Call for Student Design Competition

Welcome to the student competition of MobileHCI 2024! This competition challenges students to design innovative mobile Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) solutions that focus on connecting people, bridging cultural gaps, and fostering a harmonious relationship between people and the environment. In a world marked by diverse cultural and environmental challenges, technology has the power to bring about positive change. We invite students to showcase their creativity, technical expertise, and cultural sensitivity in developing mobile HCI solutions that facilitate connections on multiple fronts.

In the MobileHCI student design competition (SDC), teams of students from various levels of academic backgrounds (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD programmes) and from various regions in the world explore needs, ideate, and develop concepts for mobile computing and demonstrate them to the MobileHCI conference attendees.

Important Dates - Student Design Competition

*All deadlines are AoE
Submission of Papers and Videos June 24, 2024
July 9, 2024
Notifications July 20, 2024
Camera-ready August 6, 2024

The Student Design Competition

The competition has two primary goals:

  • To provide students with an opportunity to showcase and discuss a team-based design project with an international audience within Mobile HCI.
  • To engage students from diverse backgrounds, including technical, design, and/or social science, with mobile computing and HCI.

Please note that all accepted papers accompanying the submitted design projects will be published in the 2024 MobileHCI Adjunct Proceedings (ACM Digital Library).

The Design Challenge and Context

Building on this year’s conference theme ‘Connecting Cultures’, the teams’ challenge is to think about how (mobile) computing can support connection among cultures and the environment or close existing communication gaps by focusing on the following sub-challenges:

Culture and Communication

  • Sub-challenge 1: Addressing Cultural Divides
    • Develop innovative solutions that use mobile and advanced technology to bridge cultural gaps, fostering inclusivity and understanding. Your solution should aim to promote harmony and connectivity among people from different cultural backgrounds, particularly addressing cultural divides such as gender inequalities, cultural discrimination, or political polarization.
  • Sub-challenge 2: Closing Communication Gaps
    • Design a mobile HCI solution that tackles language and communication barriers in a particular context. For instance, the tool could focus on improving communication between refugees and host communities, overcoming gaps between younger and older generations or experts and non-experts, enabling seamless interaction between tourists and locals, or fostering communication in multi-cultural educational settings.


  • Sub-challenge 3: Cultural Heritage Preservation
    • Create a mobile technology solution that preserves and promotes cultural heritage, particularly in regions facing cultural erosion. This could involve applications or platforms that collect or share traditional practices, knowledge, or wisdom, fostering a sense of connection within and among communities.
  • Sub-challenge 4: Connecting with Nature
    • Design a mobile solution that sensitizes people about their responsibility towards nature, through situated interactions that increase their awareness about their - short or long term - impact on the environment.

We encourage submissions that address one of the sub-challenges through a liberal interpretation of mobile computing and interaction design. Submitted designs should build upon existing digital and physical tools and platforms and/or develop new concepts for future technologies. Platforms might include, but are not limited to, IoT devices, smartphones, wearables, interactive glasses, or smart environments.

We welcome, but do not expect, teams to complete working prototypes. However, we do expect submissions to communicate a nuanced understanding of user needs through experiential prototypes and narrative storytelling that demonstrate how the applicants’ MobileHCI ideas benefit these communities.

Submission Platform

  • All materials must be submitted electronically to PCS by the submission deadline.
  • In PCS, first click "Submissions" at the top of the page, then from the dropdown menus, select "SIGCHI," then "MobileHCI 2024", and finally, the "Student Design Competition" track.

Preparing the Submission

The 2024 MobileHCI SDC will progress in two stages: video & paper submission and on-site presentation.

Submission Materials:


Submission videos should communicate what the proposed idea does for people. Solutions are fine, but the authors should try to avoid solution-fixation. The authors should use the video format creatively: instead of (mainly) presenting specific interaction alternatives or design features using voice-over, they should aim to demonstrate the impact of the design - how it is expected to transform the experiences of the users involved, to give a stronger voice to the concept. There are many alternatives to style the video. For example, a video prototype of a scenario that acts out the concept and its effects, a social media reel or story, a news report, or another current format used to build and communicate narratives.

The options are many and it is up to the team to decide what style and format to choose that (a) leverages the existing strengths of the team, and (b) helps to develop and exercise new skills.

The video must follow the technical aspects of the video submission guidelines. In summary, videos must be MP4, max. 3 minutes and 100 MB, and in 1920x1080 (1080p) resolution. If you are including speech output, you must provide the closed-captioning file in .srt or .sbv format. Please refer to the accessibility guidelines for video submissions for more information on how to prepare your video.


The short paper should introduce the problem context, present and justify the idea, include at least 4 references to prior research or news articles, and be up to 6 pages in length (including references). The paper can be organized at the team's preference and we suggest using the space creatively. One approach, for example, might be answering: (a) what is the problem and who has it, (b) are there any current solutions, good or bad, (c) what is the idea and how does it answer the problem, and (d) how do the authors envision the idea to be integrated into peoples' lives some time from now?


Submissions are not anonymous and should include your team members' names, affiliations, and a team/project name.


  • Teams must consist of at least two, but no more than five students.In case of essential reasons to exceed this number, please check with the Student Design Competition Chairs first.
  • The competition is open to any student(s) irrespective of their location, access to specific resources, or travel constraints.
  • All participants must currently be enrolled as students (college, university, Bachelor’s or Master’s program, Ph.D. students).

Finding and building distributed teams can be a challenge, so we suggest that students form teams around their existing communities or partner on planned or recently completed projects.

Evaluation & Selection Process

The initial selection process for MobileHCI SDC submissions follows the ACM level of reviewed material, that is, selected by an appointed jury, but not sent out to external reviewers. Selection criteria include the relevance of the solution to one of the sub-challenges, the innovation level and quality of the project and its user experience, the potential societal impact, and the quality of the submitted material. Authors might not receive formal feedback on their submission other than the selection decision. Confidentiality of submissions will be maintained during the selection process. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference.

We are still determining the jury but expect it to comprise experts in MobileHCI, Design, and Interactive Systems.

For accepted contributions, we plan to hand out awards as explained below.


There is no fee to submit to the competition. However, if the team / project is accepted, at least one member of the team must register for and attend the MobileHCI 204 conference in presence in order to present.

Upon Acceptance: Presentation

Upon acceptance, students will be invited to present their work in a session at MobileHCI 2024. We will add details about the presentation format after the submission deadline.

The presentation format might include a poster or video session where the accepted projects are presented, ideally accompanied by the actual user experience prototype.

We invite accepted teams to attend the conference as a group to present their design, and discuss their proposed solution with Mobile HCI attendees. At least one team member is required to register for the conference and present the project.


During the conference, we plan to present awards in selected categories. The jury or the conference attendees will vote for each respective award. Winners will be announced during the evening event or the closing plenary.

  • Most creative contribution (jury)
  • Best implementation (jury)
  • Best video (jury)
  • Attendees’ choice (attendee votes)

We are working to offer a small cash prize to winning teams. Please note that we reserve the right to change the awards structure during the contest.


Accepted papers accompanying the submitted design projects will be included in the ACM Digital Library as part of the MobileHCI 2024 Adjunct Proceedings. ACM will send you a copyright form, which you have to complete. Once completed, ACM will provide you with the copyright information to be put into your paper. You can then submit the camera-ready version (including the copyright notice) through the submission system.

Student Design Competition Chairs

Bastian's photo

Bastian Pfleging
TU Freiberg, Germany

Sara's photo

Sara Colombo
TU Delft, Netherlands