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On October 2nd, 2012, 20 would-be web designers took part in the first ever Design-A-Wix-A-Thon. The group of aspiring creatives gathered together at the New York City Wix Lounge and were given the task of building a Wix website in one hour. Judged by a panel of design experts, participants were offered prospective prize money of $500 for the overall winner, with additional winners to be selected from two other categories. Wix is a company that allows users to design, customize and publish their own website for free.

Established in 2006 by Giora Kaplan, Avishai Abrahami and Nadav Abrahami, Wix has developed almost 19.5 million sites to date. Based on the ‘freemium’ business model, Wix can provide “the opportunity to create a free account, access to our platform, and the ability to publish your creations anywhere on the web – for free”.

Wixxy.jpgThe Overall Site Winner- Cakehole
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Kristin Rossi was The Overall Site Winner of Design-A-Wix-A-Thon, with her site Cakehole. Rossi said; “The Wix-a-Thon was a great experience – the energy was not only competitive, but fun. Everyone just wanted to make something awesome, and the people at Wix did everything in their power to encourage that attitude. As a freelance web developer/designer, I was legitimately shocked to find how easy Wix is to use, and how versatile it is. I’m proud of what Wix helped me make, and honored to have won.”

The other categories in the competition were Best Work in Progress and Most Ambitious. Second place was awarded to Origami Studio, with third place going to Runnnin Circles. Whilst Rossi won $500, each winner also received a free yearly premium from Wix. All competitors were given a Wix premium discount and a goodie bag. Furthermore, select contestants will see their work showcased on a wider level with designs to be featured in the Wix blog, Wix Lounge newsletter and other forms of social media.

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Donal Daedalus who built the Most Ambitious Site, explains, “I had no experience using the Wix platform and within an hour I was able to make a visually compelling site that didn’t look like your standard, boring HTML tables site.”

The judging panel for Design-A-Wix-A-Thon consisted of; Rich Tu, Molly Maymar, Hagit Kaufman and Lutz+Joe. The group contributed a broad and varied set of expertise to the contest…

Award winning artist Tu is based in New York and won the Art Director Club’s Young Guns 8. His work has also been included in the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration annuals.

Maymar was initially a graphic and web designer before becoming an agent for talent agency Vitamin T.

Kaufman has been a part of since 2007 and is now the head of the Design Studio, leading a team of designers who are responsible for Wix’s design universe.

Lutz+Joe have their own company Vogel & Wishart in addition to previous directing and design experience for the award-winning production company Psyop. They also received the Directing Award in the category Documentary at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival after collaborating on Nanette Burnstein’s documentary film ‘American Teen’.

Judges Lutz Vogel and Rich Tu proclaimed the event to be a resounding success with Vogel describing it as a fun and radical night where “it was great to see what people came up with in so little time”. Tu “enjoyed seeing the possibilities of the Wix platform” stating that “Wix knows how to put a great event together, and this one was no exception.”

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The outstanding results of the Design-A-Wix-A-Thon serves as testament to the efficiency of Wix, highlighting the importance of this site as a valuable tool for creatives and upcoming designers.