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Werbal wins International Web Page Award for the yet-to-be-built Paul Klee Center at Bern's gates

Werbal wins International Web Page Award for the yet-to-be-built Paul-Klee-Zentrum on Bern's doorstepBy Luzi Weber Bern-based advertising and Internet agency Werbal has won the International Web Page Award in the Art category with its website for the Paul-Klee-Zentrum. The award ceremony took place in Silicon Valley in the US state of California.
Who hasn't dreamed of being presented with an award in sunny California and throwing their best smile into the camera? Thomas Dürig, consultant at Werbal, was granted this feeling on Maundy Thursday. Admittedly, the award was not for an arm-amputated golden man, and the camera was, strictly speaking, a webcam, but all the same: when Swiss people emerge as winners from an international competition, that's always a reason for Federal Councillor Adolf Ogi to be kolported: Joy reigns.
A clear structure instead of technical gimmicks
"The site's concept was developed by a team of women. We deliberately avoided the technical bells and whistles currently in vogue and aimed for a structure that allows all users direct access to the extensive information," says Sandra Bonsels, Managing Director at Werbal and project manager of the award-winning work, explaining the success.
Clear structures instead of technical gimmicks on the site; decisive, goal-oriented collaboration instead of cumbersome decision-making processes in the project: According to Bonsels, the male-heavy Internet world could still learn a lot from women. After Werbal came away empty-handed in Switzerland with her work for the Paul Klee Center, she is naturally all the more pleased about the confirmation from the USA.
The award-winning site was commissioned by the Education Department of the Canton of Bern. Visitors will find information on the planned Paul Klee Center, the construction of which - a project by Renzo Piano - will be voted on by Bernese voters in a year's time.
In addition to an introduction to the life and work of Paul Klee, insights are provided into the designs of the star architect, and visitors can keep abreast of the progress of the project planning at any time. Finally, those who like to communicate can send electronic Paul Klee postcards.
Despite clear structures, some minor shortcomings
The design of the site is convincing, and technical features are used with a sense of proportion. The claim to bring the enormous amount of information - after all, Klee created almost 10,000 works - into orderly structures that are comprehensible to the visitor is palpable, but cannot always be completely redeemed. For example, not when there are 27 menu items to choose from on three navigation zones on a single page.
Many an overwhelmed visitor will opt for the help function, which explains the site's structure and navigation. Nevertheless: Werbal has presented an overall convincing work.
For the International Web
Page Award 1999, 600 websites from 21 countries were submitted. Anyone who designed an original, youth-free Web site and was willing to pay $85 as an entry fee was eligible to enter.
Participants were also able to apply for a place on the jury at the same time as they registered. If you compare the 600 entries with the 30 categories in which there was a prize to be won, the average ratio is 20 applicants per prize: a rather modest number for a competition without admission restrictions.
This is not to diminish Werbal's achievement, which also compares well with winners in other categories. Among these, in addition to several mediocre works, there are also outstanding ones, such as the site of the overall winner British Airways ( traveler).
Flash animations are common, but a convincing handling of them is rather rare. Finally, the truly groundbreaking entries, which give a foretaste of the design of tomorrow, are sought in vain. The future of the Internet takes place every day, as the competition clearly shows.

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