Design Challenge

Design Challenge

Design Challenge 2022: User-Soaked Design

The Design Challenge is now closed for entries.

Results Announced: November 10, 2022 World Usability Day

The 2022 Design Challenge (DC) has been refocused to support the World Usability Initiative (WUI) 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 to develop a strong public understanding of the benefits of user focused design practices.

We are now inviting submissions to the WUI 2022 Design Challenge. A focus on users in design is primarily supported through research into target usage contexts and evaluation of designs in use. For 2022, we seek submissions to the WUI DC that showcase excellent user-focused design for a general audience. Submitted Design Challenge entries will present evidence of user research and 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.

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 2023 HCI International Conference. Award Winners and Honourable Mentions will be recorded here, along with previous winners and mentions from 2020 and 2021 (see below).

For 2022, entries will be tightly argued and well evidenced reports 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 ( but this is not a requirement. Winning entries will clearly demonstrate how a combination of contextual user research and evaluation of quality in use have significantly contributed to the (improved) success 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 judges for 2022 are:

Gilbert Cockton (Jury Chair, UK): Emeritus Professor of Design (Northumbria University) and Computer Science (University of Sunderland).

Bill Albert (USA): Global Head of UX at Mach49.

Ahmad AlHuwwari (Jordan): UX/UI Manager at Orange.

Romi Dey (India): Lead Product Designer with Lowe’s.

Hussein Gaber (Egypt): Head of product design and UX Consultant at Tremoloo.

Sharon McDonald (UK): Senior User Researcher, Government Digital Service (

Stavroula Ntoa (Greece): postdoctoral researcher at the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Laboratory of the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (ICS-FORTH), in Crete.

Eunice Sari (Indonesia/Australia): CEO and Co-Founder of UX Indonesia, the first insight-driven UX Research, Training, and Consulting Company based in Indonesia since 2002, and co-founder of Customer Experience Insight Pty Ltd (Australia).

Brian K Smith (USA): Associate Dean of Research in the School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, formerly Dean at Rhode Island School of Design and Drexel University (Computer Science).

The judging criteria will be applied to the information provided in each entry. They are:

  • Quality of contextual/user research
  • Quality of UX/outcomes evaluation
  • Explicitness of connections between user-focused work and design decisions
  • Quality of evidence for connections between user-focused work, design decisions, and outcomes.

Criteria will be evidenced by a submitted report of up to 10,000 words (excluding tables and figures) with links to video or other internet content as appropriate. We expect to see the following when assessing submissions:

Quality of Contextual/User Research 

What research was carried out and when in relation to the overall development process? Why was it carried out? What methodology was followed? How was this appropriate given available resources and project goals? What were the key discoveries and insights?

Quality of Evaluation of UX and Usage Outcomes 

What evaluation was carried out and when in relation to the overall development process? Why was it carried out? What methodology was followed? How was this appropriate given available resources and project goals? What were the key discoveries and insights?

A process diagram for the project can be used to indicate when research and evaluation were carried out.

Explicit connections between user-focused work and design decisions

What were the implications of research discoveries and insights and evaluation results for the envisaged/current design? How did (re)design decisions relate to these discoveries, insights, and results? What were these decisions?

Appropriate design representations (e.g., wireframes, workflows, conceptual models) can provide necessary detail on (re)design decisions.

Quality of evidence for connections between user-focused work, design decisions, and outcomes.

We do not expect all connections to be explicit, insights or results. For implicit connections, various forms of creative leap are expected and legitimate, but they must be argued to depend on discoveries, insights, and results. For explicit connections, we expect to see clear rationales for how discoveries, insights, and evaluation results directed (re)design decisions.

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 artefact, how and why they are using it, and how they benefit.

Submission Deadline: September 20, 2022

Results Announced: November 10, 2022 World Usability Day

Design Challenge 2021 winners are listed below.




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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