Call for Proposals

DCUX Submissions & Curation

Our 2-day conference will showcase the mid-Atlantic region’s collective knowledge of User Experience and Design using a mixture of curated talks and selected community submissions. Here we’ll lay out our:

Please note, you’ll be asked to create an account for submissions and to take part in the peer review.

Curation Approach

We are looking for a mix of theoretical, thought-provoking sessions and more practical, hands-on sessions. Sessions can target beginners, advanced practitioners, or UXers in general. Our programming goals drive our curation approach:

  • Support learning across all levels of experience
  • Feature presenters of all levels of experience
  • Demonstrate the diversity of our community, particularly new or marginalized voices
  • Showcase the breadth of topics found under the UX umbrella
  • Engage and inspire conference attendees

Submission Process

Session proposals can be submitted through June 2, 2019. Once the submission period has ended:

  1. Preliminary Review. Proposals will be reviewed by the DCUX curation team to ensure they meet submission guidelines, do not include any PII, or violate the DCUX Code of Conduct.
  2. Peer Review. Everyone that submitted a proposal will then be assigned ~5 proposals for blind review.
  3. Formal Curation. The DCUX curation team will use the top-ranked submissions and curated sessions to build out the program.
  4. Finalizing Program. The DCUX curation team, conference leadership team, and UXPA DC president will finalize the program.
  5. Notifications. Selection notifications will be sent out.

The formal curation process will use structured rubric (adapted from the IA Conference):

  • Quality of the submission (thorough, accurate, valid, rigorous, sourced, etc.)
  • Clear and concise thesis or presentation of material
  • Topic or angle that applies to the conference theme
  • Connection (or contribution to) the field of UX (or its sister disciplines) is clear
  • Likelihood of engaging the audience as challenging or entertaining
  • Provides actionable takeaways for attendees with varying levels of experience

The DCUX curation team may reach out to submitters for clarification or to discuss the selected format as part of their decision-making process. They may also connect submitters with the UXPA DC leadership if proposals would be better suited for inclusion in other UXPA DC programming.

Submission Requirements

Please remember that by submitting a session proposal you are agreeing to:

  • Participate in the blind peer review process (except poster-only submitters)
  • The DCUX Code of Conduct (that applies to presenters and their presentations)
  • Potentially having your session photographed or recorded (audio or video) by DCUX and UXPA DC

Curation Process Timeline

  • Submissions Accepted:
    • Friday, May 10: Submissions Open
    • Sunday, June 2: Submissions Close  
  • Peer Review & Curation Period:
    • Through Sunday, June 23.
  • Final notice of results by: July 1

DCUX Session Types & Presenter Benefits

We’re offering a variety of session formats for DCUX. Our goal is to give first-timers and speakers of every experience level more ways to participate, present, and share.

Lightning Talk (5 min, Saturday)

A rapid-fire 5-minute talk presenting an important idea or lesson in its most compact form. We like the Ignite format (20 slides auto-advancing at 15 seconds per slide), but keep it to 5 minutes and you’re free to do whatever. Lightning Talks don’t include Q&A and are an ideal format for first-time and newer presenter (short, simple, focused).

For some great examples of 5-minute lightning style talks, check out the Ignite website. You can check out some longer (~7 min) examples on the PechaKucha website. FYI, both Ignite and PechaKucha have DMV chapters with events almost every month.

Shorter Talk (20 min, Saturday)

This is a popular format for exploring a focused idea in some detail, or providing a broad topic overview without going down the rabbit hole. Shorter Talks may or may not include Q&A and are a great format for first-time, newer, and experienced presenters alike.

Longer Talk (45 min, Saturday)

This format is ideal for presenting complex ideas that need extra explanation to be understood. Longer Talks are typically the domain of more experienced presenters that that are comfortable presenting more difficult material and speaking for a longer period of time. Building in time for Q&A is a good idea, but not required.

Panels (45 min, Saturday)

Panel sessions will be curated by the DCUX team. If we have a number of similar presentation proposals, we may recommend that presenters come together to form a thematic panel. If your 20 or 45 minute talk submission is intended as a panel, let us know and we’ll consider the recommendation.

Poster Session (Friday)

Prepare a poster featuring your work, sharing a concept, explaining a process, or start a conversation, then chat with attendees during our Poster Session. This is an ideal venue for first-time and newer presenters to wet their toes and to get to know the community (all you need is your poster and an elevator pitch).

Note: posters have a separate call-for-submission and submission form. Additionally, poster presenters are responsible for their own printing costs.

Half-Day Workshops (3½ hrs, Friday AM and PM)

Most workshop topics do well in the half-day format that allows sufficient time for lectures punctuated with discussions and activities for participants. A successful workshop will be both instructive and interactive. There will be a lunch break between the AM and PM Half-Day Workshop sessions.

Note: workshop presenters are responsible for their own supplies. The DCUX team will work with presenters to ensure that rooms are optimized for the workshop format.

Full-Day Workshop (7-8 hrs Friday)

Full-Day workshops require careful planning and pacing to keep participants engaged for 3½ hour AM and PM sessions (and potentially a working lunch). Alternating between lecture, discussion, and activities is important as is a more formal structure.

Note: workshop presenters are responsible for their own supplies. The DCUX team will work with presenters to ensure that rooms are optimized for the workshop format (including a working lunch if requested).

Presenter Benefits

Depending on session type, presenters will receive complimentary or discounted attendance to DCUX:

  • Friday workshop presenters will receive complimentary free entry to the Friday opening reception, a portion of the profits for their workshop sales, and a discount for Saturday’s programming
  • Friday poster presenters will receive free entry to the Friday opening reception and a discount for Saturday’s programming. Please note- Posters will be displayed on Saturday as well
  • Saturday presenters will receive free entry to the Friday opening reception and complimentary registration to Saturday’s programming
  • Saturday panels will be curated by the DCUX team and panelists will receive discounted or complementary attendance based on the size and nature of the panels selected

Additionally, DCUX and UXPA DC will promote both the larger event and individual sessions. And, the DCUX programming team is working with UXPA DC to schedule a presenter’s workshop in advance of DCUX 19.

Resources for Writing a Great Proposal

This section is largely based on lists compiled by by Adam Polansky that appeared on the IA Summit and IA Conference websites. We’ve made a few additions of our own, but Adam deserves the lion’s share of the credit (thanks Adam!).

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