Named in memory of Australian web pioneer Nigel McFarlane, the McFarlane Prize for Excellence goes to the entry that performed the best across all five judging disciplines – accessibility, content, design, development and user experience.
The Australian Web Awards (AWA) were founded in Western Australia in 2005 by a group of web developers and became a national event in 2009. Each year entries are judged by industry leaders and the cream of the crop are recognised and awarded at the annual AWA awards ceremony. This year’s ceremony was held on Saturday 20th May, at Doltone House LOFT in Sydney’s Darling Harbour precinct.
The UNICEF Australia website was the product of a partnership between UNICEF and Luminary that began in 2020. The site was built on headless CMS platform Kontent.ai.
“With a cumbersome and outdated design and user experience on our old site, UNICEF Australia needed to create a world-class online experience for a much broader spectrum of supporters and stakeholders,” said UNICEF Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer Libby Hodgson. “We listened and engaged with our supporters and stakeholders first, to embark on a discovery process in which to inform a redesign. It was paramount that we also solved user needs in a way that was unmistakably UNICEF while better reflecting our local identity. And we strived for a modern e-commerce architecture that would allow us to be more efficient and effective in delivering great experiences for our supporters as well as being intuitive and easily navigable for all users.”
“The McFarlane prize represents the best of the best in Australia, so we are honoured and delighted for our teams to receive this recognition,” added Hodgson. “It was a monumental effort from not only the core project team at UNICEF Australia, but stakeholders past and present right across the organisation. We couldn’t have done it without the expertise, passion and spirited partnership of Luminary. We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the Australian Web Awards and the judging panel for their consideration and decision in awarding us this prize.”
Commenting on the award win, Luminary CEO Marty Drill said: “This was a significant piece of work that has made a huge difference to many people. By creating and investing in www.unicef.org.au, Luminary has helped UNICEF in its work to raise money to support kids around the world and in Australia. Our mission is to make digital bright and the human experience brighter. This is what it looks like in reality. We wanted to do something that would help people in countries that are affected by famine, floods, drought, war and instability. Specifically, we wanted to make a difference to children, to help give them a chance in life. The McFarlane Prize is one of the highest honours achievable in the Australian digital industry and this win is a huge credit to both UNICEF and Luminary.”
Since its launch, the new UNICEF Australia website has delivered substantial improvements in conversion rate, SEO performance and overall site health. “The new site is a stark improvement in on-site performance across core web vitals, depth and quality of content serving a diverse audience group, streamlined conversion and e-commerce processes, a cleaner UI and information architecture, improved speed in launching content and significantly improved analytics,” said Jonathan Nolan, Head of Performance, Growth and Insights at UNICEF Australia. “While there is always more to be done, this site now gives us the right platform to drive continuous improvement and allows us to accelerate results for children and young people.”
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