Swinburne University wins McFarlane Prize for Web design

Javascript library, RaphaelJS, takes out award for contribution to industry.

Swinburne University of Technology has won the annual McFarlane Prize for website design in 2009, beating thousands of Australian websites for its combination of design and accessibility.

The award was announced at the Web Directions South conference in Sydney from a short list of six websites, including Propeller Global for its own website, the Redlands Spring Festival and Running Errands, Scope Media for J2Build and Dmitry Baranovskiy's RaphaelJS site.

J2Build took out highly commended and, for the first timer, judges decided to recognise a major contribution to the web industry in Australia with the McFarlane Medal. RaphaelJS by Dmitry Baranovskiy is a small JavaScript library that uses the scalable vector graphics (SVG) W3C Recommendation and vector markup language as a base for creating graphics. Developers can use it to create graphical objects that are also document object model (DOM) objects, the goal being to make drawing vector art compatible cross-browser and simple. It is used the world over by small sites to monoliths such as The Washington Post, took out the award.

"It makes SVG usable today, it's sexy and it's fabulous work," said Web Directions South organisers, John Allsopp.


Check out the photos from the event in our slideshow.

The award, named after open Web pioneer, Nigel McFarlane who passed away in 2005, is awarded by a jury of Australian experts in various fields of the Web profession. Entries are judged based on adherence to best practices in accessibility and standards based coding - CSS and HTML and the top 15 sites go on to be individually assessed in four areas by industry experts:

  • Accessibility
  • Usability
  • Design
  • Coding
.

The 2009 jury was made up of Virginia Murdoch, from Inventive Labs, Michael Koukoullis from Agency Rainford, Matthew Magain from SitePoint, designer Penny Hagen and Damien McCormack from Vision Australia.

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