Papers and Pictorials at DIS2021

Full papers and pictorials published at DIS 2021 are ACM archival publications and will be made available through the ACM in the Digital Library.

Important Dates

action timeline
Abstract and title due:
(title, abstract, authors, and other metadata)
February 4, 2021
(The submission system closes at 17:00 PST)
Papers and Pictorials  submission deadline: February 11, 2021
(The submission system closes at 17:00 PST)
Papers and Pictorials notifications to authors: April 8, 2021
Papers and Pictorials camera ready deadline: April 22, 2021
Video ready deadline: May 13, 2021
Papers and Pictorials Program: June 28-July 2, 2021

What are Papers and Pictorials?

DIS papers are written archival publications of original research. They are primarily textual and represent mature, complete research contributions. ​Pictorials are ​archival publications​ in which the visual components (e.g. diagrams, sketches, illustrations, renderings, photographs, annotated photographs, and collages) play a major role in conveying the ideas and contributions of a study in addition to the accompanying text. Pictorials leverage the power of visual communication with the effective use of visual languages and high-quality images. They may have a practical or theoretical nature or both. As design perspectives have increasingly become integrated in HCI practice and research, new approaches are needed to communicate design practices, processes, products and artefacts to the HCI community. Through pictorials, researchers, practitioners, industry professionals, artists, designers and students from various disciplines, including engineering, interaction design, computer science, product design, media studies and the arts are encouraged to express and unpack their design practices and projects in visually rich ways. The pictorials format helps foster discussions among authors, conference attendees, and the wider community through the sharing of novel methods, insights and lessons learned from engaging in or with the design of interactive systems and artefacts.

Contribution Areas

DIS 2021 invites papers and pictorials that are well aligned with the theme: “Nowhere and Everywhere.” We also invite papers and pictorials that can contribute to any of the four following areas described below.”

Critical Computing and Design Theory

Critical computing and design theory have contributed to one another for decades. This area seeks papers and pictorials that carry this work into a new generation–exploring the relationships among design inquiry, politics, aesthetics, ethics, and craftsmanship as well as unpacking the notion of criticality in design and computing.

Design Methods and Processes

Share your inventions and insights that open up new spaces for design, allow for engagement with new, difficult to access communities, and enable designers to play with exciting new materials. This area seeks papers and pictorials that document, innovate and/or advance the methods and processes used by UX and service design practitioners; user researchers from industry, academia, and NGOs; and academic design researchers working in HCI and interaction design.

Experiences, Artefacts, and Technology

Interactions with digital artefacts and technologies are an inescapable facet of our everyday experience. This area seeks papers and pictorials that explore new relationships and intersections amongst and between experiences, artefacts and technologies, and the ways in which meaningful and impactful interactions are designed, created and engendered

Change Through Design

Design has the potential to enact positive change and/or tackle large-scale and complex societal, cultural, economic, environmental, and/or political challenges in the world. What are the political, ethical, and moral dimensions of design? Who is allowed to participate in design processes, and who are our designs for? This area seeks papers and pictorials about design activism discourses, approaches, processes, tools, and inspirational cases/exemplars.

Preparing and Submitting Your Papers and Pictorials

Abstract and Title Submissions

DIS 2021 has two submission deadlines for the papers and pictorials track. The first deadline, February 4, requires you to submit a title, abstract of less than 150 words, and meta-data for your paper or pictorial. We will use this information to help plan the specifics of the review process. The second deadline, February 11, is for the final version of your paper or pictorial. You can also update your paper or pictorial title and abstract as needed.

Paper Formatting and Length

All paper submissions should be formatted using the templates described on this webpage:

We have chosen to use the most recent ACM paper format (also recently used for CHI2021).

Papers do not have a page limit. This is a change from prior years in which authors were encouraged to submit a maximum-length paper of up to 10 pages. For DIS 2021, authors are instead encouraged to submit a paper with a length proportional to its contribution and thus there are no maximum (or minimum) length papers. However, clarity of writing is considered vital to a high-quality submission.
If your research contribution requires only 6, 8, or 12 pages (single column, plus references), please submit a paper of that length. Reviewers will be instructed to weigh the contribution of a submission relative to its length. Papers should be succinct, but thorough in presenting the work. Shorter, more focused papers are encouraged and will be reviewed like any other paper. Papers whose lengths are incommensurate with their contributions will be rejected. Papers may be perceived as too long if they are repetitive or verbose, or too short if they omit important details, neglect relevant prior art, or tamper with formatting rules to save on page count.

For reference, the ACM TAPS webpage features a table comparing the page length of single-column manuscript and dual-column camera-ready version. Please submit you paper as a single-column manuscript via PCS. For the LaTeX template, the document class should be set using \documentclass[manuscript, review=true]{acmart} . Due to the changes to the template this year, reviewers will be instructed to be understanding about reasonable formatting errors that emerge from this change.

All Papers must present original, unpublished research. Papers are not allowed to be under concurrent review with other conferences, journals, or venues.

Pictorial Formatting and Length

Pictorials must be submitted using the DIS 2021 pictorials templates (below) and not exceed ​12 pages​, excluding references. On the first page of the submission please keep with the template and include the submission’s title, author(s) and their affiliation(s) (leave blank for double blind review), and a written abstract of no more than 150 words succinctly describing the background and context of the pictorial as well as its contribution to the DIS community. Further written parts known from other conference formats such as Introduction, Conclusion, Discussion, Acknowledgements, and References are optional. The main part of the submission should be an annotated visual composition and we encourage submissions to use the format creatively.
PCS allows file sizes up to about 150 MB, but we suggest that you keep reviewers in mind and experiment with lower resolution to make the submission considerably smaller.
We strongly advise you to use the InDesign template to compose your Pictorial. If you do not have access to InDesign, please use the Word or Powerpoint templates.

Important Note on Accessibility

Although the general instructions for ACM papers have changed this year, pictorials continue in the landscape format that has been developed for them. The templates above are the same as those introduced for DIS 2020 pictorials. One of the primary reasons that ACM is moving to a new publications workflow for papers is accessibility. Pictorials authors are required to be sure that they produce accessible work. Please be sure that “Enable Accessibility and Reflow with tagged Adobe PDF” is checked when you create your PDF submissions file. Please be sure that all images have correct associated Alt Text. Please see:

DIS Anonymisation Policy

The DIS papers and pictorials review process is based on doubly anonymous reviewing. Authors are expected to remove author and institutional identities from the title and header areas of the paper, as noted in the submission instructions (Note: changing the text color of the author information is not sufficient). Also, please make sure that identifying information does not appear in the document’s meta-data (e.g., the ‘Authors’ field in your word processor’s ‘Save As’ dialog box). In addition, we require that the acknowledgments section be left blank as it could also easily identify the authors and/or their institution.
Further suppression of identity in the body of the paper or pictorial is left to the authors’ discretion. We do expect that authors leave citations to their previous work unanonymised so that reviewers can ensure that all previous research has been taken into account by the authors. However, authors are required to cite their own work in the third person, e.g., avoid “As described in our previous work [10], … ” and use instead “As described by [10], …”
In order to ensure the fairness of the reviewing process, DIS uses doubly anonymous reviews, where external reviewers don’t know the identity of authors, and authors don’t know the identity of external reviewers. In the past few years, some authors have decided to publish their DIS submissions in public archives prior to or during the review process. These public archives have surpassed in reach and publicity what used to happen with tech reports published in institutional repositories. The consequence is that well-informed external reviewers may know, without searching for it, the full identity and institutional affiliation of the authors of a submission they are reviewing. While reviewers should not actively seek information about author identity, complete anonymisation is difficult and can be made more so by publication and promotion of work during the DIS review process. While publication in public archives is becoming standard across many fields, authors should be aware that unconscious biases can affect the nature of reviews when identities are known. DIS does not discourage non-archival publication of work prior to or during the review process but recognises that complete anonymisation becomes more difficult in that context.


You must submit your Notice of Intent (NOI) to submit a paper or pictorial to the Precision Conference submission system (PCS)​ by February 4, 2021. The NOI is an entry in PCS with tentative author names, title and abstract. You can make changes as many times as you like before the final submission deadline on February 11, 2021. Note that this represents a compromise between the tight review schedule this year and the submission deadline being close to public holidays. There will be no further extensions!
As part of the submission process, authors must submit an abstract, keywords, and meta-data related to the submission’s contents. We encourage you to include your contribution type(s) in the metadata related to your submission.

Review Process

Papers and pictorials follow a rigorous blind peer review process. This process is managed by the Technical Program Chairs (TCs), the Split Chairs (SCs) for each split, and Associate Chairs (ACs). Confidentiality of submissions is maintained throughout the review process.

After the submission deadline, each paper or pictorial will be assigned to a split committee during the PCS submission process, in consultation with SCs, and at the discretion of the technical program chairs. Please note that papers and pictorials will be submitted to the same track, independent of the contribution area. The DIS 2021 paper and pictorial committees will be comprised of Associate Chairs that collectively represent expertise across all contribution types. The process will be similar to the DIS 2020 conference and is intended to foster discussion across contribution types and also ensure an equitable workload across ACs.

SCs will then assign each paper or pictorial to a primary AC (1AC) as well as a secondary AC (2AC). The 1AC will find two external reviewers. Each external reviewer as well as the 2AC will write a detailed review of their assigned submissions and assess the contribution of the research to the field. Thus, each paper or pictorial will receive 3 detailed reviews. As part of this process, we will strive to find ACs and reviewers who are experts in the topic area of each submission.

After the reviews have been written, the 1AC for a paper or pictorial will ensure scholarly content and broader impact of reviews and write a meta review of the paper or pictorial that summarises the reviews from the two external reviewers and the 2AC. If 1ACs disagree with the other reviews, they will be encouraged to write a review as well as a meta-review; we will strive to distinguish between the 1AC’s assessment of the submission and the summarisation of the other reviews.

The 1AC will present a recommendation for the paper’s or pictorial’s acceptance or rejection to the SC responsible for that submission, who will review meta reviews and spot check reviews.
SCs and ACs will meet at a virtual program committee meeting with the TCs to discuss the final acceptance of papers and pictorials for inclusion in the DIS 2021 program.

Upon Acceptance of your Paper or Pictorial

Authors will be notified of conditional acceptance or rejection of their paper or pictorial on or before the notification date of April 8, 2021. Meta reviews will describe any further changes that the authors are expected to make to the submission prior to its publication. These should be made as part of a “camera ready submission” into PCS by the deadline of April 22, 2021. Final changes will be checked by members of the program committee prior to making a final acceptance of the paper or pictorial. If authors are unable to meet the requirements for changes, the program chairs will be notified and may reject the paper.
All accepted submissions require a signed form assigning copyright or licence to the ACM, or an upfront fee to ACM to enable Open Access. Responsibility for obtaining permissions to use video, audio, or pictures of identifiable people or proprietary content rests with the author, not the ACM or the DIS conference.
Additionally, each accepted submission requires a full conference registration fee to be paid by the first author (student registration fees available for students). Papers or pictorials whose authors are not registered for the conference may be removed from the ACM Digital Library and the conference proceedings.
All published papers and pictorials will appear online in the ACM Digital Library and be distributed digitally to conference delegates as part of the conference proceedings.

Video Presentations

The authors of accepted submissions will be asked to create a video presentation of the work, which will be featured at the virtual conference. Videos are due on ​May 13, 2021 (details to follow)​.

DIS2021 Technical Program Chairs

Sean Follmer
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (by Courtesy), Stanford University

Sarah Fox
Assistant Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

Stacey Kuznetsov,
School of Arts, Media, and Engineering
Arizona State University