Contextual Design - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781558604117, 9780080503042

Contextual Design

1st Edition

Defining Customer-Centered Systems

Print ISBN: 9781558604117
eBook ISBN: 9780080503042
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 1st September 1997
Page Count: 496
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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

Table of Contents

Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems
by Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt

    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
      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


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© Morgan Kaufmann 1997
Morgan Kaufmann
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"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