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Experience Reports

Experience reports are examples of HCI practice that are based on real world experience, described and generalized in a way to be of interest and instructive to other members of the community. Potential examples include:
  • the design of an artifact
  • the development and use of a design or usability process
  • a tool for design, creation, or evaluation of user experiences
  • a method for evaluating usability
  • how usability and user experience are integrated into engineering practice in a particular organization
  • an approach to teaching HCI principles.
Experience report topics overlap with papers and CHI notes, but experience reports are reviewed under different criteria. An experience report is a description of a specific instance with information about how it might be generalized, but, in contrast to a paper or note, the experience report focuses on the success of the approach in a particular context, showing the idiosyncrasies of the context, and leaves it to the listener to determine whether the approach is applicable to his or her environment. Of course, what makes a particular experience report compelling is that it is potentially relevant to a wide range of situations, but we don't expect the author to rigorously establish the applicability outside the original situation.

Experience reports can be submitted to any of the following communities: Design, Education, Engineering, Management, and Usability. Cross community experience reports are encouraged; select one of the relevant communities to submit to and in your cover letter explain what other communities your proposal relates to. The proposal will be reviewed by members of all relevant communities.

Format of Submissions
The primary submission material consists of a 6 page extended abstract in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format. This information must include the title, names and affiliations of the authors, an abstract of no more than 150 words, keywords for indexing, and classification keywords for inclusion the ACM digital library. Within the page constraints, describe the experience, focusing on the lessons you want readers to take away from the presentation. Your extended abstract must stand alone; readers must be able to understand the experience report with only this material.

You may augment the extended abstract with additional material that supports your thesis. The submission of any supporting material should take into account the demands of the reviewing process and neither be excessive in length nor require close scrutiny. Typical supporting materials will be documents (pictures, etc) or interactive media (e.g., flash prototypes) that have been produced for other purposes, which may help the reviewing committee to understand why this work is of interest to the CHI community. Supporting materials will not be the primary input to the decision-making process, but may be used in identifying suitable reviewers, resolving difficult decisions and for planning the conference program. Examples of suitable supporting materials might include product screenshots, product reviews, design process documentation, a usability report, a low fidelity prototype, etc. Our intent is to make submission of experience reports lightweight by allowing practitioners to leverage material created during the activity, without having to completely rewrite it for publication.

Please provide a manifest, in PDF, of the auxiliary documents in your submission. The manifest should explain the nature and purpose of each of the submitted items; if the report is relevant to multiple communities, include that information in your manifest. Then combine your files into a single zipped document.

CHI 2006 will try to provide mentors for individuals who have not been published at CHI before and would like assistance in preparing their experience report/interactivity submission. Please see Mentoring for more information. The deadline to request a mentor is 14 July 2005.

Review Criteria
Experience reports 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.

Submissions will be reviewed independently by reviewers drawn from the relevant community(ies). The review criteria will be the extent to which the experience reported:
  • is of interest to a broad segment of the targeted community or communities
  • advances the state of the practice
  • is described in a way that experienced practitioners can replicate the activity in their environment
  • makes a convincing argument that the experience is applicable beyond the specific example described
  • is clear about the limitations both of the report and of the activity described.
Confidentiality of Submissions
Confidentiality of submissions is 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, 22 April 2006. The supporting material will be kept confidential, though it is the expectation of the committee that much of it will be communicated in the presentation. The extended abstract should contain no information or materials that are proprietary at publication time.

At the Conference
Participants will present their report in a scheduled session. Please see Standard Technical Support for information about the kind of technical and A/V support that will be provided by the conference.

Experience Reports Submission Checklist
  • Read all the above material.
  • Prepare a 6-page extended abstract in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format.
  • Test that your PDF prints correctly and is six pages or less.
  • Gather your supporting material. The files should be in standard formats that will be accessible to reviewers using all types of computers (PC, Macintosh, Linux).
  • Create a manifest in pdf format that provides the name and description of each file in the set of supporting material. Also include in your manifest any communities beyond your primary community that you want involved in the review of this submission.
  • updated Combine all your supporting files into a single zipped document. The zipped document must be no more than 40 Mbytes in size.
  • updated Submit both the extended abstract and the zip file of supporting material to the CHI 2006 submission web site under Experience Reports. The extended abstract is your primary submission, and the zip file must be submitted as an auxiliary file. All parts of your submission must be received no later than 14 October 2005, 5:00 PM (1700) PST.