Design Competition

Important Dates

  • May 15, 2013: Submission of Idea Documentation
  • June 1, 2013: Notification of Acceptance
  • July 1, 2013: Camera Ready Deadline

Quick Links

Why Participate?

An increasing number of participants at MobileHCI are designers. However, we understand the conventional conference publication formats do not necessarily do justice to the ingenious design talents. Design Competition is a special track to allow designers in both industry and academia to shine with their brilliance in front of the MobileHCI community. The selected entrants will be given a chance to present their work at the conference in front of jury members and all conference attendees. This year, we want to highlight the importance of prototyping and evaluating in the real context in the submission and presentation, hopefully for the community to have a chance to showcase and compare various practices.

Who Can and Should Participate?

The door is open to everyone - students or professionals. If you are a confident designer, but never had a chance to present at MobileHCI, then this is a perfect challenge for you. If you plan to attend the conference anyway, you may enrich your attendance with an activity other than presenting or listening to talks. This year, we want to get a bit more practical than just a poster. This isn't a place for the overflow of papers, this requires a new approach to Mobile HCI submissions. If you're a hands-on, practical designer who loves to prototype, this one's for you! We welcome innovative ideas with the potential to shape the future of mobile Human Computer Interaction. We'd like you to demonstrate your capability beyond the traditional usability and static user interface design and showcase the importance of understanding the daily context and the use of mobile devices and services to add value to everyday life.

Design Brief: Mobile interaction in the wild, designing value in everyday life

As large companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft begin to focus on mobile as the primary platform for their products and services, we need to ensure that the way we formulate and communicate the mobile experience design process is structured and clear, as well as ensuring it leads to great mobile websites/apps/services that are integrated with people's daily life.

Taking the context of use into account is increasingly important for HCI designers. This might be even more crucial for mobile HCI, as mobile and wearable devices are used in various contexts going together with the owners on their daily journeys. It's consequently increasingly important to study mobile experiences in the context of the real world, to carry out in-situ development, explore with design interventions, probe people in their daily context, and sample their experiences in situ as well.

A central part of designing for value in everyday life is evaluating prototypes in the 'wild' while they are really used and integrated within people's lives. This involves observing and recording what people do and how this changes over suitable periods of time.

We are in particularly interested in how you:

  • Studied the real world context with the aim of redesigning them.
  • Which design approaches you used to design in situ and prototype in the real world.
  • How you evaluated in situ and how you tested the particular situation.

Preparing the Submission

All files should be compressed in one .zip file and sent directly to the Design Challende Chairs at .

Here are some guidelines:

  • Define your basic assumptions on the phone that your idea is built on.
  • Define your target user. It is up to you whether you select the niche group or a profile that can be applicable to a broad group of population.
  • Plan where and how you will conduct your research in-situ and describe the method of contextual research.
  • Show your intended experience with experiential prototype and through assessing user engagement outside the lab.
  • Highlight any learnings you got from your design and research explorations.
  • Ground your design on qualitative observations that you made in situ.

Idea Documentation

There are two separate parts of work in order to qualify for the competition.

Part 1: Textual Documentation

A three-page written entry focusing on the Design Brief problem and a summary of the solution. Please use the MobileHCI 2013 Extended Abstracts template for your entry. For accepted entries, the idea document will be published in the Digital Proceedings of MobileHCI 2013. Your written entry will be reviewed based on: Originality of the work, Clarity of the written presentation, Quality of the design process, Clarity of the solution, Your persuasive argument for what makes your solution worthy of consideration.

Part 2: Design Presentation

A free-form PDF document should illustrate the design process, positioning rationale, and design solution sufficiently. Submissions can include (but are not restricted to) novel concepts, technology and experience prototypes, scenario descriptions, design sketches, digital art work and experience reports. Design sketches such as wireframe for showing the interaction sequence or scenarios of use must be included in order to demonstrate the participant's ability to, well, design. The submission should not exceed 16 pages in A4 size, or 1 page in A0 size. The way this design presentation is structured and formulated is a part of the selection criteria. Supporting vide material can also be submitted as 1 file. File size limit for the PDF and optional accompanying video file is 20 Mb.

Camera Ready Material

Upon acceptance, selected participants will receive feedback to adapt and demonstrate during the conference. This jury report could include testing. This is in order to emphasize the designers' ability to adapt their design appropriately over the course of MobileHCI, based on real world feedback and context.

If you are selected for the design competition, the following format of work will be required.

Idea documentation: Camera ready version of the textual documentation, submitted before. A three-page written entry focusing on the Design Brief problem and a summary of the solution. Please use the MobileHCI 2013 Extended Abstracts template for your entry. The idea document will be published in the Digital Proceedings of MobileHCI 2013.

Poster for exhibition design competition: An illustrative poster demonstrating both high level concept and key design details, printed in the size of A0. The program committee before the conference will review the poster. Participants are welcome to showcase the prototype at the poster booth. The poster has to be submitted in PDF format and the file size limit is 20 Mb.

Presentation material: The presentation outline or supporting visual or props, especially demonstrating the prototype should be submitted considering the length of 10 min. A supporting video can also be used but it should not exceed the length of 3 minutes. The program committee will review the presentation in order to ensure the success of the presentation session, engaging the audience as jury members. The presentation should be submitted in PDF format. File size limit for the PDF and optional accompanying video file is 20 Mb.

Design Competition

In the presentation session during the conference we want to see in the following:

  1. The design process you went through to get to your prototype.
  2. The conceptual model that was created to base your design on, and how it is reflected in your design (design rationale).
  3. Your prototype, preferably shown on a mobile device, and how you adapted it for the special information. The prototype can be anything from a set of low fidelity screens displayed on the mobile, through to a full functioning interactive prototype running on the mobile.
  4. Methods (to be) used to gather feedback during the week at MobileHCI.

Choosing the Participants

Based on the idea documentation and design presentation, the design competition jury will choose the participants who will demonstrate their work at the conference. The following factors will be used in the selection of the winners:

40% Design solution: Is the proposed design valid, of quality, and efficient? Is the design solution of value for target users?

40% Design rationale: Is the design based on sound arguments and assumptions? Is the design thinking behind the idea backed up by persuasive data points or vision? Your ability to adapt your design to the jury report you got upon acceptance? Your ability to get feedback on the mobile interactions during MobileHCI conference.

20% Presentation: Are the idea and the design solution presented in a compelling and engaging manner?

On stage, during the conference, 3 final winners will be selected. A panel of jury members and the audience of the session will have the 50:50 votes towards selecting these winners.

Winners will get ...

3 final award winners will be selected among the design competition presenters:

  • Gold - Highest votes from audience and jury members
  • Silver - 2nd highest votes
  • Bronze – 3rd highest votes

The winners will be announced at the closing plenary of the conference. Awards for winners are:

  • A certificate of acknowledgment presented at the closing session of the conference.
  • Acknowledgment on the conference website.
  • A prize for the winners.

Please note: at least one member of each winning team must be present at the closing plenary of the conference to receive the award.

More Information

If you have questions about the Design Competition at MobileHCI 2013, contact the Design Competition Chairs Ingrid Mulder and Oliver Weidlich at .

MobileHCI 2013 Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.


Important Dates

ACM Logo
LMU Logo


Google Logo
Grand Logo
Intel Software Logo
Microsoft Research Logo
Nokia Logo
SMI Logo
Telefonica Logo
Yahoo! Labs Logo