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about 8 years ago

Making a great submission video

We know you’re focused on your solution right now, but don’t forget about your submission video. It’s often the first thing that judges and voters review. And don’t forget, your text description and video should explain the insights gathered from testing and how your submission addresses the tech brief/category you’ve selected.

A good video tells the story behind your submission, providing a clear and concise explanation of what your solution is and does. Here are some tips and a list of screencasting tools:

  • Establish your elevator pitch. In the first few seconds of your video, explain why your solution is awesome. You can get into the details of how it works later on in the video, but treat the opening seconds of your video as you would a movie trailer or TV ad: pique your audience’s interest.

  • Show, don’t tell. Showcase your solution’s key features by demonstrating them functioning on an appropriate device. The use of both audio and visual demonstrations are recommended to help all judges and voters understand your solution. Explaining what it does and how it works helps judges and voters understand and appreciate your product design.

  • Don’t forget that one of the judging criteria is “Demonstration of feedback by the end user.” Aside from uploading the Exemplar Testing Form, you might want to consider videotaping the testing session and including some of that footage in your demo video.

  • Keep it simple. Per the official rules, your video shouldn’t be much longer than five minutes. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”

  • Uploading takes time. Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your video. Due to file size, format, and your Internet connection, uploading a video to YouTube or Vimeo could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

  • Get organized. Write out a script of what you’ll say and demonstrate in your video and rehearse it before recording.

Making your video accessible

When creating your demo video, don’t forget to make it accessible for people with both visual and hearing disabilities. You can do this by including closed captioning or subtitles to supplement audio and “audio description” to supplement visuals.

Setting up closed captioning or subtitles: Subtitles aren’t required but they sure are helpful for some people with disabilities. Here are some tips on how to add subtitles to your YouTube or Vimeo video.

Including audio descriptions on your video: The easiest way to create audio descriptions in your video is to build them in by having your subjects identify themselves and their surroundings (rather than only showing their name on screen). This way, anyone—whether or not they are visually impaired—will know who is speaking. However, this option isn’t always possible, especially if people are speaking while text is being shown on screen. For more tips on how the include audio descriptions, check out


We’re here to help. If you have any questions about the challenge, post on the discussion forum or email and we’ll respond as soon as we can.