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about 10 years ago

Two weeks to go! Are you ready?

With just two weeks left, we’re sure you’ve had your fair share of sleepless nights. But we’re here to cheer you on as you race towards the finish line! (And to those of you who haven't started yet: we're here for you! Explore the quick-start guide and get some inspiration from our previous ideas & tips update.)

Here are a few tips on getting your submission in tip-top shape before the deadline on August 20, 5 pm EDT:

  • Double-check the fine print. Make sure that you’ve read the Official Rules and understand all the different parts of your submission. There’s nothing worse for the judges than having to disqualify a submission based on a technicality, no matter how small it may seem.
  • Ask others to test your app. You’re required to provide testing instructions with your submission, so that judges can understand how your app works. Are you confident that you’ve made your instructions easy to follow -- especially for someone completely unfamiliar with your product? Try sending a copy to your friends and family, and ask them to test your app. It’s a great opportunity to get feedback, clarify whatever’s confusing, and fix any bugs.
  • Don’t forget about your video. A video is a great way to help judges understand your app in a way that words just can’t. But, make sure you understand what you should and shouldn’t do in your video -- such as using third-party copyrighted material or trademarks without written permission to do so (read Section 6 of the rules).

How to make a great submission video

Aside from your app, your submission video is one of the most important things you’ll include in your submission! In fact, it’s sometimes one of the only things that judges review.

Although they are encouraged to, judges are not required to test each and every app. Therefore, it’s extremely important to demonstrate your app’s functionality in your video. That means carefully walking through your app’s features and showing how each one works.

You’ve already built an awesome app, now show it off with a great video! Here are some tips on how:

  • Use an emulator or create a screencast. Snazzy marketing videos are great for promotional purposes, but they don’t help judges understand and evaluate your app. We strongly recommend creating a screencast or using an emulator so the judges understand exactly how to use your app. Remember — they are not required to test each and every app, so it’s to your advantage to include a step-by-step demo in your video!

  • What’s your elevator pitch? Be sure to explain why your app is awesome in the first few seconds of your video. You can get into the details of how it works immediately after, but treat the opening seconds of your video as you would a movie trailer or TV ad: pique your audience’s interest.

  • Keep it simple. Videos should be no longer than five minutes. You won’t be disqualified if yours is, but judges will likely stop watching after the five minute mark.

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your video. Keep in mind that the time it takes to upload/process a video on YouTube or Vimeo varies greatly depending on the format of your original video, file size, upload traffic and Internet connection speed. As such, uploading your video could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or more. Don’t procrastinate!  

  • Edit. The great thing about screencasting is that you can show viewers only the best parts. Edit out the messy stuff, if you can, and don’t be afraid to do multiple takes!

  • Get organized. Write out a script of what you’ll say/show in your video, rehearse it before recording and keep in mind all of the above!

Don’t know much about recording videos? Check out these helpful screencasting tips.

You're nearly there. Good luck!

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Good luck!