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Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems (Interactive Technologies)
 
 

Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems (Interactive Technologies) [Kindle Edition]

Hugh Beyer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £58.99
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Product Description

Review

"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

Product Description

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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4812 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (8 Dec 1997)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003VM7GEC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #554,149 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide to human-centered design 20 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've been searching all over for good guides to the *process* of human-centered design as opposed to the techniques for good UI: This book is excellent on two counts
1. The principles and methods you advocate
2. The lack of competition, but this doesn't distract from the quality of the book.
There are lots of books on how to do UI, but they all concentrate upon the widgets. This is the only one I have seen that really tells you how to go out and collect customer data, and then, what to do about it. I also like the way it deals with UI design -- do it only after the analysis -- resist the temptation to start the design too soon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If only more software was designed this way! 19 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The book offers a fantastic guide to project teams for creating excellent software. If any group follows the design practices prescribed by Contextual Design, their users are likely to find the resulting software actually enhances their work practice, rather than gets in their way.
The book works on the level of processes that project teams should follow to understand their users work and then to build the software to enhance that work practice. Someone wanting to focus on the level of GUI interface guidelines should look elsewhere.
What is amazing to me so far as I read and use the book is how often these authors are saying something that is not only novel but also simply right.
Great job by Holtzblatt and Beyer!
-- Joe Grant
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide to human-centered design 20 Mar 1998
By Don Norman (don_norman@hp.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been searching all over for good guides to the *process* of human-centered design as opposed to the techniques for good UI: This book is excellent on two counts
1. The principles and methods you advocate
2. The lack of competition, but this doesn't distract from the quality of the book.
There are lots of books on how to do UI, but they all concentrate upon the widgets. This is the only one I have seen that really tells you how to go out and collect customer data, and then, what to do about it. I also like the way it deals with UI design -- do it only after the analysis -- resist the temptation to start the design too soon.
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chock full o' ideas! 12 Dec 1999
By Merryl Gross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have to admit that it's taken me a long time to read this book. Every few pages, my brain filled with ideas as to how I could use the info in my organization!
Make sure you finish reading a section before you try to apply it. The authors do a good job of starting at a higher level, then going into more detail in following chapters. You need this detail before you go on to the next section. This is not a theoretical book; the authors have been using these techniques for years to design real, complex products. It resonates well with my experiences in software user interface design.
If you design products intended to be used by humans, you NEED this book. If everyone read this book and even *tried* to follow its principles, the products we buy and use would be vastly improved. Save the world; buy it today!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If only more software was designed this way! 19 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book offers a fantastic guide to project teams for creating excellent software. If any group follows the design practices prescribed by Contextual Design, their users are likely to find the resulting software actually enhances their work practice, rather than gets in their way.
The book works on the level of processes that project teams should follow to understand their users work and then to build the software to enhance that work practice. Someone wanting to focus on the level of GUI interface guidelines should look elsewhere.
What is amazing to me so far as I read and use the book is how often these authors are saying something that is not only novel but also simply right.
Great job by Holtzblatt and Beyer!
-- Joe Grant
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great mix of theory and practice 15 Sep 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have used this book both academecially and professionally. The authors cover every facet of this important phase of the design process: they tell you why CI is important, explain every detail of doing it, and thoroughly detail ways to communicate findings to other people. Much better than most of the Neilsen books on usability engineering (although much more narrow in scope) -- it's written in a nonacademic style and is fairly easy to peruse.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, right price 14 Feb 2002
By J. Pacovich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Beyer & Holtzblatt have done an excellent job describing the process of contextual design. I'm currently implementing a new company-wide business process, in conjunction with co-workers, and thought it would simply be a good idea to both refresh my memory, gather ideas, and form concepts that would be helpful in the organizational design process. This book has undoubtedly served the purposes I've wanted it to. Again, excellent book - worth the buy.
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Popular Highlights

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&quote;
Contextual Design (CD) is an approach to defining software and hardware systems that collects multiple customer-centered techniques into an integrated design3 process. &quote;
Highlighted by 14 Kindle users
&quote;
Marketing needs to understand what people will buy and how people make buying decisions; designers need to understand what will help people do their work better while fitting into their lives and matching their culture. &quote;
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&quote;
Four principles guide the adoption and adaptation of the technique: context, partnership, interpretation, and focus. &quote;
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