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Student Design Competition

Elizabeth F. Churchill
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), USA

Steven A. Wall
University of Glasgow, UK

Important Dates:
13 January 2006, 5:00 PM (1700) PST: Submissions due.
Week of 6 February 2006: Acceptance notification.

Additional information:
Message from Elizabeth and Steve, Student Design Competition Co-Chairs
We are very excited to be continuing the student design competition in its third year. This year's problem will challenge students to apply their creativity to designing an experience in the area of health and fitness. In prior years, a number of departments have successfully incorporated the competition into their academic curriculum. We invite design programs in universities and colleges from around the world, as well as individual student teams, to consider taking part in this competition.
About the Student Design Competition
Professionals in the field of Human-Computer Interaction are unique in their ability to impact the quality of people's lives. Tackling real-world problems, HCI researchers and designers - in both academia and industry - face many fascinating challenges in designing usable and enjoyable services, applications, interfaces and environments.

This is the third year of the CHI 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.
The Design Problem
As in previous years, we invited practicing research professionals to suggest current and socially relevant areas for students to engage with. Our problem area this year was suggested independently by a number of people. Our thanks go to Elizabeth Goodman (Intel Corporation, USA), David MacDonald (University of Washington, USA), Ilona Posner (University of Toronto, Canada), and Madhu Reddy (Penn State University, USA), all of whom suggested a focus on health and fitness.

We invite students to address the following design challenge:

In recent years, nutrition and health are increasingly reported as a problem facing many nations. The World Health Organization states that "malnutrition covers a broad spectrum of ills, including under-nutrition, specific nutrient deficiencies, and over-nutrition; and it kills, maims, retards, cripples, blinds, and impairs human development on a truly massive scale world-wide". Specifically dealing with over-nutrition, the World Health Organization reports the global percentage of obesity in adults is 6%. The US Department of Health and Human Services survey reports 30.5% of adults over 20 years of age in the US are considered to be clinically obese, and approximately 300,000 adult deaths in the US each year are attributable to unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity or sedentary behavior (US Weight Control Information Network). Over-nutrition and poor exercise habits are reported to be linked to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, gall bladder disease, osteo-arthritis, sleep apnea and some forms of cancer. US employers currently lose more than $12 billion per year due to the consequences of obesity, which include increased healthcare utilization, increased absenteeism, as well as elevated health and disability insurance premiums. A UK government report estimated that the national cost of obesity and its consequences in 2002 was over £2.5 billion. A government public health white paper published in the UK in 2004 set out a number of recommendations, including health advice to be made available over the phone, internet and digital TV.

We invite student teams to design a service for personal monitoring of diet, exercise and health for individuals. Solutions need not, but could, address certain groups with specific health needs. Solutions could address educating consumers about processed and pre-packaged foods, or could address teaching children about diet and exercise. Alternatively students could address the needs of a sub-group suffering from some form of malnutrition.

To enter the competition, student teams may present either a concept (i.e., 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 human-centered design processes that have been followed.

Teams will be assessed on the exposition of methodology, the originality of design, and ability to communicate the proposed solution to the reviewers and the judges. We strongly encourage consideration of:
  • previous work in this area and in adjacent areas,
  • field work to ground your design decisions,
  • elaboration of methods for evaluating your designs within your iterative design framework.
Owing to the competitive nature of the Student Competition, CHI 2006 will not provide individual mentoring for potential submissions. Student authors may take advantage of mentoring opportunities with faculty and colleagues at their University as long as it remains mentoring and not active participation by the mentors.

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.

All members of the team must provide proof that they were students at the time the work for the competition was conducted (see Proof of Student Status below).

Proof of Student Status
To be eligible for the student competition, 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 13 January 2006. Each team must provide one proof package; please do not submit them individually. You may send your Team proof package via regular or courier mail, or email a file containing scanned copies for each team member. Please send these to:

Dr Steven Wall
Department of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
17 Lilybank Gardens
G12 8QQ

Initial submission requirements; specific requirements and general guidelines
Teams are invited to submit:

1. A short paper (6 pages maximum) submitted in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format due 13 January 2006. This paper must include:
  • a description of the approach taken to the design challenge
  • a description of the design process followed
  • a detailed description of the proposed 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, etc.)
2. A full-size draft poster, in electronic format. Please note that a physical (printed) poster is required at conference if the submission is accepted. The electronic poster for the initial submission is due on 13 January 2006, and 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
General guidelines for paper/draft poster submission
  • All submissions must be in English and must include title and author information, including author affiliations.
  • Faxed submissions are not acceptable.
  • Late submissions will not be reviewed.
  • All submissions must be preceded or accompanied by a Proof of Student Status package. (See Proof of Student Status section above).
  • The written paper should include a short abstract, keywords, body, and references (for more detail, please see the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format).
  • Submissions must not contain proprietary or confidential material and should not cite proprietary or confidential publications. All submissions must be in the camera-ready format (PDF) specified by CHI. Due to tight publication schedules, revisions will not be possible. The submitted PDF version will be considered the final version of the paper.
  • All submissions must be submitted electronically as a ZIPPED package of PDF files to chi2006-studentcomp@acm.org by the deadline of 13 January 2006, 5:00 PM (1700) PST. Please name both your ZIP package and the documents it contains using the following conventions: SDC_teamname.extension. For example: SDC_UCSC-CompSci-Weasels.ZIP, containing SDC_UCSC-CompSci-Weasels_Paper.pdf and SDC_UCSC-CompSci-Weasels_Poster.pdf. Using this naming convention helps the co-chairs and reviewers ascertain that your submission has been received and helps them track it during the review process.
We strongly recommend authors refer to the Guide to Successful Submissions: Papers and CHI Notes, in particular, the section titled: "Describing the work clearly and concisely".

Specific Guidelines for 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".
  • Audiovisual and computing equipment will not be supplied. Power outlets will not be available.
  • In the past, the inclusion of a packet of the author's business cards or an envelope of fliers attached to the poster with a short paper to elaborate on poster content has proved an effective way to communicate with interested people when you are not there.
Submission Review Criteria and Process
Each team's short paper and poster submission will be distributed to and reviewed by design and HCI experts. Care will be taken to avoid institutional conflicts.

Teams' submissions are reviewed based on:
  • 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 the written presentation
  • Quality of draft poster submission
Based on reviewers' rankings, up to 12 teams will be invited to compete at the CHI 2006 conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Teams will be notified of acceptance or rejection the week of 6 February 2006. All accepted papers are published in the Student Competition section of the CHI2006 Extended Abstracts. You must immediately sign and return the copyright form sent upon acceptance to allow publication of the Student Competition Design Solution in the CHI 2006 Extended Abstracts.

At the Conference
Following initial submission review, successful submissions will be invited to CHI 2006 to take part in the next stage(s) of the competition.

Poster Presentation: Teams whose initial submissions were recommended for acceptance by reviewers during the review process (see above) will be provided space in the convention center to display posters and discuss their proposed solutions with the CHI 2006 attendees.

A scheduled 90-minute poster presentation event will take place on Monday 24 April 2006, where student teams will be expected to host their posters and discuss their approach, design method and solutions with four expert judges. The judges will have had an opportunity to review the submissions prior to the conference. Judges will select four teams to orally present their proposed solutions during a scheduled CHI presentation session. Poster submissions will be assessed by judges on the following criteria:
  • Clear communication of key aspects of solution
  • Clear communication of design method
  • Clear communication of rationale for proposed solution
  • Visual design and aesthetic appearance
Short-Talk Presentation: Four teams from the poster presentation (see above) at CHI 2006 will be invited by the Student Design Competition judges to give a 10-minute presentation at CHI 2006.

Successful teams will be invited to present their design process and solution during a short presentation to the judges and the general CHI public. 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
Please see Standard Technical Support to understand what A/V equipment will be provided. Only the equipment listed there will be available to your session

Presentations will be reviewed by the four Student Design Competition judges. A winning team and two runners up will be selected. Team presentations will be judged based on the following criteria:
  • Clarity and organization of the oral presentation at CHI 2006
  • Relevance and clarity of presentation material (Power Point slides, video, etc)
  • Quality of argument used to justify why the solution is worthy of consideration
All accepted papers are published in the Student Competition section of the CHI2006 Extended Abstracts. In addition, the top three entries to the Student Competition earn a Certificate of Recognition. The winning entry will be recognized during the closing plenary session of the CHI 2006 conference.

Student Design Competition Checklist
Well in advance of the deadline (13 January 2006 5:00 PM (1700) PDT):
  • Prepare a short paper (up to 6 pages) in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format
  • Prepare your illustrative Poster as described in the section General Guidelines for Posters (above)
  • Submit your Design Solution package (design document and poster) as a ZIPPED package of PDF files to chi2006-studentcomp@acm.org on or before 13 January 2006, 5:00 PM (1700) PST. Please name both your ZIP package and the documents it contains using the following convention: SDC_teamname.extension.
  • Send your team Proof of Student Status on or before 13 January 2006 via email to chi2006-studentcomp@acm.org or via postal mail to:
    Dr Steven Wall
    Department of Computing Science
    University of Glasgow
    17 Lilybank Gardens
    G12 8QQ