Student Design Competition

Student Design Competition

Quick Facts

CHI 2022 is structured as a Hybrid-Onsite full conference from April 30–May 5 in New Orleans, LA.

Important Dates

All times are in Anywhere on Earth (AoE) time zone. When the deadline is day D, the last time to submit is when D ends AoE. Check your local time in AoE.

  • Submission deadline: January 13, 2022
  • Notification: January 31, 2022
  • e-rights completion deadline: February 7, 2022
  • initial upload to TAPS deadline: February 14, 2022
  • publication-ready deadline: February 28, 2022

Submission Details

Selection Process



Patricia Pei-Yi Kuo, Anusha Withana

At the Conference

Accepted submissions will participate in a juried interactive poster/ demo session. Four teams will then be chosen to advance to the next round which will involve giving a short presentation. Due to the (potentially) hybrid nature of the conference, allowances will be made for authors who cannot attend in person and for presenting the work online for remote attendees. While every attempt at fairness will be made, the hybrid nature of the conference will naturally make it challenging to compare finalists. The organizers will do their best to create an inclusive and engaging experience for all participants.

Message from the Student Design Competition Chairs

This is the 18th year of the CHI Student Design Competition (SDC), which has grown into a premiere venue for students to demonstrate their skills in Interaction Design and User Experience. The SDC poses a real-world challenge and demands that teams of students use myriad approaches (design research, brainstorming, prototyping, implementation, and evaluation, for starters) to develop their submissions. In previous years, there have been over 60 submissions from about 15 countries each year. With your entries we hope to grow those numbers and increase the quality of submissions while continuing to offer students and instructors the most hands-on, engaging, and significant design experience we can. The competition always draws a large audience at CHI and also serves as a fantastic opportunity to identify the field’s most talented students.

What is the Student Design Competition?

The Student Design Competition is aimed at meeting three goals:

  • Provide an opportunity for students from a variety of design backgrounds (HCI, industrial design, product design, visual design, interaction design, etc.) to participate in CHI and demonstrate their problem solving and design skills in an international competition with their peers.
  • Provide CHI attendees with refreshing perspectives on how design teams from different disciplines and different parts of the world approach a common design problem.
  • Provide CHI attendees with a chance to meet future professionals in our area, and provide competition participants with an opportunity to network with experienced HCI and Design professionals.

The Design Brief: Gratitude

Technology has provided numerous means through which people can connect and create new relationships, networks, practices, and cultures. It has also enabled people to realize their imaginations and shape the future. People are empowered to communicate with each other and with the world in many forms. Social technologies, mixed-reality technologies, and sensing technologies have created new opportunities for invention and solutions that make us tackle difficult challenges particularly at critical times. Technologies enable different communities of interest or practice to come together to share experiences, support one another, and to address some of the wicked problems faced by humanity, a prime example being the recent pandemic.

In the Student Design Competition, we encourage you to contribute to the design space of GRATITUDE. Use human-centered design approaches to develop a new way to express, share, or deliver our gratitude, affection, kindness, or appreciation to the broader communities at this critical time. Gratitude empowers us, stimulates positivity in our thoughts, and enhances both our physical and mental well-being. Could technology play any role in reminding us to be grateful, or help us communicate, express, or share our gratitude in any way?

The scope of this brief is broad: for example, you could focus on particular group(s) of people to show gratitude (to whom), tangible and/or intangible artifacts to express your gratitude (what), moments and events that trigger people’s gratitude (when), different ways of giving and receiving (how), mediums that facilitate feelings of gratitude (context), or even creative ways to use our body to show your affection or concerns to yourself and/or others, just to name a few. The scale and definition of gratitude can vary depending on your design aim. For instance, how to show gratitude to yourself or to people who help us fight global crisis, how to make us feel the power of gratitude and affection again considering social distancing and being apart from those you love, or even showing our acknowledgement to communities who contribute silently in our society. You can base your designs on current affairs, phenomenon, design innovations, or you could aim to create a new one.

You may adopt design strategies such as participatory design, co-creation and co-design, service design, design for social innovation, inclusive design and open innovation. You may come up with a participatory design and co-creation approach using existing technologies or you may find opportunity in contemporary developments in technology, such as 3D printing, digital fabrication, citizen sensing, the maker movement, the sharing economy, big data, social networks, IoT, gamification, new sensors and actuators, and Augmented/ Virtual Reality, to name just a few. Remember, though, that sometimes the best design solution or design approach may flow from a simple yet sharp insight gleaned from research, and might require only minimal technology – what is important is that your choice of technology and design solution should be appropriate for the particular context you are focusing on.

For this year’s design challenge, we particularly encourage that the following criteria be considered:

  • Does your design specify the definition and scale of “gratitude”?
  • Does your design address a specific situation and/or context?
  • Does your design use technology in an appropriate and novel way?
  • Was the design well-crafted and effectively presented?
  • Was the design validated in an appropriate and valid way to demonstrate the fulfillment of your design goal?
  • Was relevant prior work properly identified and cited?
  • Were analysis, synthesis, design and evaluation both systematic and sufficient?
  • Was the design developed far enough to demonstrate the key ideas?
  • Were genuine stakeholders involved in the process of research, development and evaluation?
  • Were the research process and the involvement of stakeholders ethically appropriate (e.g., were institutional guidelines followed)?
  • Did the team explore the entire ecosystem of stakeholders, conditions, and contexts?

Student Team Requirements

Teams must consist of at least two, but no more than five students. There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given University or organization. However, one student cannot be part of multiple teams.

Submissions are invited from all students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to postgraduate. While not a mandatory requirement, it is strongly encouraged that the teams put forward a multidisciplinary and/or multi-national team. We will provide an optional slack channel for interested students to pitch their interests and find collaborators across the world. This will be made available in July/August 2021.

The Student Design Competition is for students, but we understand that advisors may assist in conceptualization and writing. The list of authors should include 1) a majority of students and 2) at most two non-student supervisors. To be eligible for the student competition, all student participants must provide either:

  • A) a signed letter from their academic supervisor confirming that they follow an academic course of study and that they were not employed within design-related industries when working on the team’s submission
  • B) proof of registration/enrollment in a 2021 semester.

Each team must provide one proof package – a single file containing a scanned proof document for each team member – together with their project submission.

Preparing and Submitting your Student Design Competition Submission

Student Design Competition submissions must be submitted via the PCS Submission System by January 13, 2022. The submission must have the following four components, and meet the accessibility requirements at CHI. If you have any questions or concerns about creating accessible submissions, please contact the Accessibility Chairs at

  1. Paper submission: Teams will submit a non-anonymized document, up to 8 pages long (including references) following the ACM Master Article Submission Templates (single column). Submissions not meeting the page limit or formatting requirements will be automatically disqualified. This document should be submitted as a single PDF and the file must be no larger than 10 Mb in size. The Paper submission should include:
    • A description of your chosen design focus and proposed solution, with a summary of the approaches taken within your design process, the real life problems that you are solving, and your main claims for your proposed solution with evaluation results
    • Reference to design principles, sources of inspiration, and HCI theory where appropriate and relevant
    • Acknowledgement of partial or incomplete solutions
    • Acknowledgement of any assistance drawn from outside the student team (advisors, faculty, domain experts, existing solutions, users, etc.)
  2. Poster: The poster design should be reduced to one standard letter page in size and submitted in PDF format and the file must be no larger than 10 Mb in size. The poster must include:
    • The proposed solution’s name, team name, school affiliation
    • The perspective taken to address the design challenge
    • A concise description of the proposed solution
    • Clear illustrations of key aspects of your proposed solution
    • Compelling, effective visual design
  3. Video. Teams must provide a supplementary video (max 5-minutes — check technical and accessibility requirements for video content at CHI), with a file-size no larger than 100Mb. The video may illustrate how your solution fits the lives of the users with the help of scenarios. It may also illustrate some details of the interface and the information presented. The Supplementary Video may include:
    • Examples of significant contextual data and its analysis (primary, secondary research or both)
    • Key creative sources of design inspiration (existing designs and systems)
    • Sketches of the evolving solution
    • Scenarios depicting how the solution fits in the life of users and solves problems / engages them / entertains them
    • Details of the interface and information design where relevant
    • Highlights of significant evaluation results
  4. Proof of Student Status: submit a note signed by your academic supervisor verifying all of the following information:
    • your university
    • whether you were a graduate or undergraduate when the work was done
    • confirmation that all members of the team are currently registered in an academic program. Participants must be students pursuing an academic degree at the time of initial submission (early 2022). Transcripts or scanned IDs will not be accepted as a proof. All students must provide proof of their student status by the letter mentioned above. Each team must provide one proof package (a single file containing scanned signed letters for each team member) together with their project submission.

The Competition Structure

The competition follows a three-round process. Each team’s short paper submission will be reviewed by both academic and professional design and usability experts. Each round focuses on communicating the team’s ideas through a different mode.

Round One: Paper Submission, Poster and Video

Expert reviewers will evaluate submissions of paper, video and poster. A maximum of 12 teams will be selected to attend the CHI conference. All submissions must be in English and must include title and author information, including author affiliations. Please be sure that submissions do not contain proprietary or confidential material and do not cite proprietary or confidential publications. Student Design Competition authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection by email along with instructions about how to submit the publication-ready version of their Paper, Poster Design, and Video.

Round Two: Poster Presentation

Submissions selected for round two of the competition will be evaluated during a poster session at CHI 2022. A scheduled 80-minute poster presentation event will take place during the conference. Accepted teams are expected to attend the conference to give a poster presentation outlining their design, and discuss their proposed solution with a panel of Student Design Competition Judges. Based on the results from the poster session, the judges will select four teams to present their proposed solutions orally during a scheduled presentation session named “Student Design Competition Final”. Teams will also be provided space in the convention center to display posters and discuss their proposed solutions with the CHI 2022 attendees.

Round Three: Final Presentation

The four teams selected by the judges following the Poster Presentations will present their design process and solution during the “Student Design Competition Final”. The session will be open to all CHI attendees. During the final round, students will have the opportunity to give a short presentation of their research (10 minutes) followed by a question and answer period (5 minutes), which will be evaluated by a panel of judges.

Presentations must include:

  • The design process that was followed
  • A concise description of the proposed solution
  • Reference to design principles and theory where appropriate
  • Acknowledgement of partial or incomplete solutions

The top four entries to the Student Competition earn a Certificate of Recognition. The winning entry will be recognized during the closing plenary session of the CHI 2022 conference. Winners will be announced during the closing plenary.

Student Design Competition Selection Criteria

Each team’s paper submission will be reviewed by both academic and professional design and usability experts.

Round one, the written submission, will be reviewed based on:

  • Short description of how your proposed design fits with this year’s design prompt
  • Use of appropriate design methods such as ethnography, contextual research, phenomenological/autobiographical methods, secondary research, reflection, critique, analysis, and empirical evaluation
  • Clarity and credibility of design focus, purpose and solution relative to the posed challenge
  • Originality and quality of the design solution, including claims and their supporting evidence
  • Innovation within the design process
  • Quality of design management
  • Clarity of the submission and supplementary material
  • Meet the accessibility requirements of CHI 2022

Round two, the poster submission, will be judged based on:

  • Clear communication of key aspects of solution
  • Clear communication of design approaches
  • Clear communication of arguments for proposed solution
  • Craft quality of the solution

Round three, the presentation, will be judged based on:

  • Clarity and organization of the oral presentation
  • Relevance and clarity of presentation material (slides, video, etc)
  • Quality of argument used to justify why the solution is worthy of consideration
  • Quality, originality and relevance of design solution

Submissions should not contain sensitive, private, or proprietary information that cannot be disclosed at publication time. Submissions should NOT be anonymous. However, confidentiality of submissions will be maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference, with the exception of title and author information which will be published on the website prior to the conference.

Additional PDF Accessibility Advice

  1. A trial version of Adobe Acrobat Pro is available, and it will let you tag papers (
  2. Speak to your co-authors to see if they have the resources to help make your paper accessible. Learning how to do PDF tagging will benefit our community in the long run.
  3. If the above steps are not possible, you can send the PDF to the Accessibility Chairs at However, please refrain from sending us your PDF too early. We want to reduce repeated efforts and if your paper needs to go through TAPS again, then it will need to be retagged. Send the PDF after you are confident no more corrections will need to be made.

Competition Reviewers and Judges

Invited Competition Judges (by last name in alphabetical order):

  • Prof. Ellen Do, ATLAS Institute and Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
  • Prof. Masa Inakage, Keio Media Design (KMD), Keio University, Japan
  • Prof. Marianna Obrist, UCLIC and Computer Science, UCL, UK
  • Prof. Stephen Schueller, University of California, Irvine, USA

Invited Competition Reviewers (by last name in alphabetical order):

  • Andrea Barbarin, Design Research Practice Lead, Experience Excellence – IBM Design Program Office
  • Mary Barreto, University of Madeira
  • Dominique Chen, Waseda University
  • Yoram Chisik, Independent Scholar
  • Nediyana Daskalova, Spotify
  • Samitha Elvitigala, The University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Jan Fell, National Tsing Hua University
  • Eureka Foong, Tokyo College, the University of Tokyo
  • Guo Freeman, Clemson University
  • Phil Gough, The University of Sydney
  • Jeff (Chuan-Che) Huang, Bose Labs
  • Julie Hui, University of Michigan
  • Yumiko Murai, Simon Fraser University
  • Aditya Shekhar Nittala, Saarland University
  • Mmachi Obiorah, University of Richmond
  • Alexandra Papoutsaki, Pomona College
  • Roshan Peiris, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Nimesha Ranasinghe, University of Maine
  • Deepak Sahoo, Swansea University
  • Adwait Sharma, Saarland University
  • Dennis Wang, University of California, Irvine
  • Clement Zheng, National University of Singapore

If, when submitting to this venue, you detect a conflict of interest with one of its program committee members, contact the chairs. Should you have a conflict with the venue chairs themselves, contact the technical program chairs (

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