- The General Category, Score++
This is what the competition is about, some categories for example could be; Furniture and Homeware Design, Packaging Design, Architecture, Building and Urban Design, Fashion and Jewellery Design, Lightning Design, Toy and Recreation Design, Digital and Electronic Devices Design, Interior Design, Vehicle and Transportation Design, Interface Design, Home Appliances Design, Graphics and Advertising Design, Computer Graphics and 3D Model Design, Photography and Photo Manipulation Design, Engineering and Technical Design, Medical and Scientific Design, Movie and Animation Design, Food and Culinary Design, Material and Texture Design, Social Design, Idea Design, Arts, Crafts and Ready-Made Design, Meta Design, Unexpected Design, Literature, Music and Sound Design, or Generic Design (Multiple Design Fields & Subjects)
- Sub-Categories, Score++
Sub-categories of a design competition is important if there are different evaluation criteria for them, thus it is important to state this information ahead.
- Main Focus, Score++
The information of what does the competition mainly focus on, basically what the organizer is looking for in submissions is important for entrants, this is actually the brief of the brief in a one sentence.
- What is the General Competition Type, Score++
What the competition is mainly about; Such as Product Design Competition (or Realized Designs, Prototypes etc), Concept Design Competition (or Product Ideas, Sketches), Idea Competition (or Design Driven Innovation, Feedbacks & Thoughts), Generic Design Competition (Idea and/or Concept and/or Product etc), Photography / Visualization Competition (or Sketching and/or Rendering), Total Design Competition (Idea + Concept + Product + Service etc)
- Target Participants, Score++
Who should join this competition, who are the target reach of the competition. If the competition has a defined range of target participants, it is a plus to know this information.
- Design Restrictions, Score++
Designs might not be restricted but on the other hand, especially competitions organized by companies, there could be some requirements such as utilizing an existing product-platform, a production technology, a software, a brand image or design might be location specific or focused on a theme.
- Core Contacts
- Website, Score++10
The website of a design competition is a highly valuable source to learn rules, regulations, and many other information and in current state of art, it is almost inevitable to have a competition without a website.
- Contact-Us Page, Score++2
Contact us page is a part of website where users can fill a form to contact the competition organizers, in case there is not an email address, this is a valuable function to ease communication.
- Contact Email, Score++5
Even though the contact us page could be a useful tool for communicating, providing an email address is actually much more helpful as entrants can interact in a better way by for example sending attachments or by sending rich-html mails with emphasis on the parts of the message.
Maximum Possible Score for Main Details (25) is reached by a design competition that fills all the relevant information given above.
Secondary Details Score Sheet:
- Languages and Origin
- Country of Origin, Score++3
It is sometimes important for designers to know where the competition is originating from, especially when there are physical submission requirements this information could be also financially important, on the other hand there are also social-political reasons and preferences which could be respected.
- Primary (Native) Language, Score++
In case, there is not an English website, this is absolutely important, as sometimes it happens that the call for submissions or posters are prepared in English and then designers are shocked to see that there is actually not an English website for the competition.
- Do the Competition have an English Website, Score++5
As a defacto interlingua, that is spoken by most of the world population, having an English website actually not only increases the number of submissions but also the quality of submissions by being open to an international crowd.
- Repeat Frequency and History
- The Year First Organized
If the competition has a history, it is usually considered as more credible; therefore providing this information could be valuable for entrants. Combined with repeat frequency of the competition,
- For each year up to 10, Score++
- For each two years, from 10 to 20, Score++
- For each three years, from 20 to 50, Score++
- For each five years, from 50 to 100, Score++
- For a competition older than 100 years, Score++15
- How Many Times the Competition Has Been Organized
It is important for entrants to know how many times the competition has been organized before (the edition), as with each time a competition is organized, the organization is expected to become better and more professional.
- For each time up to 10, Score++0.1
- For each two time, from 10 to 20, Score++0.1
- For each three time, from 20 to 50, Score++0.1
- For each five time, from 50 to 100, Score++0.1
- For a competition organized more than 100 times, Score++1.5
- Does the Competition Repeat Annually, Score++5
It could be important for participants to know if this is a single-event or a repeat-event, as repeating competitions could create higher credibility over the years, whereas single-events should not be missed as it is a one at a life time opportunity.
- Repeat Frequency of The Competition, Score++
Does the competition repeat within a year many times? Or does is it run once every decade? This information could be relevant for many of the participants. If the competition repeats often, participants are not in a rush to submit their designs this edition as they could always catch the next edition.
Maximum Possible Score for Secondary Details (70) is reached by a design competition organized annually more than 100 years and 100 times, with an English website where the country of origin is clearly given and all other relevant information is easy to figure out.
Short Notes: Please note that ++ means to increase by one (1), and -- means to decrease by one (1), so score ++ means, score will increase by one (1). Score ++n means to increase score by n (n) points; Score ++3 means to increase score 3 points. Score // means does not affect score.