We've selected just some of the APEX Award-winning websites, epubs and social media to share with you. Each is worth a visit for content and a sense of how the site or media is structured and planned. (Also see the judges' comments about -- and links to -- Grand Award winners from the current and previous years.)
Note: Sites change, so the sites you view will not be exactly as they were when they won APEX awards. The following sites are open to the public. However, many other APEX award-winning sites, such as internal intranet sites, are private sites and cannot be accessed.
Anita Sama, Editor-in-Chief, CEO Update, Washington, DC
"This really marvelous, redesigned website starts at an interesting home page, with main and secondary stories to choose from. The site is state of the art, with useful 'subscribe' and 'job posting' links, as well as nicely integrated LinkedIn and Twitter elements. Navigation is easy, content is extensive and the look and feel of the site is first rate. The old site was solid, the new exceptional. Nothing more to ask for here."
"A massive site -- packed with useful, well researched and well written information, but very well organized, with clear navigation. The site offers all-encompassing resources that are carefully targeted to its audience of health care professionals. Numerous interactive features -- and the ability to customize the site to provide tailored news and data for your specific interests -- are added pluses. It should give Wiki a run for its money, but with fully vetted information."
James Berklan, Editor, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Northbrook, IL
"The previous site was quite good. The remake is top notch, starting with the inviting home page, which is much more visually dynamic, and packed with interesting feature blurbs (which link to full stories) and lead-ins. Navigation from the home page to all the elements of this in-depth, content-rich site is fluid and easy. You won't get lost, but you may have a hard time deciding to leave the site. From blogs to special reports to cutting-edge articles and news reports, it's a 'must-read' resource for long-term care professionals."
Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc., Alexandria, VA
"This very effective client newsletter employs a strikingly vibrant layout, functional decks, sidebars and spot color to nicely frame the copy -- which includes interesting, well written and 'on point' features and shorts."
Dave & Emily Whitlock Fly Fishing School
Shannon Brooks, Creative Director, Brooks-Jeffrey Marketing, Inc., Mountain Home, Arkansas
"Beautiful and incredibly appealing website...perfect design for a fishing site...clean, simple, elegant and fast."
"Agent Surefire -- Infosec"
MAVI Interactive LLC, Scottsdale, AZ
"Part 'Chuck', part 'Maxwell Smart', this is a very clever, very involving and very effective e-learning course. The interactive visuals are superior, and combine with a clearly written script and easy-to-learn navigation tools to make this not only an effective program, but one that's interesting and fun for participants."
Envirokids: kid tested, mother (earth) approved
Amy Turner, Community Relations Assistant and Sarah Amber Langin, EnviroChallenger Educator, City of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA.
"What a great, fun site for kids (and grown ups, too!). Fast, jazzy, lots of interesting activities, how-to tips and projects. It's a new world out there, and this site's on the cutting edge."
Frank Roche, iFRACTAL, Philadelphia, PA
"Top drawer copy, offering succinct, interesting and on-point articles, combines with fun, edgy graphics to make this is a very enjoyable blog."
Bonnie Zielinski, Vice President, Director of Design, Identicomm LLC, Rochester, MI.
"Sparkling photography in spectacular black and white, in a clean, elegant minimalist website that makes extraordinary use of 'black space' and gray tonalities. A one-of-a-kind."
Kevin Hambel, TMG, Washington, DC
"A visual treat, this site's home page offers plenty of 'eye candy' -- with quality photos, infographics and catchy headline teasers. Copy is nicely 'chunked', the design is clean, with very effective use of white space, and design themes progress nicely through the site, which offers fast, easy navigation. Who knew Biotech was this interesting?"
All Hands Magazine
All Hands Magazine, Defense Media Activity Anacostia, Anacostia Annex, DC
"The photos are spectacular, the photo spreads magical, copywriting -- including detailed captions and sidebars -- is exceptional and the stories are powerful and compelling."
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing website
Professional Development Program, Rockefeller College, University of Albany, Albany, NY.
"Superbly researched and written reports clearly convey useful, actionable information in this easily-navigable, well-designed site."
St. Anthony's Hospital Website Redesign
St. Anthony's Hospital, Pendleton, OR
"A simply elegant website. Provides a clean layout with judicious use of white space, subheads and rules to frame the text. Photos are top quality, navigation is superior, and -- despite the 'open' feel of the site design, it is packed with useful information and several surprises -- such as 'cheer cards' you can personalize and send to patients or family, an online nursery, and a raft of health calculators. Want to know your fiber intake?"
Copresco Digital On-Demand Printing
Steve Johnson, President, Copresco, Carol Stream, Illinois.
"A practical, working site -- content over glitz. This commercial printer's site does a superb job of, (a) keeping existing customers informed of new services and ways to use existing ones, and, (b) attracting new customers. Packed with useful information and links for publishing professionals. A very practical, 'cut to the chase' website."
Health Care Lane
Consumer Marketing, UnitedHealthcare, Edina, MN
"It takes a village to explain UHC's health plans ... or, more accurately, an interactive website -- Health Care Lane -- modeled after small town storefronts. Click on the bank and get a video describing the HSA plan. Click on the Sunny Day Childcare storefront for descriptions of Dependent Care FSAs, with the video introduced by a typical mom organizing her kids building blocks. And enter the WiFi Cafe for a walk-through of UnitedHealthCare's personal member website. A very cleverly designed marketing site."
American Foundation for the Blind Website
American Foundation for the Blind, New York, New York.
"Marvelous site. Visually superb. Excellent organization. Text and background colors customizable and optimized for the visually impaired. Accessibility keyboard shortcuts. They know their audience. Massive, useful content, from job postings to message boards -- all cleanly organized. Great Meta tags. A very well planned site."
Graybar History Book Microsite
Corporate Communications, Graybar, St. Louis, MO
"Stunning use of archival photography in a superbly well organized microsite, which tells the story of the company's history using concise copy, and an extensive library of historical photos -- each very well captioned to draw the reader's interest.
The NASA "Why?" Files
Jeff Seaton, Learning Technologies Project Leader, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.
"Lively action graphics...hypertext-style links...small, easily readable copy chunks are perfect for the Web. Well-organized, designed and edited site. Superb example of a site designed for a specific audience. Takes full advantage of Flash -- everything is visual...every click an exploration and adventure."
ESPN MediaZone Redesign
Rich Arden, ESPN, Bristol, CT
"Old site: Good. New site: Resource Rich. Text, photos, video, social media -- take your pick, it's all here in a dynamic, exciting, but well planned and easy navigating site."
Martha Milcarek, Assistant Vice President for Public Relations, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT.
"This university website fairly shouts 'quality' but in a quiet way. An elegant, buttoned down design uses superb graphic design and efficient, fast navigation to deliver page after page of exceptionally well-organized, crisply written copy. It is an enormous site and one that is enormously useful."
www.Larabida.org Makes a Big Splash
Gretchen Holmberg, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Chicago, IL
"The nautical theme really works for this hospital website. Portholes are everywhere, but it works, and provides a unifying visual theme. A very well organized, easy-navigating site, packed with useful information on a wide range of topics.
Society for Technical Communication Website
Russell S. Bombardieri, Webmaster, Society for Technical Communication, Arlington, Virginia.
"Fast, elegant and superbly organized website. Very well implemented drop-down menus. Very clean home page. Effective news section. Extensive information on an enormous range of topics, but very easy to locate and navigate. Prime example of how to set up a large site."
NOVEC Outage Map
Becky Whitelock, Director of Communications, Laura Cotterman, Contractor and Tony Weaver, Operations Director, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, Manassas, VA.
"The best ideas are often the simplest -- a Web-based, real time outage map, which shows you, at a glance, where any current outages are. Click on the flashing map dots and get more detailed information. Outage reporting fact sheets and very useful tips on how to prepare for, and cope with, power outages, round out this website section. Nicely done."
Theology Today Website
Published by Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and produced by Brian Neas, Designer and Nancy Cataleno, Art Director, Cataleno & Co., Inc., Moorestown, New Jersey.
"Fast-opening, top-quality site with crystal-clear navigation and attractive design. Great archive organization. An excellent publication website. A paradigm of simplicity in execution and ease of use."
Well Child Care: A Bright Futures Curriculum for Pediatric Providers
Health Information Group at Georgetown University, Washington, DC
"The look and feel of the site are delightful, with graphics from children's building blocks and kids watercolor paintings setting the visual tone building from the home page and moving throughout the entire site. It's a very warm, inviting design which also pays attention to good navigation and legibility."
The LA Times in Education Website
Frankie Kowalski, A.D. 2, Inc., Santa Monica, California
"Clean, elegant site design. Apt illustrations -- chalkboards, apples, pencils. Excellent navigation. Attractive typography."
Society for Technical Communication, Fairfax, VA
"Superbly written and edited features, top notch graphics and a clean, easy navigating online format -- all combine to produce an exceptional online magazine."
Plumbing & Mechanical Website
Joseph Ursitti, Managing Editor, Business News Publishing Co., Des Plaines, Illinois
"A practical site. Superb navigation. Fast opening. Nothing is hard to figure out. An excellent example of a superior publishing site."
Verizon Benefits Renewal
Andreau Blanchard, Mercer, New York, NY
"The ads are quite effective, but the online 'flipbook' is the jewel in the crown. It's clear, persuasive and very well written and designed for a quick, easy read. Quite well done."
Eric Rehl, Director of New Media, United States Bowling Congress, Greendale, WI.
"A complex site -- actually multiple sites in one -- but superbly organized, with quick, clear navigation and a massive array of information and educational material. A heavy duty site, meticulously executed."
Mark Michaud, Ariad Custom Communications, Toronto, ON
"A bold layout pulls you into this website's home page. The design is inviting, navigation works well, and copy is top drawer. What more can you ask for?"
John Kidon, Davis & Company, Glen Rock, NJ
"Top notch -- in content, visuals and navigation. A significant advance over the earlier site, itself quite good."
Linda J. Smith, MHCC, West Conshohocken, PA
"A superb, high value site -- very well designed, packed with vital information and precisely targeted to its intended audience."
Matthew Brown, Nevada Magazine, Carson City, NV
"From a good site to a superb site, the organization is elegant and easy with fast opening pages loaded with beautiful photography, clean type and interesting stories."
CAWOOD, Eugene, OR
"This cleanly designed site offers superb, intuitive navigation, through -- aptly enough for an orthopedic site -- the human body. Click on the knee and you're learning how the knee works, the impact of injuries, and how to prevent or cope with them. Elbows, shoulders, hips, feet. It's all there. Not your standard medical website."
Paul V. Arnold, Reliable Plant magazine, Fort Atkinson, WI
"Massive data, in an exceptionally well organized site. Crisp, informed writing, with numerous in-depth features posted daily, makes this an effective, frequently visited site."
Carole Sustak, AAA, Heathrow, FL
"Comprehensive, well organized, well written and illustrated, this employee site does a compelling job of taking the brand to the next level, persuading staff to internalize the strategy, and providing a clear path to all the tools needed."
Communications & Creative Services, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
"Cutting edge navigation, fast, interesting copy, photos and video... an exceptional home page and extensive, well organized, quick reading information as you drill down through each page."
Bill Spencer, Naval Media Center, Anacostia Annex, Washington, DC
"Packed with well-written, interesting information, this site is fast, easy to navigate and appealingly designed. The videos are world-class, and simply spectacular."
Gabrielle Schang, The Children's Health Fund, New York, NY
"A superbly crafted graphic interface makes this an extremely easy site to use. It's enjoyable, fun to use, and makes charitable giving an entertaining and involving experience. An outstanding example of an advocacy/fundraising site."
Corporate Communications, SECO Energy, Sumterville, FL
"Inviting home page, fast, clear navigation, interesting and helpful features, straight talk on energy supplies, and high quality photos (expandable high resolution, a nice touch) all combine to make this a very effective utility company site. Nicely done."
Catholic Charities USA Website
Jo-Ann Leitch, Public Relations Coordinator, Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, Virginia
"Very clean, very well organized site. Excellent search function. They really want you to find what you're looking for. A copy-heavy site, but graphics interpret the text, with good use of photos and illustrations. Simple, clear navigation."
City of Gaithersburg Home Page
City of Gaithersburg, Maryland
"An inviting, well-organized site. Effective use of color and graphics, but they don't lose sight of the mission, which is to provide content."
News...APEX 2015 Call for Entries has closed
Judging is now in progress for APEX 2015, the Annual APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Results for the 27th Annual Competition will be announced in July.
Great-West Retirement Services Participant Website Redesign
Kedra Hood, Great-West, Greenwood Village, CO
"These folks know their audience -- employees with at least some computer literacy. The website's home page has an iPad/apps look to it -- very effective, very well organized. The site is rich in in-depth content, well illustrated and clearly written -- with extensive 'help' sections to advise on financial planning, portfolio construction, retirement goals, and much more. It's a top-notch site, whose redesign is superb.