Banner photo: Minneapolis skyline
October 20 - 23, 2020

UIST 2020

Virtual (previously Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Co-located with CSCW

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The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) is the premier forum for innovations in human-computer interfaces. Sponsored by ACM special interest groups on computer-human interaction (SIGCHI) and computer graphics (SIGGRAPH), UIST brings together people from diverse areas including graphical & web user interfaces, tangible & ubiquitous computing, virtual & augmented reality, multimedia, new input & output devices, and CSCW. The intimate size and intensive program make UIST an ideal opportunity to exchange research results and ideas.

Important Dates

Abstract Deadline April 20, 2020 (5pm PDT)
Paper Deadline May 6, 2020 (5pm PDT)
Doctoral Symposium Deadline July 8, 2020
Poster and Demo Deadline July 22, 2020
Student Volunteer Applications Due August 10, 2020
Conference Begins October 20, 2020

Conference Format

April 29, 2020—As communicated a few days ago, the UIST 2020 organizational team has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation around the world. Looking at the current state of the pandemic and projections into the Fall, as well as following the guidance from Public Health officials, we have decided the following:

UIST 2020 will be fully virtual!

Amidst all the challenges our community has faced over the past few months, we are reassured of the robust health of the ongoing research from the community after seeing the number of abstracts submitted a few days ago. Following on this, we are now ready to announce that we're committing at this time to holding UIST in a virtual format, on schedule in October 2020.

Having a physical conference in October presents all sorts of risks that are not worth taking - in terms of both public health and economic viability. Given the varying levels of travel restrictions and health challenges that many of our attendees are anticipated to face, we cannot in any good faith commit to a physical conference where many of our participants may not be able, allowed or not feel comfortable in participating in person. However, given the healthy number of paper submissions, we strongly feel that the conference must take place, albeit not in its regular form. Therefore, we decided to switch the conference to a virtual format this year.

Please note that we did not take this decision lightly. We have been closely monitoring the situation for a few weeks. We took into account the decisions that were taken by other conferences around the same time frame, sought guidance from ACM and our steering committee, consulted with our collocation partners (CSCW) and finally reached the decision as a team. CSCW 2020 will also be virtual and the two conferences will be collocated as originally planned.

Why decide now?

Converting a conference that at its core embodies the importance of physical interactions to be virtual presents many challenges. Therefore we made the choice to make this decision early so that the organizing team has ample time to adapt accordingly, learn from other conferences, gather necessary resources and put together a plan that makes the remote rendition of the conference successful. We also hope that making the decision early on absolves the potential attendees from making difficult decisions about whether to attend in person or the uncertainty around making travel plans.

What about our submissions?

We want to emphasize that accepted content will be published in the ACM digital library as it would have for the physical conference, so please continue to work on your submissions. Our program committee is working hard to make sure that UIST 2020 showcases a strong program as in other years. Accepted papers will be presented at the virtual conference. Please bear with us as we work out those details.

New challenges bring new opportunities!

While we are sad about the fact that we will not be able to bring the conference to the community in its traditional form, we are also optimistic about the opportunities this presents - our partnership with CSCW allows us to creatively plan new forms of conference participation. Being virtual also allows more people to participate as the barriers of travel and corresponding costs are removed - this allows us to broaden our reach far more than what a physical conference is able to do.

Share your ideas

If you have thoughts around what may or may not work well with virtual conferences, and especially if you have experiences to share from other virtual conferences that you have participated in please let us know at We are in the process of figuring out the details of what the conference should entail and welcome your thoughts.

We thank you for your patience. These are not easy times and we are sad to be in the position of making a decision that emphasizes how difficult and different these times are from normal. However, we are confident that UIST 2020 will be a success - it will just be in a different form than what we are used to.

In the coming days, we will share more details about the conference; in the meantime we hope all of you stay safe and remain in good health.

Shamsi Iqbal and Karon MacLean
UIST 2020 General Co-Chairs

Previous Updates

April 17, 2020

As our abstract and paper deadlines approach, we are all monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation around the world. The UIST 2020 organizational team together with our steering committee and ACM want to assure prospective authors of our full commitment to holding UIST this year – although the format is unlikely to be a familiar one. Our aim is to be as transparent about our decisions as is possible in these uncertain times.

Proceedings: We emphasize that all accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings and be published in the ACM Digital Library. The publication process is not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that this assurance encourages you to continue to work on your paper submissions: remember, abstracts are due on April 20th.

October meeting: We are considering the form our October meeting will take, in collaboration with the CSCW team. There will be opportunities for remote participation and presentation regardless of travel conditions. It’s of serious consequence: UIST is a very special event, with the importance of any conferences’ social and community experience amplified by the central role of hands-on demos. In the midst of the myriad and serious challenges of our pandemic society, there are also opportunities for us to rise to. Our active partnership with a pre-eminent conference on computer-supported collaboration is one of them: what does UIST x CSCW have to say about the societal needs that have been exposed in recent months? Stay tuned, and feel free to share your ideas.

Back to you: Meanwhile, as you're trying to do your research and finish your papers while locked out of your labs with your supply chains cut off, we have heard amazing stories of creativity and resourcefulness. We'll want to hear those stories! Please capture them, and we'll find a way -- before or during the conference -- for you to share them with all of us.

In the coming period, we will keep you informed of changes, and meanwhile we welcome your thoughts on all of this.

Shamsi Iqbal and Karon MacLean
UIST 2020 General Co-Chairs

March 18, 2020

Further Paper Deadline Extension / Removing the Rebuttal Phase:
As the measures to help contain the spread of the covid-19 pandemic increasingly disrupt the course of research activities worldwide, the UIST 2020 Program Chairs together with the General Chairs and Steering Committee have decided to further extend the UIST 2020 submission deadline. We hope this will allow authors to navigate this complex situation with more serenity. The new deadline for the abstracts is April 20, 2020, 5PM PDT, and the new deadline for the papers is May 6, 2020, 5PM PDT.

These changes are made possible by removing the rebuttal phase for this year. We understand that this may end up frustrating for some. However, on balance we hope that the extra time for completing research is the most useful to you in these circumstances.

We are aware that these are uncertain times; however, this new deadline is definitive. An extension to May 6 is the latest we can possibly accommodate without impacting the quality of the review process, or the cycle of other subsequent conferences.

We also acknowledge that many authors are concerned with the impossibility of conducting in-person user studies. We want to stress that user studies are not the only possible means of assessing a research contribution. We encourage authors to consider the many other ways that contributions can be validated, and we will stress in the reviewing guidelines that, for many of the submitted works, user studies might not necessarily be the most appropriate, nor indispensable method to demonstrate validity or provide valuable insights.

We appreciate your understanding and support during these unusual times. If you have any questions, please email the paper chairs:

March 10, 2020

Paper Deadline Extension: With Covid-19 significantly impacting research work due to restrictions on carrying out user studies, delays of hardware orders that are shipping from affected countries, and limited access to research facilities/equipment due to enforced working from home, we are extending the paper deadline by two weeks. The paper abstract and meta-data (title, author list etc.) will still be due on April 1, 2020 (5pm PDT), the actual paper pdf and video will now be due on April 15, 2020 (5pm PDT). We will make the corresponding changes in the submission system within the next days. We will closely monitor the situation in the next weeks and will post a weekly update every wednesday of the week. If you have any questions, please email the paper chairs:


The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) is the premier forum for innovations in human-computer interfaces. More than 600 researchers and leading tech companies will attend the symposium.

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