So You Think You Can Code, ebookcraft's design contest, just announced its second-ever winner! Many signed up to prove their coding abilities by creating a beautifully designed, fully accessible, platform-agnostic ebook out of a tricksy, disastrous file riddled with problems. But only one could win.
Congratulations go out to Kristin Brodeur, who brought to her winning entry a careful hand and fine attention to detail. She took home the grand prize: $2,500 and a Kobo e-reader from Rakuten Kobo, a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, and a three-month subscription to FlightDeck thanks to Firebrand Technologies.
L-R: Joshua Tallent, judge, Kristin Brodeur, winner, Monique Mongeon, judge, Symon Flaming, Kobo representative. Photo by Yvonne Bambrick.
"I wasn’t expecting it for sure, so it was a little surreal but very cool. I put a lot of work into it," said Kristin, after receiving the prize on stage.
The judges, Teresa Elsey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Monique Mongeon (BookNet Canada), and Joshua Tallent (Firebrand Technologies), relied on an extensive rubric to determine the winner. It used a number of weighted categories, including: fine typography, accessibility, device compatibility, rich navigation, ingenuity/creativity of design, adherence to standards, HTML updated to provide proper semantic markup and inflection, and lastly, catching and revising the errors in the file.
After tallying up the scores of all the submissions, Kristin's came out on top. The judging statement noted that:
Kristin's submission offered the best reader experience of all submissions received, across different modes, systems, and devices.
The judges were particularly impressed with her pull quotes and her rich, thorough table of contents.
One judge even remarked that "Kristin's book is exciting when you open it in a text editor."
Kristin showed great care to restructure tables and complicated, large datasets into understandable, clean, and smartly designed elements that displayed properly across devices and screen sizes.
Her work reflected great consideration and respect for the text. She structured her file in response to the content's demands and to the reader's desire for streamlining, ensured that it adhered to various retailers' standards, and adjusted for devices both new and (very) old, including mobile. The competition's sample file included a number of images and Kristin responded with care, ensuring that even print-disabled readers could access the content through thoughtful use of alt-text.