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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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BeyerHugh R. The storyboards ensure coherence of individual tasks, but the new system must have the appropriate structure to support a natural flow of work through the system no matter what task the user is doing. Verbal Reports as Data. Apprenticing with the Customer.

As described earlier, people’s work is complex and full of detail. Children as co-designers of new technologies: People have been studying humans for years, and it takes structure to make sense of the complex interactions and environments in which we live. Make sure you finish reading a section before you try to apply it.

This is not a theoretical book; the authors have been using these techniques for years to design real, complex products. The data walking session is followed by a group visioning session during which the visioning team generates a variety hotzblatt new product concepts by telling stories of different usage scenarios based on the data collected.

English Choose a language for shopping. Most methodologies define a series of stages, each with deliverables and milestones. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. In Communications of the ACM38 5 pp. dexign

The first problem for design is to understand the customers: Contextual Design is rooted in the observation that any technology or system is always situated in a larger environmental context – and that introduction of new solutions invariably changes the environment for its users. And when I talk to design researchers at companies like Frog, IDEO, Artefact, or other big thinking consultancies, they are hanging out with the customer.

Artifacts reveal how people think about their work – the concepts they use and how they organize them to get the work done.


The Physical Beyef shows the physical environment as it supports or gets in the way of the work. Aesthetics Agile Concept art Creative industries Cultural icon. It shows how people are constrained and how they work around those constraints to make sure the work is done. Automotive design Automotive suspension design CMF design Corrugated box design Electric guitar design Furniture design Sustainable Hardware interface design Motorcycle design Packaging and labeling Photographic lens design Product design Production design Sensory design Service design.

The difficulty is that, as we described above, work becomes so habitual to end-users that they often have difficulty articulating exactly what they do and desihn they do it. CarrollJohn M. Contextual inquiry is an explicit yoltzblatt for understanding who the customers really are and how they work on a day-to-day basis.

Contextual Design | The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.

The use of paper prototypes is described in many resources, including Carolyn Snyder’s book on the subject Snyder This page was last edited on 1 Augustat Contextual inquiry was defined as a structured method for gathering and using field data using this theoretical foundation.

In The Cool Project, we articulated this new perspective in seven Cool Concepts, each revealing core human motivations that products must hotzblatt to be successful today. SchulerDouglas and NamiokaAki eds. A key aspect of the technique is to partner with the user, letting their work and the issues they encounter contexrual the interview. Contextual Design has also been applied to the design of digital libraries and other learning technologies NotessNotess This is critical – paper prototype iterations ensure the team is developing the right design, that it is solving real user problems.

The User Congextual Design captures the floor plan ddsign the new holtzblxtt. And the simpler a testing process is, the more time is available for multiple iterations to work out the detailed design with users.

Portion of a Storyboard. The challenge they were set was to develop a system for first-generation college students who may be under-resourced, ethnically diverse, and at times, at-risk. Their use is becoming more widespread, though with mixed success. The first is that people are not consciously aware of their own work practice ; all of their knowledge is tacit.


The Flow Model captures communication and coordination between people to accomplish work. Our Experience and Evolution. Ask questions and suggest interpretations of the user’s actions and motivations. All these methods – which are explained in the following section – encourage the designer to think about the entire system, rather than treating each part as its own independent problem to be solved.

The User Environment Design is kept at the level required for the team to keep its own thinking clear – it is not intended as a communication mechanism to the development team. Contextual design methodology is widely employed across the world by practitioners and taught to students in human-computer interaction, product design, and related classes Rogers et al.

The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.

This is the core of the Contextual Design philosophy – understand users in order to find out their fundamental intents, desires, and drivers.

They give the team a focus for the design conversation, showing how the work hangs together rather than breaking it up in lists. HoltzblattKaren and BeyerHugh R. Up to this point, a Contextual Design project focuses on understanding the users as they are.

Contextual Design – InContext Design

Here are some possible directions to keep an eye on. Archived copy as title. Contextual Design describes another worthwhile software engineering method, one that places the user or customer at the forefront of the software design process from beginning to end. When people design, they create physical representations of their concepts. From visioning through validation, the team takes a product concept and turns it into a detailed design that can guide product specification and rollout planning.

Complicating the designer’s job are two facts about work practice. 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. But Jane Fulton Suri takes it a step further, saying: