Message from the Design Community Chairs

The CHI2008 Design Community Call seeks to engage and encourage a broad definition of “design” and “design community” and to align the CHI conference’s design events with the DIS and DUX conferences.

This year we seek four types of design contributions:

  • Design Case Studies (long form)
  • Design Sketches (short form)
  • Design Theatre (non-traditional performed presentation)
  • Design Community Events ( an experience of topical interest to the design community)

We encourage members of the design community, inclusive of researchers and practitioners in design, usability, engineering, and management disciplines, whose work meets the criteria for Case Studies, Sketches, Theatre, and Events to submit directly to the Design Community. Submissions to the Design Community are peer reviewed by design practitioners. Accepted works will appear in the CHI2008 Extended Abstracts disk and in the ACM Digital Library (please see acceptance criteria below).

While contributions to the design community are focused on design methods, concepts, and implementations, work in these areas is also appropriate and welcome in other conference venues. Please review the submission guidelines for each venue before you formulate your contribution and decide to which venue it is best suited.

We especially encourage submissions that:

  • Champion the cause of designing for people first
  • Focus on design process as a combination of science, art, and craft; with method and intuition figuring prominently
  • Showcase new standards of emotional experience
  • Demonstrate aesthetic excellence
  • Advance the field of design research and rhetoric

For a summary of all CHI 2008 submission types and venues, see the Authors page.

Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson, ACCESS Systems Americas
Sebastiano Bagnara, University of Sassari-Alghero
Jonathan Arnowitz, Google Inc
Contact us:

Contribution Type: Design Theatre

Please see the Design Theatre Call.

Contribution Type: Design Community Event

Please see the Design Community Event Call.

Contribution Type: Design Case Study

Since the first Design Expo at CHI2001, the ACM Digital Library’s collection of design case studies has continued to grow. Previous CHI conferences included some case studies under the category Experience Reports. This year long-form case studies can be submitted directly to the Design Community as a full Case Study, following the long format familiar to practitioners from the DUX conference. The CHI conference design community expands on the DUX audience by including case studies whose central points revolve around design management and design research.

A Design Case Study offers a comprehensive and richly illustrated narrative of a specific project in human-computer interaction. It addresses the objectives of the project, the processes used, challenges met by the team, what worked, and what did not work. A case study reports on a project completed within the last two years. The case study must include evidence of how the design was received by its audience – the quality of the user experience – and the degree to which the design met the project objectives.

Case studies tell a full story, ideally from multiple perspectives. The focus is on sharing the design experience with your audience and critically reflecting on both process and results, where results are lessons learned – good or bad. The commercial value of the design work reported is not significant. Work reported can be exploratory in nature, commercial, academic, or personal. Case studies can reflect on research, production, managing the design process, or extending the concept of interaction with computers.

Submissions should show designs and/or implementations of solutions to design problems in the user experience of interactive systems (the user experience includes visual, interaction, information and business design issues). An important part of the experience is the exchange of ideas among presenters and the audience.

Studies will be accepted based on the quality of writing, meeting submission criteria, and following the submission guidelines. The quality of the design is not the primary criterion; more important is the well-structured sharing of an experience that is useful to the audience and, within reason, reports valuable guidance through repeatable actions. Case Studies are published on the Conference CD-ROM as well as on-line at the ACM Digital Library.

Contribution Type: Design Sketch

Design Sketches are short-form case studies, typically addressing a smaller project or a focused perspective on a larger project and often on a work that is still in progress. A design sketch illustrates an interaction concept and is explicit about project goals, methods, and lessons learned in a condensed format. Sketches can address concepts or partial implementations. As such, they need not include evidence of user reactions to the concept, but they must include next steps the authors intend to take to advance the work. Sketches should focus on the design activity and include illustrations.

Sketches will be accepted based on novelty of the concept, treatment of the design process, and clarity of the actual design. Submissions must meet the submission criteria and follow the submission guidelines. Strong preference is given to works previously not published or presented. Sketches are published on the Conference CD-ROM as well as on-line at the ACM Digital Library.


For individuals new to design contributions, we offer mentoring directly through the Design chairs. If you wish to submit a long paper to CHI 2008, please refer to the general conference mentoring process.

Mentoring assistance helps you to decide whether your proposed contribution fits submission criteria and is likely to be of interest to the overall CHI community. Mentoring assistance is limited; requests for assistance will be matched to available mentors who will work with authors to establish whether a proposal is ready for presentation in a specific conference venue. Mentoring does not provide assistance with research, writing, validation, or copyediting. Please contact the Design Chairs if you would like assistance in preparing your submission.

Review Criteria

Case Studies and Sketches offer narratives of the challenges of an activity, the processes used, and the results achieved (good or bad), including the impact on all stakeholders, such as the user community, the sponsoring organization, and technology providers. Accepted submissions will be chosen on the merit and contribution of the report, not only on the quality of the outcome that it describes. This means that a valuable lesson learned from a poor outcome is just as acceptable as a valuable lesson learned from a good result.