The Challenge

The brief:

The growing prevalence of cloud computing, mobile devices, and fast mobile networks are quickly changing the landscape for software systems. For designers, these technologies provide opportunities to change how people work collaboratively and generally interact with each other. Unfortunately, most systems to date focus on collaboration of geographically dispersed groups, thereby limiting the way these devices enhance everyday life. Beyond remote collaboration, these technologies offer great potential to enhance the way we collaborate on tasks when working together with colleagues and friends we interact with everyday.

Your task is to design a system that takes advantage of cloud computing, mobile devices, and fast mobile networks to enhance the way people interact with each other collaboratively. Focus on enhancing the way people collaborate in everyday environments: these may be work-related projects or more playful activities. The system should take advantage of a range of platforms, including desktop computers, tablet computers, and smartphones, that are already available or envisioned to become available in the next two to three years.

We are in particular interested in seeing ways of exploring mobile access to the system in situations beyond the traditional workplace. For example consider two people on a trip together, people working on the go, friends meeting up for a sports activity. Consider how in such situations people would be able to browse and access all the data that is now stored in the cloud. Think beyond the use of technology as a pure digital interface and consider the relationships between digital devices and the physical environment. For example, how would the system allow people to capture information in the world that might be relevant to their collocated interaction with others?

This is what you will have to submit:

Online journal. To demonstrate your design process you are required to keep an online journal, e.g. in form of a blog using a service like Google+, WordPress, etc., throughout the 24 hours. Use the journal to record any major stages for your design, such as user research, prototyping, etc. We don’t expect you to share any ideas or results before the end of the 24-hour challenge, but what we want to be able to follow is the methodology you used to come up with your final design. Make sure we have the link to your online journal, by emailing it along with your team name to Include the names of all team members somewhere on your online journal.

Video. To demonstrate your solution you are asked to submit a video. This can be either a video prototype or a concept video. Anything from animation through screen capture to acting is valid. Note that this means that you don’t necessarily have to implement the system. The video should not be longer than 3 minutes. Include at least a title and your team name somewhere in the video. Make sure to leave enough time for rendering the video as this can be a slow process.

Final note. To describe your project you are asked to write a brief note explaining concept, design process, and response. You are encouraged to include research references and other relevant links in the note, as well as links to other relevant journal entries.

How to submit. Video and final note have to be submitted on your online journal. Upload your video to YouTube and embed it in your note or add a link to the note. Send the links to your final note and to your video to We will send you a confirmation email when we received your submission.

Submissions will be open until Sunday 23 September 10am (AEST).

Since uploading to online video sites can take time, you can optionally upload the final video file to or any other file sharing service, and include the download link as placeholder in your final note and submission email by Sunday 10am (AEST). Make sure that your video is properly embedded on your online journal no later than Sunday 12pm (AEST).

This is what we’ll look out for:

Your submission will be assessed by our panel of judges according to the following criteria:

Quality of design process and use of interaction design methods and theory
Design quality, innovation, and originality of your response to the challenge
Considerations into user experience and user interaction
Quality, visual style, clarity, and depth of the submission (video and note)

Meet your judges:

Martin Brynskov (Aarhus University, Department of Information and Media Studies)
Tim Buesing (Adverblog, Publicis Mojo)
Ava Fatah gen. Schieck (UCL, The Bartlett)
Marcus Foth (Urban Informatics, QUT)
Lone Koefoed Hansen (Aarhus University, Department of Aesthetics and Communication)
Hendrik Mueller (Google, Sydney)
Elise van den Hoven (Industrial Design, TU/e; School of Design, DAB, UTS)
Oliver Weidlich (Mobile Experience Pty Ltd; AIMIA Mobile Industry Group; Mobile Monday Sydney)
Alex Young (MOB)

Meet the other contestants:

226 participants in 62 teams from 10 countries have signed up for the challenge, you can find the links to their online journals here.

Prizes and awards that we’re giving out:

The judges will select four finalists from all submissions to the 24-hour online challenge. The finalists will receive a Google travel scholarship for attending the OzCHI conference in Melbourne ( to the amount of $1,000 (per team) and to present their work in a special session at the conference. We will support remote video presentations if you can’t make it to the conference. However in this case your team won’t be able to claim the travel scholarship.

The winning team will be selected at the conference based on their presentations at the conference and announced during the closing ceremony on the last day of the conference. The winning teams will receive prizes sponsored by our industry partners (for 1st and 2nd place) and certificates of recognition (for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place).

We will further be giving out runners-up prizes for the teams that made it into the top 10 but not into the finalists selection.

Talk about your progress:

Apart from the submission requirements mentioned above, we love to see as much ‘behind the scenes’ coverage as possible – use your design blog to tell us about your process as well as Google+, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc to cover every aspect of your design journey. Please use ozchi24 for tagging any challenge-related posts.

If you get stuck:

You can post questions via email (, Google+ (, or Twitter ( We will provide support throughout the 24 hours of the challenge.

The fine print:

By participating in the OzCHI student design challenge, you agree to the publication of your entry (video and online journal) on the challenge website ( and the conference website ( You further grant us the rights to include parts from your video submission in a video documentation about the challenge. Any material we publish will be fully referenced and your team will retain the copyrights. The travel scholarship can only be used towards expenses for attending the OzCHI conference, i.e. travel tickets (train, bus, airfare), conference registration, accommodation in Melbourne during the days of the conference. You will receive the scholarship after sending us the according invoices as proof of your expenses. To receive the scholarship you will further need to provide proof of your student status at the time the challenge took place.