Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems / Edition 1

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Overview

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

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 omission

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558604117
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Series: Interactive Technologies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,251,413
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Hugh Beyer is a co-founder of InContext Enterprises, Inc., a firm that works with companies, coaching teams to design products, product strategies, and information systems from customer data. Hugh Beyer has pioneered the link between the customer-centered front end and object-oriented design.

Karen Holtzblatt is a co-founder of InContext Enterprises, Inc., a firm that works with companies, coaching teams to design products, product strategies, and information systems from customer data. Karen Holtzblatt developed the Contextual Inquiry field data gathering technique that forms the core of Contextual Design and is now taught and used world-wide.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Gathering Customer Data
Chapter 3 Principles of Contextual Inquiry
Chapter 4 Contextual Inquiry in Practice
Chapter 5 A Language of Work
Chapter 6 Work Models
Chapter 7 The Interpretation Session
Chapter 8 Consolidation
Chapter 9 Creating One View of the Customer
Chapter 10 Communicating to the Organization
Chapter 11 Work Redesign
Chapter 12 Using Data to Drive Design
Chapter 13 Design from Data
Chapter 14 System Design
Chapter 15 The User Environment Design
Chapter 16 Project Planning and Strategy
Chapter 17 Prototyping as a Design Tool
Chapter 18 From Structure to User Interface
Chapter 19 Iterating with a Prototype
Chapter 20 Putting It into Practice
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