Judging Criteria

What’s The Automattic Design Award?

Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation.

 —Automattic Creed

At Automattic we believe that open source software is what makes the world a vastly more livable place online and offline. And in order to commemorate our growing commitment to design in the WordPress arena, we announced at WordCamp Europe (WCEU) 2018 the idea of an Automattic Design Award. The response was overwhelmingly positive from the audience, and more than a few agencies out there expressed a desire to define it with John Maeda — especially Simon Cooke of Pragmatic. 

What is it? It’s the start of putting a spotlight on some of the best designed ideas out there in the WordPress ecosystem. Why? Because we feel it’s the right time.

About The Trophy

The 2018 Automattic Design Award trophy has been “grown” with an algorithm programmed and designed by Nervous System’s Jesse Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg whose work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Nervous System is a generative design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. Designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg explore how simulations of natural processes can be used in design and coupled with digital fabrication to create one-of-a-kind, customized products.

What Kind Of Product Is Eligible?

WordPress Website WordPress Plugin WordPress Theme
A website that lives on the Internet and made with WordPress. A code-based enhancement for a WordPress website. A stylistic enhancement for a WordPress website.

What’s Required?

Gutenberg Ready Accessibility Considered
Ready for Gutenberg and the impending WordPress 5.0 release. A11y as a “need to have” instead of just a “nice to have.”

General Judging Categories

Deep User Empathy Breathtaking Content
Demonstrates a clear understanding of user needs and context. Expressed powerfully with a content-led approach.
Outstanding UX Devil’s In The Details
Effortless navigation and clarity of use. Micro-details are managed down to each millisecond.

Special Merit Categories

Developer-Led Design Simple Is Beautiful
Created in a way where devs are the champions of design. Prioritizes simplicity and clarity for the user, even while supporting complex needs

November 13 Deadline

Entries for the Automattic Design Award will be primarily culled from the jury, but we have an open call for entries that begins October 23. All submissions will be due by November 13. Winners will be announced on December 3.


These judging criteria were developed through deliberations with jury members who span the agency ecosystem and the WordPress design community. Special thanks to CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg for supporting this project!

Alexis Lloyd of Automattic is Jury Chair and John Maeda of Automattic is Award Organizer.

ellipsis search previous next reply tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close