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 Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.

It is only when users are immersed in normal contexts of use that they can become aware of their own work practice – what they do in detail and why. Holtzblatt scaled down this method for software, using hand-drawn user interfaces on sticky notes to represent a proposed design and working through the user’s own tasks, in their own workplaces, to explore the usefulness of the design.

Consolidation brings data from individual customer interviews together so the team can see common pattern and structure without losing individual variation. Few define specific ways of gathering requirements, instead leaving bdyer specific method open to definition by the product team.

Contextual Design provides methods that help a team keep the design coherent. Great designers can accomplish much in a design centric company and might even have some big wins. Contextual Design explains the customer’s role in product design to high-tech dessign teams.


The Sequence Model shows the detailed steps performed to accomplish each task important to the work. A Contextual Design team invents these conntextual through visioning.

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

Such “customer empathy” is central to the Contextual Design process and a total understanding of “work” within organizations is the mantra here. HelanderMartin and LandauerThomas K.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Karen and Hugh present a step-by-step way to uncover, understand, and use those needs. From sketches to formal diagrams, drawings enable designers to work out their ideas, capture their thinking, share it with others, discuss it, and identify weaknesses. They provide enough detail to make it easy to write and estimate stories.

East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. The Elements of User Experience: NamiokaAki and SchulerDoug eds. A vision includes the system, its delivery, and support structures to make the new work practice successful, but is told from the user’s point of view.

This page was last edited on 1 Augustat It is intentionally rough and high-level – a vision sets a possible design direction, without fleshing out every detail. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals.

Contextual Design – InContext Design

Portion of an Affinity Diagram. Portion of a Paper Prototype. The interviewer actively questions the user and partners with them to draw out and understand their work practice in detail.


This is refreshing to hear beysr although technology has always been transformative, there was a slight naivety to it in the past: How can we help you create a successful product? HoltzblattKaren and JonesSandra Every few pages, my brain filled with ideas as to how I could use the info in my organization! The Artifact Model shows the artifacts that are created and used in doing the work.

It shows how work is divided into formal and informal roles and responsibilities.

The User Environment Design captures the floor plan of the new system. And storyboards, the User Environment Design, and paper prototypes develop and validate the right function to be included in user stories for Agile release planning.

Models of the same type can be consolidated together but not generalized—detail must be maintained. Contextual design has also been applied to the design of digital libraries and other learning technologies.

Participatory design in a human-computer interaction course: Let us contact you. The Physical Model shows the physical environment as it supports or gets in the way of the work.

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