14 Oct 2011 10 am eastern

Meet the 10K Apart Winners

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS of the second annual 10K Apart contest (“Inspire the web with just 10K”) presented by MIX Online and An Event Apart.

Responsive apps under 10K

Last year’s 10K Apart challenged readers to create the best application they could using no more than 10K of images, scripts, and markup. We wanted to see what you could do with HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts, and you blew us away.

For this year’s contest, we asked you to step up your game by not only awing us with brilliant (and brilliantly designed) apps built using less than 10K of web standards and imagery, but we also insisted you make those awesome apps fully responsive.

(If you found this page by accident, responsive design accommodates today’s dizzying array of notebooks, tablets, smartphones, laptops, and big-screen desktops—and anticipates tomorrow’s—via fluid design experiences that squash and stretch and swell and shrink and always look like ladies. Ethan Marcotte pioneered this design approach, which takes standards-based progressive enhancement to the next level, and which achieves its magic via fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries. But I digress.)

We worried. Oh, how we worried.

We worried that demanding responsive design on top of our already tough list of requirements would kill the contest. That it was just too hard. Maybe even impossible. Silly us.

Once again, you overwhelmed us with your out-of-the-box creativity, dazzling technical chops, and inspiring can-do spirit. During the few weeks of our call for entries, people and teams from 36 countries produced 128 astonishingly excellent apps. With that many great entries, judging was a beast! Fortunately we had excellent help. But enough about us. On to the winners!

Grand Prize Winner

The mysteriously named L&L has won the 10K Apart Grand Prize for Bytes Jack, an HTML Blackjack game that is totally fun to play—unless you have a problem with gambling, in which case, try one of the fantastic runners-up: Space Mahjong by Toby Yun and Kyoungwoo Ham (Best Technical Achievement); Sproutable, by Kevin Thompson (Best Design); or PHRASE: Make Lovely Circular Patterns Based on Text Phrases (People’s Choice), by Andy Gott.

L&L will receive a paid pass to any An Event Apart conference event, a $3000 Visa Gift Card, and copies of Ethan Marcotte’s Responsive Web Design and Aaron Gustafson’s Adaptive Web Design.

In addition to these four winners, there are twelve honorable mentions that will delight any visitor—and astonish any web designer-developer who tries to figure out how these wizards worked their magic in under 10K. See all the winners or view the entire gallery and decide whom you would have awarded best in show.

P.S. We love you

An Event Apart thanks our hard-working, insanely inspired friends at Mix Online.

The 10K Apart hearkens back to Stewart Butterfield’s 5k Contest of yesteryear. Back then, Stewart challenged web designer-developers to create something magical using less than 5K of code and images—and the community responded with a flowering of creativity and awesome proto-web-apps. Stewart, we salute you!

Filed under: An Event Apart, Announcements, Code, CSS3, Design, HTML5, Responsive Web Design, State of the Web, Web Design, Web Design History, Web Standards

10 Responses to “Meet the 10K Apart Winners”

  1. Todd V Yeadon said on

    Great work by everyone. A challenge and great outcomes.

  2. Scott Olson said on

    I like BytesJack. However, “you loose” and “you lose” have two very different meanings.

  3. Matthew Trow said on

    I’m inspired and somewhat speechless.

    How? How how how? – incredible!

  4. Steve Williams said on

    Worthy winners. I just spent over 10 minutes playing Black Jack. 10 minutes for 10K is pretty good in my book!

  5. Melanie deDon said on

    It was a little intimidating, I’ll admit it. I have watched this contest grow and flourish over the years and this year I made the choice to throw myself into the fray. It challenged and inspired me in so many ways. I am super honored to be one of those 12 “notable mentions.” Thanks to all the judges who challenged and inspired… and thanks to all of you who came along and tried it all out!

  6. Toby Yun said on

    Thank you. Zeldman!

  7. Kyoungwoo Ham said on

    The nights when I worked for this contest are invaluable. Thank you, zeldman. Thank you, 10K. Thank you, everyone who loved ‘Space Mahjong’.

  8. The Morning Brew - Chris Alcock » The Morning Brew #960 said on

    [...] Meet the 10K Apart Winners – Jeffrey Zeldman highlights the winners of the 10K Apart competition where the challenge was to build a responsive and inspiring web application in under 10K of images, scripts and markup [...]

  9. Stan said on

    Just goes to show bigger is not alwys better!

  10. Gordon McLachlan said on

    Love the Phrase entry – while it might not be as technically impressive as the Blackjack game it’s really simple, clever and innovative. Lovely design too. Great stuff!

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