With the deadline for this year's BIMA Awards fast approaching, we're asking the judges to disclose what makes a winner. So to help improve your chances of winning, here's our first peek into the minds of two of the esteemed judging panel -- Kelly Bennett, director of new media and interactive marketing at Warner Bros, and Benjamin Tomlinson, creative director at design consultancy ico .

We will be featuring interviews with more of the judges over the coming weeks, so check back regularly to learn more about how to win interactive design gongs.

DA: What defines for you the best in interactive design?


KB: "I appreciate functional designs where utility is at the core. I’m also a sucker for a tidy grid and good typography."

BT: "I think it's an combination of creativity, usability, originality, innovation and of course jealousy."

DA: What are you looking for in a winning entry?

KB: "Visually arresting yet functional work that delivers against the client brief, whatever their metrics might be. Analysts tend to focus on clicks, but engagement rates can offer more insight."

DA: What of the current trends in interactive design excite you most?

KB: "APIs that offer potential to add another layer of experience to design. We are also excited about Adobe Air and liberating video on the web through HTML 5 – the trailer is a film marketer’s greatest asset."

BT: "Currently, I'm extremely excited about physical computing and the opening up of new and exciting ways for people to interact with the digital world. This has been accelerated by the introduction of opensource hardware (such as Arduino etc.). Broadening the medium, allowing the ability to design for new types of interaction other than screen is great. Allowing for new challenges, and new possibilities.

"The mobile market is obviously exciting and has been for some time. But with Apple creating an excellent development and payment platform, we've seen an explosion of developers experimenting within a normally exclusive marketplace. This is very encouraging.

"Lastly, I think openness is a key trend. Learning, creating and sharing has never been easier. Such things as APIs, Open Source, camps, blogs, and workshops are creating such a great resource for interactive design that is more informative, more sociable and more open than ever before. It keeps the industry alive, and those in it on their toes."

DA: How important is the recognition you get from winning a BIMA Award to clients?


BT: "I think it's very important from a clients' perspective, because it shows that they have chosen the right agency for the job. It also makes them feel like their brief has been fulfilled to its potential, if it is given recognition by those respected in the industry. They also get PR which is great."

KB: "Winning a BIMA provides instant credibility and can open doors with clients -- an important first step in such a competitive industry."

DA: How does winning a BIMA Award benefit the team that created the entry?

BT: "I think it benefits the team in a similar way to the clients, with the addition that it's good for your CV, improves moral, and gives the team a pat on the back for all their hard work. I also think that getting recognition from the industry is rewarding. It gives the team their own little piece of immortality and should also enhance their own standing in the industry, giving them more confidence for their future careers."

KB: "It’s all about the glory. You will never have to make the tea again."

To learn more and enter, visit our BIMA Awards 2009 site.