For the past 17 years, I’ve been a judge for the Web Marketing Association’s Web Awards. Each year, I notice small, incremental trends in the way companies approach design.

Back in 2004, I was able to keep track of websites I judged and remembered what they looked like. 10 years ago, one of the biggest trends was the use of floating elements and JavaScript animation. 5 years ago, everyone was using jQuery and there was a huge push to single page applications. This year, everyone seems to have a responsive site and many are following best practices. I’m surprised not to see many Progressive Web Apps.

If you are unfamiliar with their awards, I must score sites based on the following questions:

  • How pleasing is the site design given the target audience?
  • How easy is the site to navigate?
  • Is the copy on the site telling the message effectively?
  • How innovative is the site? (in terms of layout, design, content and technology)
  • Does the content seem appropriate to the audience? Does it seem to be dynamic and interesting?
  • How well does the site use technology to increase the user’s experience?
  • How well does the site allow the user to interact with the site provider?

Good luck to all of the submissions in 2020. To see the winners of previous years, visit To see the winners from 2003, my first year, visit

WebAwards 2020