Contextual Design book cover

Contextual Design

Defining Customer-Centered Systems

This book introduces a customer-centered approach to business by showing how data gathered from people while they work can drive the definition of a product or process while supporting the needs of teams and their organizations. This is a practical, hands-on guide for anyone trying to design systems that reflect the way customers want to do their work. The authors developed Contextual Design, the method discussed here, through their work with teams struggling to design products and internal systems. In this book, you'll find the underlying principles of the method and how to apply them to different problems, constraints, and organizational situations.Contextual Design enables you to+ gather detailed data about how people work and use systems + develop a coherent picture of a whole customer population + generate systems designs from a knowledge of customer work+ diagram a set of existing systems, showing their relationships, inconsistencies, redundancies, and omissions

Paperback, 496 Pages

Published: September 1997

Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN: 978-1-55860-411-7

Reviews

  • "If necessity is the mother of invention, then if you don't know what the users need you can't invent. Karen and Hugh present a step-by-step way to uncover, understand, and use those needs. If developers are not already using techniques like those presented here, they should read this book carefully to see what they are missing." —-Dan Bricklin, co-creator of VisiCalc "Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt are widely recognized as the foremost experts on contextual inquiry, and they have packed what they know into a book of both substance and intelligence. It has been a long wait but worth it. The book lucidly shows how to capture the real requirements of customers and how to tailor designs to fit their needs. If you care about your customers and want to create products they as well as want, then you need to understand contextual inquiry and contextual design. You need this book." --Larry Constantine, Principal Consultant, Constantine & Locwood, Ltd.; Professor of Computing Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney (Australia); Author of Constantine on Peopleware and Software for User "For many years, Beyer and Holtzblatt have been pioneers in the field of human-computer interaction, showing how the context of computer use can be (and needs to be) the central focus of analysis and design. This book conveys the understanding and wisdom that they have gained from their experience in contextual design in a form that is accessible to students and design practitioners. It will serve as a guide and handbook for the next generation of interaction designers, and as a result we can expect the usability and appropriateness of computer systems to be greatly improved." --Terry Winograd, Stanford University

Contents

  • Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems
    by Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
    • Foreword
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1 Introduction
      • The challenges for design
      • The challenge of fitting into everyday life
      • Creating an optimal match to the work
      • Keeping in touch with the customer
      • The challenge of design in organizations
      • Teamwork in the physical environment
      • Managing face-to-face design
      • The challenge of design from data
      • The complexity of work
      • Maintaining a coherent response
      • Contextual Design
    • Part 1 Understanding the Customer
    • Chapter 2 Gathering Customer Data
      • Marketing doesn't provide design data
      • The rocky partnership between IT and its clients
      • Improving communication with the business
      • The role of intuition in design
      • Contextual Inquiry reveals hidden work structure
    • Chapter 3 Principles of Contextual Inquiry
      • The master/apprentice model
      • The four principles of Contextual Inquiry
      • Context
      • Partnership
      • Interpretation
      • Focus
      • The contextual interview structure
    • Chapter 4 Contextual Inquiry in Practice
      • Setting project focus
      • Designing the inquiry for commercial products
      • Designing the inquiry for IT projects
      • Designing the interviewing situation
      • Deciding who to interview
      • Making it work
    • Part 2 Seeing Work
    • Chapter 5 A Language of Work
      • Using language to focus thought
      • Graphical languages give a whole picture
      • Work models provide a language for seeing work
      • Work models reveal the important distinctions
    • Chapter 6 Work Models
      • The flow model
      • Recognizing communication flow
      • Creating a bird's-eye view of the organization
      • The sequence model
      • Collecting sequences during an interview
      • The artifact model
      • Collecting artifacts during an interview
      • Inquiring into an artifact
      • The cultural model
      • Recognizing the influence of culture
      • Making culture tangible
      • The physical model
      • Seeing the impact of the physical environment
      • Showing what matters in the physical environment
      • The five faces of work
    • Chapter 7 The Interpretation Session
      • Building a shared understanding
      • The structure of an interpretation session
      • Team makeup
      • Roles
      • Running the session
      • The sharing session
    • Part 3 Seeing across Customers
    • Chapter 8 Consolidation
      • Creating one representation of a market
      • A single representation is a marketing and planning tool
      • Facilitate the partnership between IT and customers
      • IT can be the voice for coherent business processes
      • Representations of work stabilize requirements
      • Seeing the whole
    • Chapter 9 Creating One View of the Customer
      • The affinity diagram
      • Consolidating flow models
      • Consolidating sequence models
      • Consolidating artifact models
      • Consolidating physical models
      • Consolidating cultural models
      • The thought process of consolidation
    • Chapter 10 Communicating to the Organization
      • Communication Techniques
      • Walking the affinity
      • Walking the consolidated models
      • Touring the design room
      • Tailoring the language to the audience
      • Marketing
      • Customers
      • Engineering
      • Management
      • Usability
      • Models manage the conversation
    • Part 4 Innovation from Data
    • Chapter 11 Work Redesign
      • Customer data drives innovation
      • Creative design incorporates diversity
      • Contextual Design introduces a process for invention
      • Work redesign as a distinct design step
    • Chapter 12 Using Data to Drive Design
      • The consolidated flow model
      • Role switching
      • Role strain
      • Role sharing
      • Role isolation
      • Process fixes
      • Target the customer
      • Pitfalls
      • The consolidated cultural model
      • Interpersonal give-and-take
      • Pervasive values
      • Public relations
      • Process fixes
      • Pitfalls
      • The consolidated physical model
      • The reality check
      • Work structure made real
      • Movement and access
      • Partial automation
      • Process fixes
      • Pitfalls
      • Consolidated sequence models
      • What the user is up to
      • How users approach a task
      • Unnecessary steps
      • What gets them started
      • Process fixes
      • Pitfalls
      • Consolidated artifact models
      • Why it matters
      • What it says
      • How it chunks
      • What it looks like
      • Pitfalls
      • Using metaphors
      • Using models for design
    • Chapter 13 Design from Data
      • Walking the data
      • Priming the brain
      • Creating a vision
      • Creating a common direction
      • Making the vision real
      • Process and organization design
      • Marketing plans
      • System design
      • Storyboards
      • Redesigning work
    • Part 5 System Design
    • Chapter 14 System Design
      • Keeping the user's work coherent
      • Breaking up the problem breaks up the work
      • A system has its own coherence
      • The structure of a system
      • Designing structure precedes UI design
      • The User Environment Design
      • Representing the system work model
      • The User Environment formalism in the design process
    • Chapter 15 The User Environment Design
      • The reverse User Environment Design
      • Building the User Environment from storyboards
      • Defining a system with the User Environment Design
      • User Environment Design walkthroughs
      • Probing User Environment Design structure
    • Chapter 16 Project Planning and Strategy
      • Planning a series of releases
      • Partitioning a system for implementation
      • Coordinating a product strategy
      • Driving concurrent implementation
    • Part 6 Prototyping
    • Chapter 17 Prototyping as a Design Tool
      • The difficulty of communicating a design
      • Including customers in the design process
      • Using paper prototypes to drive design
      • Prototyping as a communication tool
    • Chapter 18 From Structure to User Interface
      • Using the User Environment Design to drive the UI
      • Mapping to a windowing UI
      • Mapping to a command-line UI
      • Mapping to UI controls
      • A process to design the UI
    • Chapter 19 Iterating with a Prototype
      • Building a paper prototype
      • Running a prototype interview
      • Context
      • Partnership
      • Interpretation
      • Focus
      • The structure of an interview
      • Setup
      • Introduction
      • Transition
      • The interview
      • Wrap-up
      • The interpretation session
      • Iteration
      • Completing a design
    • Conclusion
    • Chapter 20 Putting It into Practice
      • The principles of Contextual Design
      • The principle of data
      • The principle of the team
      • The principle of design thinking
      • Breaking up design responsibilities across groups
      • Addressing different design problems
      • Team structure
      • Maintaining a strategic customer focus
      • Handling organizational change
      • Designing the design process
    • Afterword
    • Readings and Resources
    • References
    • Index

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