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Contextual design (CD) is a user-centered design process developed by Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt. It incorporates ethnographic methods for gathering. Karen Holtzblatt, Hugh Beyer, A tool supporting capture and analysis of field research data using the contextual design methodology, CHI ‘ The authors developed Contextual Design, the method discussed here, through their work with teams struggling to design products and internal systems.

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The Vision captures a story of how customers will do their work in the new world the team invents. Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition September 15, Language: Instructional Design in the Real World: It arrived on time and was in good condition. Contextual design has also been applied to the design of digital libraries and other learning technologies.

Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Contextual Inquiry interviews, the affinity diagram, and work models provide the deep understanding of the user needed by the team.

Modified contextual design as a field evaluation method. Team interpretation sessions bring a cross-functional design team together to hear the whole story of an interview and capture the insights and learning relevant to their design problem. The Contextual Design CD process encourages holistic, systemic design — looking at the whole user work and life context and responding with an integrated concept that broadly supports user activities. Along with co-workers John Whiteside and John Bennett at Digital Equipment Corporation, Karen helped identify the limitations of traditional usability testing Whiteside et al.

Testing is an important part of any system development. Each storyboard describes how users will accomplish a task in the new system.


Contextual Inquiry field visits allow detailed user interface designs to be iterated with users. Contextual Design holds that design team members must go into the field and observe and talk with users in their natural work or life environments – their natural contexts – in order to understand work practice. The affinity desigb is a bottom-up method. In The Cool Project, we articulated this new perspective in seven Cool Concepts, each revealing core human motivations that products must support to be successful today.


The purpose of the conversation is to reveal and articulate the nature fontextual the user’s work practice, and this purpose is understood and shared by both participants. Verbal Reports as Data. KyngMorten Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands.

Contextual Design – InContext Design

East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. Paper prototyping develops rough mockups of the system using notes and hand drawn paper to represent windows, dialog boxes, buttons, and menus.

They are there not just there to get inspired, or to validate, but to learn something about humans. Feedback from these base levels is used to ensure that the resulting product is useful. Articulate what matters about the work together. For most projects, the main focus is nearly always on the end-users, but it is important to consider and evaluate the needs of the other types of customers as well. Systems are seldom designed for a single customer. A Participatory Technique for System Design.

This is a practical, hands-on guide for anyone trying to design systems that reflect the holtzb,att customers want to do their work. Buy the selected items together This item: A small number of key principles shaped the development of Contextual Design and provide the key holztblatt for its use as a design tool.

Allison Druin and Karen Holtzblatt. Work models make work practice – how users approach their work – explicit, public, and sharable. If you design products intended to be used by humans, you NEED this book. In Interactions6 1 pp. We are experts at bringing structured data into an organization and bridging the gap between engineering, design, and data.

While geared to the systems analyst, the book is valuable to anyone cnotextual for gathering prospect problems at an onsite meeting.


In practice, this means that researchers aggregate data from customers in the field where people are living and applying these findings into a final product. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Training your team can be a key part of our value to you. Contextual inquiry was defined as a structured method for gathering and using field data using this theoretical foundation.

So it’s important to test and iterate a design early, before anyone gets invested in the design and before spending time writing code. I will review this product from its material standpoint and not from an implementation standpoint. But designing for a whole customer population – the market, department, or organization that will use the system – depends on seeing the common aspects of the work different people do.

It’s cheaper and faster to refine the design at this point than in the middle of development iterations. Now the fish are bigger, and the stakes are higher.

Read reviews that mention contextual design ideas software process authors techniques user. The core elements of Contextual Design have been stable for over a decade and are unlikely to change fundamentally in the future. Unknown pending investigation Copyright terms and licence: Whether written on the back of a napkin or captured in a high-end modeling tool, designers need a tangible representation of their thoughts.

A more lightweight approach to contextual design has been developed by its originators to address an oft-heard criticism that the method is too labor-intensive or lengthy for some needs.

This is where Contextual Design excels, imbuing the insights with a structure that grounds them, lets them communicate quickly, and helps them live on to inform Big Thing v2.