International Student Design Competition

This is the third year of the UPA international Student Design Competition. Similar competitions have motivated and energized students to work on meaningful projects and led to initiatives that positively impacted lives of real people. Developing an ISDC submission gives your students the opportunity to create a portfolio piece, and being one of the 3 winning teams allows participants to set themselves apart from the crowd in an increasingly competitive job market.

Important Dates

  • 15 April, 2011 Project Submissions Deadline 17:00 EST, Round 1 closed
  • 10 May, 2011 Notification of Round 1 winners
  • 20 May, 2011 Poster Submission Deadline 17:00 EST, Round 2 closed
  • 20- 27 May 2011 Remote Judging of Round 2 participants
  • 27 May 2011 Announcement of three winning teams invited to attend the conference
  • 20-24 June, 2011 Posters and Oral Presentations of winning projects at the UPA International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The Design Challenge: Making Life Easy!

Technology today is too hard to use. The design challenge this year supports the World Usability Day goal of “Making Life Easy,” A cell phone should be as easy to access as a doorknob. In order to humanize a world that uses technology as an infrastructure for education, healthcare, transportation, communication, work and other areas, we must develop these technologies in a way that serves people first. Making products and services more user- friendly means making our world work better and our lives easier.

The iSDC invites student teams to invent a system or create a concept by following a user-centered design process that makes life easier for its users. Their solution could use any type of technology and result in an improvement to the quality of life or 'make life easier' for its users. A submission that also connects to the UPA conference them “Designing for Social Change” would be desirable, but is not obligatory.

To enter the competition, student teams may present either a concept (a clear, detailed design specification that can be taken to prototype), or a fully realized prototype. Either way, teams must clearly illustrate their design decisions and demonstrate the user centered design processes that have been followed. We strongly encourage consideration of:

  • Previous work in this area and in adjacent areas of design, user experience, and human-computer interaction
  • Ethnography and contextual research to ground the design decisions
  • Evaluation of the designs with target users within iterative design framework