Case Studies

Quick Facts

  • Important Dates:
    • Submission deadline: October 9th, 2015 (12:00pm noon PDT).
    • Notification: November 13th, 2015.
    • Publication-ready deadline: December 7th, 2015.
  • Submission Details:
    • Online Submission: PCS Submission System.
    • Template: Extended Abstracts Format.
    • Submission Format: 2-10 page paper (extended abstract) describing your case study. Supplementary materials (e.g., videos) that authors deem appropriate may be submitted additionally. References do not count towards page length.
    • Submissions are not anonymous and should include all author names, affiliations, and contact information.
  • Selection process: Curated.
  • Chairs: Richard I. Anderson, Suzanne Currie, Susan Dray, and Kaisa Väänänen (
  • At the conference: Accepted Case Studies will be presented at the conference in time slots assigned by the conference committee. Authors might be asked to focus on particular aspects of their case study during their presentation to maximize the benefits of the presentation to conference attendees.
  • Archives: Extended abstracts; ACM Digital Library.


Message from the Case Study Chairs

Case Studies provide an excellent means of presenting stories that address particular practical HCI phenomena, especially in real-world contexts. HCI practice can set new standards and forge new paths for the broader field of HCI. We know you’re doing ground-breaking work out there. The CHI community needs to hear about your case studies!

We look forward to receiving your submissions and seeing you at CHI 2016. Feel free to contact us for any needed clarification.

Richard I. Anderson, OE Strategy, USA
Suzanne Currie, GE Global Research, USA
Susan Dray, Dray & Associates, USA
Kaisa Väänänen, Tampere University of Technology, Finland


What is a Case Study?

Case Studies are compelling stories about HCI practice based on real-world experiences. Accepted submissions record the history of and innovation within HCI practice outside of the scope of traditional archival research papers. Based on the concrete cases of research and design, HCI practitioners and researchers will learn how HCI principles and methods can be applied in practical HCI work.

Case Studies should describe how the problem addressed by the work was determined, explain how the work was done, describe challenges experienced and how they were addressed, reflect on the experience, and describe why the case study is of importance. The insights provided by a case study will enable practitioners to improve their practice, potentially seed further research into practice, and overall enhance our understanding of HCI. Case Studies can also inspire HCI researchers to further investigate issues that arise from practical research and design work. We encourage, but do not require, that submissions be of relevance to the conference theme. We also encourage submission of Case Studies that did not turn out so well.
Case Studies can illustrate, explore, report, analyze, summarize, challenge, or simply describe practical HCI work. They might focus, for instance, on the following topics:

  • Design of a specific experience, discussing its rationale, and lessons learned
  • Research of a specific domain, user group, or experience, discussing its insights and lessons learned
  • Domain-specific topics, especially lesser known but important domains of interest
  • Management and strategy of research and design in organizations
  • Pilot studies preceding and informing larger-scale investigations
  • Application, critique, or evolution of a method, process, or tool
  • Challenges to existing notions of research, design, and practice

Case Studies are not considered academic archival publications, but can be republished as such, as appropriate. Case Studies differ from archival research papers in that Case Studies do not need to define themselves as part of the potentially longer term body of academic research. They might not have as extensive a literature review as archival research papers, or might not explicitly add to HCI theory within an academic school of thought.

Click to view example Case Study papers


Best Case Study Award

The SIGCHI ”Best of CHI” awards honor exceptional submissions to SIGCHI sponsored conferences. The CHI Case Study chairs nominate submissions for the Best Case Study Award, as appropriate.


Preparing and Submitting your Case Study

A Case Study must be submitted via the PCS Submission System by 9 October 2015, 12:00pm noon PDT. The Case Study submission must have an extended abstract, but can also have supplementary material.

  1. Extended Abstract (the paper). The primary submission material consists of an extended abstract in the Extended Abstract Format (2-10 pages). The extended abstract should describe the experience, focusing on the lessons you want readers to take away from the presentation. Your extended abstract must stand alone. Readers must be able to understand the Case Study with only this material.
  2. Supplementary material. You may augment the extended abstract with additional material. Typical supporting materials comprise videos, documents (e.g., pictures beyond those included in the extended abstract) or interactive media (e.g., interactive prototypes). Authors who submit supplementary materials should also include a list of the supplementary items in their submission. This should explain the nature and purpose of each item submitted.


Case Study Selection Process

The evaluation of submissions will not be constrained by traditional academic expectations, but will be based on the significance of the Case Study’s contribution to the field of HCI practice and on how compelling the story of the Case Study is told. Submissions will be curated by an expert panel of HCI practitioners and practitioner researchers.

Specifically, the review criteria will be the extent to which the case study report meets the following:

  • tells a convincing story of a real-world experience that will be instructive and of interest to other members of the CHI community
  • reflects on the experience, and describes why the case study is of importance
  • advances the state of the practice
  • clearly outlines any limitations of the report as well as of the activity described

The extended abstract should contain no sensitive, private, or proprietary information that cannot be disclosed at publication time. Submissions should NOT be anonymous. However, confidentiality of submissions will be maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference, with the exception of title and author information which will be published on the website prior to the conference.


Upon Acceptance of your Case Study

Authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection on 13 November 2015. Authors of accepted submissions will receive instructions on how to prepare and submit the publication-ready version. These will be due on 7 December 2015.


At the Conference

Participants will be given a slot to present their case study during a scheduled session. Authors might be asked to focus on particular aspects of their case study during their presentation to maximize the benefits of the presentation to conference attendees.

Please see A Guide to a Successful Presentation for information about standard computing and A/V equipment that will be made available to presenters at CHI 2016. The Best Case Study award will be announced at the conference.


After the Conference

Accepted Case Studies will be distributed in the CHI Extended Abstracts, available in the ACM Digital Library.