The OzCHI Student Design Challenge (SDC) has been a key feature of the OzCHI Conference for many years now and OzCHI2019 will be keeping this tradition going.  The challenge is open to student teams from around the world. It’s a great opportunity to test and improve your design skills and get your work exposed to the wider HCI community.  At the beginning of the 24-hour challenge (17 August, 10am AEST), participants will receive a design brief. Teams work rapidly to research, brainstorm, sketch, prototype, and role play to design a solution responding to the brief. At the end of the 24 hours, teams submit a video showcasing their design, and a written paper. Experienced HCI scholars and designers peer review the submissions to select finalist teams. Finalists will present their design at OzCHI (Fremantle, Perth in Dec 2019), and a panel of judges, including industry representatives, selects the winning team. Recent Challenges have focused on topics such as designing for ageing, for sharing, for online collaboration.

Don’t forget to follow the SDC website….

Important Dates

  • Monday, 20th May’19: Team Applications Open
  • Friday, 16th August’19: Team Applications Close
  • Saturday, 17th August’19 – Sunday, 18th August’19: 10am-10am AWST 24-hour Design Challenge
  • Sunday, 18th August’19: 10am 24-hour Design Challenge ends

Team Application Form


All finalist teams…

  • … will be invited to present their entries to a panel of judges at OzCHI (covering 1 full student conference registration or 3 one day OzCHI registrations)
  • … are eligible for travel scholarships to support them in attending at OzCHI (details will be announced soon)
  • … will have opportunities for mentoring and networking with leading HCI scholars and industry
  • … may be eligible to have their work published in the OzCHI 2019 Proceedings.

Some More Background Info

The OzCHI Student Design Challenge is an annual international student design competition run as part of the OzCHI conference. Since the first SDC in 2009, the competition has grown to the point that hundreds of students from around the world participate annually. This competition is suited to students from diverse fields, including human-computer interaction, interaction design, computer science, architecture, and humanities.

At the start of 24 hour challenge period, student teams will receive a brief containing a real-world HCI research problem. In response to the brief, teams will have 24 hours to:

  1. Develop a video prototype or concept video of 2-3 minutes,
  2. Draft a paper explaining the design process and concept, and
  3. Create a design journal blog which captures design process, ideas and rationale for design decisions.

Team Eligibility

  • Teams must have from 2 to 5 members
  • At the time of the SDC (17 and 18 August 2019) all members must be students at any stage of their university career, from undergraduate to postgraduate studies. Team members can be from multiple disciplines, institutions, or even multiple countries or continents.
  • A participant may not be a member of more than one team.
  • Each team is required to provide the contact details of a Team Representative (who will be our contact during the challenge).
  • Each team must submit an application which will be available on Monday 20 May.

If you are interested in research or thinking about doing a PhD, this is a great opportunity to expose yourself to an academic world and experience what it feels like to do research.

What’s New in 2019??

Last year’s SDC committee introduced some great changes to the challenge and this year we’re going to keep those going.  As with last year, there will be four optional Mini Challenges. From experience as competitors last year, these were useful milestones of progress and signposts for the sorts of steps that should be completed during the design challenge.  Details of these will be released before the start of the challenge.

During the challenge, we will use a Slack Workspace to stay in touch with everyone.  We are looking at options for your team submissions. Again, more information will be released soon.As with previous challenges, we ask teams to NOT gather primary data (e.g. interviews, surveys) from external participants. Data about the problem situation can be gathered through e.g. team brainstorming, reports, news articles, scholarly literature, and other sources. Evaluation can take the form of reflection, discussion, and internal review. Think of this as one of your design constraints and get creative about how you can gather information.

The Brief: What to Expect???

At 10am AWST on Saturday 17 August 2019, we will post here the Challenge Brief. This will describe an issue or topic which is relatively broad and open-ended, so teams will need to use their initiative to identify a specific aspect of the problem that they can respond to through their design. To help with this, the brief also includes:

  • contextual information about the problem
  • links to background reading: relevant scholarly literature relevant to the topic
  • instructions for the final submission.

The suggested steps for completing the challenge include a literature review, brainstorming, designing ‘magic machines’, storyboarding, prototyping and reflection. These steps should enable teams to identify a specific design issue related to the topic, and design a solution to address it.  They are not compulsory steps, rather just suggestions. The design of your process is completely up to your team and is part of the challenge!

What else is Good to Know?

  • Start getting your team together and add a reminder to your calendar that team registrations will open on 20 May 2019
  • Discuss team roles and identify the skills that everyone brings to your team
  • Practice recording, managing and editing video.
  • Take a look at the SDC archives and some of the OzCHI short papers available in the ACM Digital Library through your uni library’s online systems.
  • Follow the OzCHI2019 twitter account and stay tuned for updates on the design challenge