Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems by Hugh Beyer

By Hugh Beyer

This e-book introduces a customer-centered method of enterprise through displaying how info collected from humans whereas they paintings can force the definition of a product or procedure whereas assisting the wishes of groups and their agencies. this can be a sensible, hands-on advisor for somebody attempting to layout platforms that mirror the way in which clients are looking to do their paintings. The authors constructed Contextual layout, the tactic mentioned right here, via their paintings with groups suffering to layout items and inner platforms. during this publication, you will discover the underlying ideas of the tactic and the way to use them to varied difficulties, constraints, and organizational situations.

Contextual layout permits you to
+ assemble distinctive facts approximately how humans paintings and use platforms
+ enhance a coherent photo of a complete consumer inhabitants
+ generate platforms designs from a data of purchaser work
+ diagram a suite of present structures, displaying their relationships, inconsistencies, redundancies, and omissions

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If the print manager can put up a dialog box asking the user to switch to it, why can't it also say what's wrong? If the system can tell there's no label in the printer, why can't it tell when there is a label in the printer? What's the distinction between on- and offiine? How is that different from on and off? The system's model is hard to understand because it makes no sense in terms of the work people are trying to do. And the net result, of course, was that this user never did use the computer to print labels.

Any system imposes a model of work. The automation only choice designers have is whether they will design that work model explicitly to support the user or whether they will allow it to be the accidental result of the technical decisions they make. This model of work was created by the interaction of multiple tools designed by multiple groups in several organizations. No job, even one as simple as printing a label, is accomplished with a single tool. Design has become difficult because systems now support almost every aspect of work life.

Or there is the guru model, which says, "The guru is smart and knows everything. " That is fine, except the population of gurus who are infallible on technical architecture, CUI design, user work practice, marketing, project planning, and the host of other skills necessary to get a product out is vanishingly small. Contextual Design defines a process for developing systems that takes the interpersonal issues into account. It defines procedures for deciding among design alternatives based on data, not arguments or horse trading.

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