Design Challenge

Design Challenge

Design Challenge 2022: User-Soaked Design

We seek submissions to the WUI DC that showcase excellent user-focused design for a general audience. The Design Challenge (DC) supports the World Usability Initiative (WUI) in its goal to secure recognition of the value of user focus in design work. As a first objective, WUI seeks UN recognition through including World Usability Day (WUD) in its calendar. Beyond this, WUI aims to inform policy at the highest international levels. The WUI DC supports this aim through its potential to bring examples of best practice to the attention of international policy makers and develop a strong understanding of the benefits of user focused design practices.

A focus on users in design is primarily supported through research into target usage contexts and evaluation of designs in use. Entries will present evidence of user research and/or evaluation that have had a clear valuable impact on interaction, product and/or service design recommendations and decisions. Such evidence should let the general public (including UN decision makers) ‘get it’ by demonstrating connections between research, evaluation, and worthwhile design outcomes. We expect to see appropriate design representations (e.g., wireframes, workflows, conceptual models) with accounts of how research and/or evaluation have guided design decisions or have influenced future product and service direction. Winning entries will not be merely user-focused or user-centered but user-soaked, because they are saturated with transformative understandings of who is using a digital artifact, and how and why they are using it.

Winners will be announced on World Usability Day, November 10, 2022. The WUI DC is in collaboration with the HCI International (HCII) conference, which sponsors three awards (Gold $1250, Silver $1000 and Bronze $750). The Gold, Silver and Bronze recipients of the WUI DC Awards winners will be cordially invited, with complimentary registration, to present their innovative, impactful design work in a special session during the 2022 HCI International Conference. Award Winners and Honorable Mentions will be recorded here, along with previous winners and mentions from 2020 and 2021 (see below).

For 2022, entries will be presentations that provide details of user research and evaluations with compelling evidence of how this demonstrably improved both product and process value. Entries can address the WUD 2022 theme, Our Health (, which connects with the UN’s third sustainable development goal (SDG). We also welcome entries related to any UN SDG ( However, we want entries to showcase an entrant’s best “user-soaked” design work, so an entry may not address a UN SDG.

Winning entries will clearly demonstrate how contextual user research or evaluation of quality in use have significantly improved a digital product or service. The goal is to promote the value of user focus and how this complements other design activities such as aesthetics, product strategy, software quality or performance engineering.

The DC jury and judging criteria are currently being finalized. Details of both will be added here until the Design Challenge opens to entries in mid-June 2022. Submissions will be due on or before September 20, 2022.

Design Challenge 2021 winners are listed below.




Design Brief

What you need to get started.

Propose a user-centered solution that is focused on our theme: Design of our Online World: Trust, Ethics, and Integrity.

Find out more about the theme.

Your experience will be communicated through a clickable design prototype using methods from HCI, UX Research, Design Research, and Human Centered AI.

Your entry will be approximately 10 Designed Screens that demonstrate the main value your solution is providing (views in a flow). You will also submit 500 words or less to explain your entry, describe your process, and back up your solution with research information.

Block off some time on your schedule. Spend somewhere between 10 and 40 hours working on a solution and be sure to submit your entry on this webpage, before September 24, 2021

Acceptable Entries

  • Mobile App Experiences
  • Internet of Things Systems
  • Game Experiences
  • Website Experiences

Problem Topics

A website that helps you find new work. An app that tracks how your money is used in politics. A better remote education platform. Bringing equity to a process or community. What impact do you want to make in the world?

  • Medical

    Telemedicine, Electronic Health Records, Apps for better health

  • Social Justice

    Ways to improve the world through 
social justice and the power 
of people.

  • Financial

    Managing money online, applying for unemployment, buying and selling products, trading stock

  • Mental Health

    Social Isolation and it’s impact on 
mental well–being.

  • Social

    Staying connected to friends, 
family, and colleagues.

  • Fitness

    Health and well-being as it 
relates to getting regular exercise.

  • Environmental

    How can we use our online world to help solve the climate change crises?

  • Education

    Learning Online, Hybrid, or Distanced.

Honorable Mentions

Project Live

By Designer: Omar Awaideh


By Design Team: Laleh Amany and Maryam Ladoni


By Designer: Vamshi Krishna Beeravelly


By Design Team: Kailash Manjhi, Adaikalaraj M, Subhankar Paul, Tanaya Bose, Tulika Saikia, Rashmi Rajan, Shravan Tiwari and Anindya Bhanja Chowdhury

Dr. Gut

By Designer: Sumesh Dugar

Winners 2020

2nd Place

2020 Second Prize

Walk and Talk

By Zington Xperience from Sweden

Isabella Koniakowski, Johnny Geokhaji, Marcus Liljeqvist, Ylva Boske, Per Grewin, and Tommy Marshall

3rd Place

2020 Third Prize


By Omar Mismar from Jordan

Honorable Mentions


By Team TAPP: Hannah Landau, Virginia Pollock, Sadhana Ramaseshadri, and Nell Steinmetz from University of Michigan, USA

Dually Noted

By Team BackHome Diesel from Canada

Arshia Gharai, Hanfang Cao, Hariharan Srinivasan, Mackenzie Frew, Parsa Berenjimonfared, and Ryan Wong


By SUX from Portugal
(Syndicate for User Experience)

Helping Hands

By Chandler Hall from USA


By Webbies from India

Abhishek Mitra, Biswajit Adhikary, Madhav P. Mansuriya, Shweta Nandi, Sonit Paul and Sumesh Dugar

2021 Review Committee

Judged by an expert review committee and based on scores 1-5 in each of the following categories:

Visual / Interaction Design
Impact / Awe or Inspiration
Detail, Degree of Difficulty

Design Challenge Jury

  • Chair – Gilbert Cockton Emeritus Professor, University of Sunderland (Computer Science) and Northumbria University (Design), UK
  • Ahmad Alhuwwari
    UX Trainer, Mentor, Evangelist, Consultant, Orange Jordan
  • Romi Dey
    Co-founder Solved By Design Kolkata, India
  • Stravroula Ntoa
    Lead UX Designer, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, Institute of Computer Science, FORTH, Greece
  • Brian K Smith
    The Honorable David S. Nelson Professional Chair + Associate Dean for Research, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College,  USA

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