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Rapid Contextual Design: A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design (Interactive Technologies) [Paperback]

Karen Holtzblatt , Jessamyn Burns Wendell , Shelley Wood

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Book Description

31 Dec 2004 9780123540515 978-0123540515
Is it impossible to schedule enough time to include users in your design process? Is it difficult to incorporate elaborate user-centered design techniques into your own standard design practices? Do the resources needed seem overwhelming?

This handbook introduces Rapid CD, a fast-paced, adaptive form of Contextual Design. Rapid CD is a hands-on guide for anyone who needs practical guidance on how to use the Contextual Design process and adapt it to tactical projects with tight timelines and resources.

Rapid Contextual Design provides detailed suggestions on structuring the project and customer interviews, conducting interviews, and running interpretation sessions. The handbook walks you step-by-step through organizing the data so you can see your key issues, along with visioning new solutions, storyboarding to work out the details, and paper prototype interviewing to iterate the design-all with as little as a two-person team with only a few weeks to spare!

*Includes real project examples with actual customer data that illustrate how a CD project actually works.
*Covers the entire scope of a project, from deciding on the number and type of interviews, to interview set up and analyzing collected data. Sample project schedules are also included for a variety of different types of projects.
*Provides examples of how-to write affinity notes and affinity labels, build an affinity diagram, and step-by-step instructions for consolidating sequence models.
*Shows how to use consolidated data to define a design within tight time frames with examples of visions, storyboards, and paper prototypes.
*Introduces CDToolsT, the first application designed to support customer-centered design.

Frequently Bought Together

Rapid Contextual Design: A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design (Interactive Technologies) + Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise (Agile Software Development)
Price For Both: £56.84

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Rapid Contextual Design is a timely, relevant book for technical communicators. Whether you are a seasoned usability professional or a novice trying to develop your awareness of user-centered design, you should add this title to your bookshelf.” - Eddie VanArsdall, Technical Communication

Here are those little gems of advice that a skilled mentor who peered over your shoulder would tell you. If you lack such a mentor, this book is the next best thing, explaining just what you need to do in a straightforward, easy to read, easy to understand manner.
--Don Norman, Nielsen Norman group, Prof., Northwestern University,Author of Emotional Design

The new how-to guide boosts the value of the original Contextual Design book by transforming a design method into pragmatic advices of how to run a Contextual Design project in your own environment.
--Joerg Beringer, Director, Strategic Product Design, SAP-AG

A wise guide to interface design dos and don'ts, from people with experience. They create a new language for thinking about design processes, combining a compelling structured process with sufficient freedom for innovative excursions.
--Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland

Rapid Contextual Design provides a further step in innovation by providing detailed, practical advice on how to conduct successful research projects and to fit the project to the need. My team welcomes these new advances and the flexibility they will provide when we conduct future projects using this method.
--Terry Austin, User Experience Group Manager, Microsoft

About the Author

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This handbook is a how-to companion to the main Contextual Design book, Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clarifies the line between theory and practice! 15 May 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for an elegant, academic theory to suggest how contextual design might work in some controlled laboratory experiment-- this is not the book for you. This work gives step-by-step procedures on how to conduct contextual design in the real, uncontrolled world of people's lives, and how to do this work on an accelerated time schedule.

This is a clear tutorial and worthy "field manual" on contextual design, task sequence modeling, affinity diagrams, and paper prototyping for applied work in the real world.

Because it takes you through each activity step-by-step, this book does name the tools used at the time this work was crafted. Some reviewers consider that blatant advertising-- and in the case of citations for "CDTools" perhaps that's true. But in most cases it is very helpful to know that some specific products are more field-worthy than others. I strongly doubt these authors have any financial interest in boosting sales of 3M Post-It notes. (Though Amazon may profit from sales of 3M - 2051-FLT - 3M Post-it Bright Colors Memo Cube)

4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for the beginners 4 Aug 2014
By Tiia Leppänen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a professional on this are, the book doesn't give you much new information. It tells lots about different methods that are already written in the other books as well. For a new people in this area, the book is very good introduction to the (rapid) contextual design.
I liked the way the book was written. It was easy and understandable to read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful to quickly get up to speed on practical execution of a contextual design approach 8 July 2013
By Jason Yip - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
How-to guides are not typically very entertaining and this is no exception. Pretty much does what it says on the cover. Practical summary of running a Contextual Design approach from start to end for different timings and contexts. Some parts are really just rehashes from other books which I did not find interesting but it's probably necessary for completeness. More diagrams and illustrations would have made this a quicker read and some of the references to development methods are a tad dated.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rapid Contextual Design: A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for User Centered Design 9 Jan 2013
By Wayne E. Dick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really practical. I will use it in my next usability analysis. My work with assistive technology requires effective techniques for determining efficacy. This enables deep understanding with limited sample sizes.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practitioner's guide to contextual design - now with more agile / scrum 7 Mar 2009
By Dug - Published on Amazon.com
Karen's process is something that actually works, unlike many psudo-ethnographic customer engagement strategies.

By maintaining a connection to the customer data from the beginning to the end, it uniquely empowers you with a defensible design rationale. Something few other approaches can say.

A true roadmap for playing nicely with agile development is also something you won't find in most other customer research methodologies, especially contextual ones.

Whether or not you are willing to live the process and follow the steps outlined is another matter. Your mileage may vary, especially if you decided to line item veto particular aspects.
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