Video Making Tips

Learn about our optional Video Testimonial entry component and how it can make a difference. You’ll find Rules and Tips for making your video as well as examples that demonstrate a range of approaches and just how straightforward it can be.


The Short Video Testimonial

It’s optional and encouraged. View this entry component as a rare opportunity to tell the jury about your design, and convey your belief in it, in a way that text and images can’t. You have a maximum of 2 minutes and 30 seconds to share what you set out to do, what’s notable about your design, and why it deserves an award.

Think of it as a "Show and Tell" – holding up your design, doing a demo if appropriate, pointing to distinguishing characteristics, etc. You may use any visuals you like, if you choose to. Since we intend for these to be easy to make, we encourage you to go low-tech and informal, even straight-to-webcam. It’s your testimonial, not the execution of your video, that counts.


How to Include Your Video With Your Entry

Upload your video file at the Submit Video step of the Entry Form. Please review the formats and restrictions below to ensure your video will qualify.


Rules for your Video

  • Your video file must be an acceptable size and format to make it to the jury. The file size must not exceed 200MB and must be in one of the following trusted formats: .avi .dv .mov .qt .mpg .mpg2 .mpeg2 .mpeg4 .mp4 .3gp .3g2 .asf .wmv .flv.
  • Maintain anonymity as much as possible (no names, no company names, no credits, no logos, or identifying marks, no urls).
  • Keep the length of your video a maximum of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Longer videos may not make it to the jury.
  • Title your video file with your project name: eg
  • All videos must be in English.
  • There is a limit of one video per entry.


Flip4Mac WMV in QuickTime Container, Multiple sample descriptions for a single stream, Live HTTP Streaming manifest/playlist, Multichannel PCM audio with a bit depth smaller than 8, Multichannel audio with more than 8 channels, LPCM audio in SMPTE 302M stream



Apple Intermediate, HDV 720p60, ProRes 4444, Go2Meeting3/4, ER AAC LD
If your video is unsupported or if you’re not sure try this:


1. Open your video in Quicktime Player
2. Select File > Export
3. Select Format: iPad, iPhone 4 & Apple TV
4. Click Export


1 Download Handbreak
2. Select Apple > iPad from the presets
3. Click Start

If you are still having problems email us at


Tips For Creating Your Video

1. Keep the setting as straightforward and informal as you want it to be.

2. Make it personal. This is your story told your way. It should have a healthy dose of Point of View and be compelling to watch.

3. Hit the following points:

  • What you were trying to do when you were designing your project.
  • What’s great about it, what separates it from what’s already out there, and why it deserves the world’s attention.

Have fun while you’re doing it! This is supposed to be a delightful, informative, and personal addition to the required entry materials.


Sample Videos

Get inspiration for your video testimonial from our sample video makers. Explore different approaches (and learn what to avoid). Use props, people, technology; whatever works and is at your disposal.



Example #1: Wear It, Work It, Own It

Last year’s DIY Jury Captain, Becky Stern, does a great job with this example. The subject of her video is her TV-B-Gone project–a jacket with hidden powers–that she created while working at Make: Online and CRAFT. Her approach to the video testimonial? A combination of demoing the jacket (wearing it, showing how it works) and zeroing in on the details so we can see the components and how it was all put together. It’s a great example of a video that is part personal, part produced, and all narrative, with a continuous voiceover that stitches the parts together with a nice flow, keeping us, the audience, engaged.

Note: Becky’s video came in at 1-minute-30 seconds. You do not have to be quite as efficient so long as you don’t exceed the 2-minute-30-second limit.



Example #2: Use Place or Props

Lavrans Løvlie, Director of Live/Work in Oslo, contextualizes his testimonial by filming across from the site of his office’s project. Employing a stack of blown-up text and images, he talks the viewer through the most notable points of the project: the service design for Oslo’s new Public Library. His video testimonial is direct and precise while providing a sense of place (bonus points for snow!).

Note: Lavrans introduces himself at the start of his video and the video concludes with Live/Work’s url. However, entrants must keep their video anonymous.



Example #3: Tell It to Somebody Else

Recruit a friend/collaborator, as Craig Mod does. In his video, the writer/designer/developer introduces us to his Hitotoki project, a protocol that collects moments and maps them on the web, by way of an interview-style exchange with his friend and interaction design colleague
Liz Danzico. Since Liz is thousands of miles away, they record their exchange over the Internet. Craig’s is a perfect example of how you can use your computer, the web and a willing interviewer to make a testimonial. Craig captures his using Quicktime’s screen record function which also allows him to demo the Hitotoki site. Easy.

Note: At over 3 minutes, Craig breaks our 2-and-a-half minute rule so, watch that clock!


Example #4: Give the Tour

Let your cursor do the walking. Perhaps your project is best told with digital images or diagrams, or by clicking through a website. Or maybe you just prefer to be behind the camera. As Dror Benshetrit, of Studio Dror, shows in his video testimonial, a "screencast" will record a straightforward presentation of digital assets and a voiceover. Using Jing, the online screencasting software, and a bunch of files on his computer, Dror narrates a seamless journey through his QuaDror system, simply by clicking from one image to another and telling us what we’re seeing. Easy to set up, works with files you already have, and best of all, you needn’t leave your chair.


Visit our 2013 Video Gallery

For more inspiration, see a selection of videos entered into the 2013 Core77 Design Awards.