Quick Facts
  • Submission: 8 Jan 2008 (5:00pm PST)
  • Notification: 30 Jan 2008
  • Camera Ready: 5 Feb 2008
  • Submission Format: Camera-ready unanonymized 6 page extended abstract in Extended Abstracts format and proof of all team members' student status.
  • At the Conference: Up to 12 accepted design competition submissions will give posters at the conference; 4 of these teams will also give a presentation.
  • Archives: Extended abstracts; DVD and ACM Digital Library
  • Frequently Asked Questions: wickedproblems.com/chi08sdc.html
Message from the Student Design Competition Chairs

This is the fifth year of the CHI Student Design Competition. The competition has grown each year with increased international representation, and always draws a large audience at CHI – it has become a prime recruiting opportunity for identifying talented students. In 2007 there were over 50 submissions from 19 institutions, in 11 countries.

Jon Kolko, frog design
Ilona Posner, Usability Consultant
Contact us: chi2008-studentdesign@acm.org

Congratulations, Winners!

1st place: Ńuu Xaa: A System to Support Homeless People's Self-Subsistence Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca, Mexico - Edaena Itzel Bautista Ruiz, Laura Elena Hernádez Dominguez, Cynthia Fátima Julián, Loaeza, José Antonio Velasco Pérez

2nd place: doGooder: Fostering volunteer communities to serve the homeless University of Michigan, USA - Joshua Morse, Jacqueline Cerretani, Sameer Halai, James Laing, Melissa Perez

3rd place: Enroll Me! - A Portable Device to Facilitate Homeless Student Enrollment Indiana University, USA - Eugene Chang, Xi Zhu, Hillary Elmore, Jun Youp Kim

4th place: GuardDV: A Proximity Detection Device for Homeless Survivors of Domestic Violence Iowa State University, USA - Zayira Jord-Conde, William Eric Marsh, Andrew W. Luse, Li-Shan Eva Tao

What is the Student Design Competition?

The 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, etc.) to participate in CHI and demonstrate their problem solving and design skills in an international competition against 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 Problem

A home is one’s castle, yet not all of the citizens of the planet can claim the kingdom. The UN Human Settlements Programme estimates that there are 3 million homeless in the EU, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development reference close to three quarters of a million homeless in the US. Some are temporarily homeless by environmental circumstance, while some are born into poverty; some even elect a nomadic lifestyle rather than participate in the culturally accepted norms of society. Whatever the reason, these people often depend on public services and support for food, shelter, medicine, and other forms of necessary assistance and guidance.

Design an object, interface, system, or service intended to support the state of living without a house. Use methods of ethnography and contextual research to understand the problem space, and develop user-centered design solutions to support, assist, enhance or otherwise benefit your target audience. Your solution could address the environmental state of being without a house, including issues of physical sustenance and safety, or it could investigate the emotional, social and cultural needs of this group of people.

To enter the competition, student teams may present either a concept (a clear, detailed design specification that can be taken to prototype), or a fully realized prototype. Either way, teams must clearly illustrate their design decisions and demonstrate the user centered design processes that have been followed. We strongly encourage consideration of:

  • Previous work in this area and in adjacent areas
  • Ethnography and contextual research to ground your design decisions
  • Elaboration of methods for evaluating your designs within your iterative design framework

Click here to read frequently asked questions and answers concerning the ethical implications of this competition: wickedproblems.com/chi08sdc.html

The Competition Structure

The competition follows a three round process. Each round focuses on communicating the team's ideas through a different mode, as follows:

  1. Teams will submit a short paper (6 pages maximum) describing their design solution. Expert reviewers will evaluate submissions and a maximum of 12 teams will be selected to attend the CHI conference.
  2. Accepted teams will be 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. The Judges will select 4 teams to participate in the competition final.
  3. The 4 finalists will give an oral presentation on their design to the panel of Student Design Competition Judges and CHI conference attendees. Based on the criteria below, the competition judges will rank and identify an overall winner of the competition and two runner-up teams (second and third place).

Attendance at the CHI 2008 conference is mandatory for selected teams to reach stage 2 of the above process.

Round One: Paper
Teams should prepare a camera ready unanonymized paper (6 pages maximum) written in the Extended Abstracts format. This document should submitted as a single PDF by 8 Jan 2008, (5:00 PM PST) to the PCS submission system. The file must be no larger than 4 Mb in size.

This paper must include:

  • A description of the proposed solution, including the approach taken and the design process followed
  • Imagery (as appropriate) to illustrate the design solution
  • Reference to design principles and theory where appropriate
  • Acknowledgement of partial or incomplete solutions
  • Acknowledgement of any assistance drawn from outside the student team (advisors, faculty, domain experts, existing solutions, users, etc.)

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. Due to tight publication schedules, revisions will not be possible. The submitted PDF version will be considered the final version of the paper.

Round Two: Poster
Up to 12 successful submissions will be invited to CHI 2008 to take part in the next stage(s) of the competition, based upon reviewer ratings and comments. Teams will be provided space in the convention center to display posters and discuss their proposed solutions with the CHI 2008 attendees.

A scheduled 90-minute poster presentation event will take place during the conference. Student teams will be expected to host their posters and discuss their approach, design method and solutions with the Student Design Competition Judges. The competition judges will select four teams to orally present their proposed solutions during a scheduled Student Design Competition Final CHI presentation session.

Specific guidelines for preparing posters:

  • Each poster will have a display space approximately 8 feet wide and 4 feet high.
  • The poster is expected to follow the International Standards Organization (ISO) poster size format (A0) in portrait orientation. The dimensions for A0 format are 84cm x 119cm, or approximately 33" x 47". Either landscape or portrait orientation is acceptable.
  • Audiovisual and computing equipment will not be supplied. Power outlets will not be available.

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

Poster board panels are 250 cm tall by 100 cm wide (98" high by 39" wide). Posters will *have* to be printed portrait style and will be hung with molding clay.

Round Three: Presentation
Four teams selected following the Poster Presentations will present their design process and solution during a short presentation to the Judges and CHI attendees. Presentations will be limited to 10 minutes plus a subsequent 5 minutes to answer questions from the judges and audience. 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
Reviewing Criteria

Each team's short paper submission will be distributed to and reviewed by both academics and professionals.

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

  • Use of ethnography and contextual research
  • Analysis of/approach to the proposed challenge
  • Appropriateness/relevance of the solution to the posed challenge
  • Originality of the solution
  • Quality of the design process
  • Quality of the argument for the proposed solution
  • Cost efficiency of solution
  • Clarity of writing

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

  • Clear communication of key aspects of solution
  • Clear communication of design method
  • Clear communication of rationale for proposed solution
  • Visual design and aesthetic appearance

Round three, the presentation, will be reviewed 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

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 2008 conference, and will receive up to 4 student conference registrations for CHI 2009, compliments of the SIGCHI Conference Management Committee!


Faculty Advisor (New)
Each team must designate a faculty advisor to oversee their project. Any level of faculty may be deemed the faculty advisor. A faculty member may serve as an advisor to a maximum of two teams. The advisor is responsible for ensuring ethical, safe and appropriate research standards are followed throughout the relevant phases of the design project.

Proof of Student Status
To be eligible for the student competition, all participants must provide a signed letter from their academic supervisor confirming that at least 50% of their working week is spent following an academic course of study, and that they were not employed within HCI-related industries when working on the team's submission. All students must provide proof of their student status on or before 8 Jan 2008. Each team must provide one proof package - a single file containing scanned signed letters for each team member - together with their project submission.

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.

Submissions are invited from all students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to post-graduate. While not a mandatory requirement, it is strongly encouraged that the teams put forward a multidisciplinary, multi-national team.

Advancing to Round Two
Based on reviewers' rankings, up to 12 teams will be invited to compete at the CHI 2008 conference. Authors of accepted submissions will be expected to attend the conference in order to participate in the later stages of the competition, and to present their submissions to other conference attendees. Due to the collaborative nature of the team competition, it is essential that at least two of the team members attend the poster presentation and final competition at the conference. We regret that the ACM cannot provide funding for authors of accepted submissions to attend the conference. However, we strongly recommend that authors of submissions sign up as a CHI Student Volunteer.

Teams will be notified of acceptance or rejection on 30 Jan 2008. All accepted papers will be published in the Student Competition section of the CHI2008 Extended Abstracts as well as in the ACM digital Library. Teams must immediately sign and return the copyright form sent upon acceptance.

In preparation for the second phase of the competition, all accepted teams must submit a completed poster design (electronic copies in PDF format) three weeks before the conference to allow the judges a chance to familiarize themselves with the submissions.