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2018 European Design Awards: Gold

Codewards, an educational platform for teaching children the basics of programming, won a gold medal in the Digital category at the 2018 European Design Awards. This was the first time a Russian edtech product won at the EDA and the third time Redmadrobot ascended the podium.

At the end of 2017, Codewards, together with Redmadrobot, completely overhauled the design of its online platform.

Maxim Voloshin,
founder of Codewards

Maxim Voloshin, founder of Codewards:

— When we were getting ready for the overhaul, we set ourselves a few goals. First, we had to make the interface easier to use and clearer, since kids 7-12 years old work with it. That obviously imposes a number of requirements and limitations on a product. We spent a long time watching kids use the previous version of the interface and drew up a sizable list of things that needed to change. For instance, we needed to add hints on how to carry out tasks and divide the screen more clearly between working space, where kids write code and put programs together, and playing space, where you see programs get executed. Second, we needed to make the interface more dynamic and distinctive. The product has its own inner story and charisma, and we wanted to bring that out without overdoing it.

Ivan Korkovidov,
director of Redmadrobot’s design lab

Ivan Korkovidov, director of Redmadrobot’s design lab:

— For any design studio, international awards like the EDA represent, above all, the recognition of the professional community. The assessments of people in the know, our target audience, can be a key factor in the selection of a contractor, especially when it comes to design.

It’s difficult for companies like Redmadrobot to win awards like this because the bulk of our clients are corporations focused on service design. And the jury evaluates products’ ideas, not just their realization. With Codewards, everything just came together.

We enjoy working with clients that have great ideas, so we’re ready to contribute to projects that have potential in competitions. For our employees, it’s a chance to show their stuff, take a break from more routine work, and find some new motivation.

Sergey Galtsev,
art director at Redmadrobot

Sergey Galtsev, art director at Redmadrobot:

— This is the Robots’ third victory at the European Design Awards, one of the most important competitions in the world of design, where every year, the best projects implemented in Europe over the preceding twelve months are presented. EDA is also noteworthy in that the jury evaluates design in various categories, from branding and book covers to sites and apps.

Redmadrobot got its first EDA in 2015 for the app Smotri+. Last year, we brought home a bronze for the project The Tsunami.

For us, the most important reason to participate in the competition isn’t that it helps in the search for European clients, but that it helps us set a standard of quality to aspire to. It’s important for us to create designs that get love abroad as well as in Russia. We had another project nominated this year, in addition to Codewards: BrickFinder, a neural-network-based app that helps children and their parents find the LEGOs they need among piles of pieces.

I think the community from Russia deserves a special mention: this year, there were a lot of great teams and projects at the ceremony.

Katerina Mikhailova, designer at Redmadrobot:

Katerina Mikhailova, designer at Redmadrobot:

— Getting nominated is already like getting an Oscar for a filmmaker. There are a lot of people whose goal is to become nominees, but once you make it onto the list, of course, you want to win.

When we got to Oslo, we already knew we’d gotten the gold. Nothing mysterious, we just went to the ceremony to get our award. By the way, the ceremony was really similar to the Oscars: a person comes out on stage, takes the envelope, looks inside, and calls the name of the winner.

Even though everyone knew what place they were getting, we were still nervous. I was crazy worried, especially when they announced our category from the stage. We waited a long time while 14 finalists took their prizes - we got our coveted gold statuette last. Then they took photos of us with our award, and my socks didn’t go unnoticed; there’s a picture of just them from the event! Because I was nervous, I don’t remember much, but the prize and the vibrant photos give me the strength and desire to create wonderful, needed products.