Call for Proposals (CFP)

SIGDOC 2022 Conference: Return, Reassess, Resolve

Proposals due: Wed. 9 March 2022

The Special Interest Group for the Design of Communication will meet in Boston, MA, Hyatt Regency Boston on October 6 – 8, 2022.

Call for Proposals Flyer [PDF]

Meet the Conference Committee

  • Conference Chair: Michael Trice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Program Co-Chairs: Donnie Johnson Sackey, University of Texas at Austin; Candice A. Welhausen, Auburn University
  • Student Research Competition Chair: Jack Labriola, Kennesaw State University
  • Technical Editor: Daniel Hocutt, University of Richmond
  • Sponsorship Chair: Jordan Frith, Clemson University

Conference Call

Concerns for public health and community well-being have led to a much needed re-evaluation of how we assemble to share, co-create, and support intellectual work. The use of face masks, social distancing, and Zoom have not only changed the when, why, and how of communication; these COVID-19 adaptations have also forced us to reassess assumptions about communication and become innovative in how we interact with each other. Shifts in identity and purpose, too, characterized as “The Great Resignation,” have encouraged millions of people to reassess their relationship to the spaces in which they work, live, and play.

SIGDOC 2022 will not be a pandemic-themed conference. However, we feel remiss to not acknowledge the obvious social contexts of our gathering and how this intersects with the design of communication. This year’s conference organizers believe returning to a face-to-face conference affords us the opportunity to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic, political protest and activism, social justice, labor rights, and institutional strain have created the conditions to learn from the past–that is, to think about how a usable past creates the conditions for a better present and future.

As we return to face-to-face communication and interaction, we invite participants to consider what it means to return to our communication design practices, reassess our work as researchers, teachers, practitioners, and community activists and find ways to strengthen our resolve in pursuit of change.

While your presentation may not specifically address this year’s theme, we invite you to consider the questions below. We also invite submissions that do not adhere to the conference theme.

Guiding Questions

  • What past debates and controversies in communication design, which have shaped our thinking, might we revisit, reassess, and resolve for the future?
  • What are unexamined sites and practices that require attention and redress in communication design?
  • What groups form our community? How have they entered? Why do they remain? How might we move to encourage greater participation?
  • What communication challenges have we seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how have these issues shifted the meaning and exigency of activism and advocacy in communication design research? In what ways might these challenges need to be re-assessed? What new resolutions might we develop?
  • How do we insert ourselves into discussions so that we are in conversation not just with academics and/or practitioners but with larger publics? In what ways can we make our work more accessible to wider public audiences?

Participants might also explore questions in the specific categories below.

Applied Questions

  • What have we learned about our capacity for assessment? How might the challenges of reassessment and returning inform the future of UX and communication design?
  • What are the outstanding issues of praxis that have surfaced in need of resolution given the many milestone events of the past two years?
  • How can coalitions stem from industry and academic partnerships to engage with our processes of reassessing?
  • How are organizations adjusting to current communication contexts (virtual and socially distant) while maintaining the focus on their mission or pivoting to better serve their partners and users?
  • How can industry improve collaboration and create more durable partnerships with communities to create relationships and products that better serve them?

Technological Questions

  • How has our past views of technology and communication held up given the dramatic shifts in work spaces and public communication?
  • What are the new methods that have arisen to address the new technological status quo? How do they apply to our past attempts at assessment?
  • In what ways have technologies contributed to or addressed issues of reassessment across communication contexts?
  • What are the ways in which technologies have facilitated or inhibited our ability to form coalitions, and/or do advocacy work?

Practical Questions

  • What are the industrial lessons from these dramatic shifts? How has logistical constraints and spatial transition influenced communication in industry?
  • What are the new workflows and use cases that have arisen from the demands of pandemic, social unrest, and labor initiatives?
  • How do we create systems of accountability? Are there approaches that seem to work better at preventing/mitigating harm and/or maximizing benefit?
  • How do professional and/or academic contexts foster or inhibit accountability?
  • What value do coalitions bring to novel communication contexts?

Social Impact Questions

  • Are there better approaches to communication design that center communities instead of the technologies and institutions that implement them?
  • What are the implications when decentralized forms of expertise are recognized, acknowledged, and fostered?

Methodological Questions

  • What methodological practices might we revisit and interrogate?
  • What are the extant methods for studying the intersections of technology and communication design, and how might they be challenged?
  • Do our existing methodological practices allow us to adequately interrogate issues of justice?

Theoretical Questions

  • What theoretical concepts present challenges for communication research (e.g., decolonial theory, black feminist theory, disability studies)
  • Is there a shared language around advocacy, accountability, and coalitions—and how can academics and practitioners come together to build this language? How might theories of reflexivity and recursivity better inform our research and teaching?
  • How might we engage with lived experience in our theories?
  • Does the field need to redefine expertise and how inclusion works alongside expertise?

Pedagogical Questions

  • How might we rethink concepts and practices across our classrooms, professional cultures, internships, and mentorships?
  • How do we create intersectional coalitions in the aforementioned contexts?

Submission Types

Submissions can take the form of any of the six (6) options below. Authors of accepted proposals for all types will be given the opportunity to write up their work for the peer-reviewed proceedings. Workshops are excluded from publication in the proceedings.

Research Papers (7-10 pages)

Research papers present integrative reviews or original reports of substantive new work: theoretical, empirical, and/or in the design, development and/or deployment of novel systems. Papers will be reviewed for academic standards, relevance, conceptual quality, innovation, and clarity of presentation. Proposals are not to exceed 500 words. The results described must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Final papers are not to exceed ten pages in length in ACM SIGDOC conference format, including figures and references. Note: At least one author from a paper must register and attend the conference in order for the paper to be included in the proceedings. Multiple papers and/or reports may be grouped thematically by the Program Co-Chairs to facilitate connections and conversation.

Industry Insights (2-3 pages)

Industry insights present lessons learned from an industry-situated experience with a project, concept, technology, or trend that is of interest to scholars, researchers, teachers, and practitioners in communication design, PTC, UX, or other related field. Proposals in this category should be written from the perspective of a practitioner and should focus on one or two key “insights” learned during the process of an experience in industry. This insight should be situated within the larger field of practice and highlight specifically why this insight is significant for industry moving forward. Attention might also be paid to practical steps audience members and readers can take in light of the experience. Proposals are not to exceed 500 words. The results and experiences described must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and should not focus solely on promoting proprietary tools. Final papers not to exceed three pages in length in ACM SIGDOC conference format, including figures and references. Note: At least one author from an industry insight must register and attend the conference in order for the insight to be included in the proceedings. Multiple papers and/or insights may be grouped thematically by the Program Co-Chairs to facilitate connections and conversation.

Experience Reports (4-6 pages)

Experience reports present experiential-based reflections on a particular case, methodology, or design idea from projects and deployments. Reports are reviewed for usefulness, clarity, reflection, and larger contextualization within the academic fields of communication design, PTC, or UX. Strong experience reports discuss both benefits and drawbacks of the approaches used and clearly call out lessons learned. Reports may focus on a particular aspect of technology usage and practice, or describe broad project experiences. Proposals are not to exceed 500 words. Final papers not to exceed six pages in length in ACM SIGDOC conference format, including figures and references. Note: At least one author from an experience report must register and attend the conference in order for the report to be included in the proceedings. Multiple papers and/or reports may be grouped thematically by the Program Co-Chairs to facilitate connections and conversation.

Posters (1-2 pages)

Posters are a less formal presentation of work in progress, theories, experimental work, new concepts, late-breaking research results, or work that is best communicated visually and in conversation. Poster proposals may describe original research or novel designs. Successful applicants should bring their completed posters (up to 3 x 4 feet in size) to the conference where they will be displayed at a special session during the conference. Proposals are not to exceed 250 words. Final extended abstracts not to exceed 2 pages in ACM SIGDOC conference format.

Panel Sessions

Panels should be comprised of multiple presenters organized around a specific topic relevant to the SIGDOC audience. Proposals are not to exceed 500 words. Final extended abstracts are not to exceed 2 pages in ACM SIGDOC conference format. Note: All members of the panel must register for and attend the conference for the extended abstract to be included in the Proceedings.


Workshops provide opportunities for engaged introductions to new developments in the field and participatory discussion of current ideas and practices. Successful workshop proposals explain clearly how attendees will participate in workshop activities and must include a schedule indicating times, registrant activities, and speakers. Proposed workshops with no evidence of active participation by registrants will not be accepted. Proposals are not to exceed 500 words.

Submission Guidelines

Proposals should not exceed 500 words and should include the following:

  • Proposal title
  • Proposal type (research paper, industry insight, experience report, poster, panel or workshop)
  • Proposal focus or topic
  • Connection of the topic to the conference theme (if any, not required)
  • Approach/method used to examine this topic
  • Connection of the topic to prior work/research in the field
  • Takeaway attendees can gain from this proposed paper, insight, report, or poster and use in their own work
  • Explanation and schedule of workshop activities (if workshop)

Newcomers can review a sample accepted proposal here: SIGDOC Proposal Example (from 2019) [External PDF]

Submit all proposals in PDF format to [External site]. Be sure the submission document excludes any identifying information.

Important Dates

The timeline for the conference is as follows (all times in your local time zone):

  • 9 March 2022: Proposals are due at 11:59 PM in your local time zone
  • 29 March 2022: Notification of acceptance/request to submit full-length paper or extended abstract
  • 28 May 2022, 23:59: Drafts of initial papers and extended abstracts due (Please refer to the workflow page for proceedings submissions)
  • 11 June 2022: Reviews of/comments on papers and extended abstracts returned
  • 16 July 2022, 23:59: Papers and extended abstracts (final version) due
  • 6 October 2022: SIGDOC Conference


We offer four different types of submissions for the conference proceedings:

  1. Research Papers (7-10 pgs.)
  2. Industry Insights; (2-3 pgs.)
  3. Experience Reports (4-6 pgs.)
  4. Extended Abstracts and Poster Abstracts (for poster and panel submissions; 1-2 pgs.)

All authors who receive acceptance of their proposal are strongly encouraged to submit to the peer-reviewed conference proceedings. After notification of acceptance, full-length papers and extended abstracts will then be reviewed and sent back to authors for final edits and ACM formatting. Authors will then re-submit papers and abstracts as “camera-ready” submissions. Papers and extended abstracts will be published in the Conference Proceedings and in the ACM Digital Library.


Questions about the CFP or the process described here should be emailed to the Program Co-Chairs, Donnie Johnson Sackey and Candice Welhausen at