Books Co-authored by InContext

Designing Composite Applications
By Jörg Beringer and Karen Holtzblatt
Galileo Press (SAP Press); 2006.

InContext’s Karen Holtzblatt and SAP’s Jörg Beringer are the co-authors of a book that developers — plus anyone involved with enterprise application design and usability/quality management — will want to read. Designing Composite Applications discusses using the SAP Enterprise Service Architecture toolset and Contextual Design and shares exclusive insights on design processes based on SAP’s Business Process Platform. You’ll also learn valuable tricks and techniques that can drastically improve user productivity.

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Books with Chapters by InContext

Scenarios, Stories, Use Cases: Through the Systems Development Life-Cycle
Edited by Ian Alexander and Neil Maiden
John Wiley & Sons: NY, 2004.
This book includes a chapter by Karen Holtzblatt, “Role of Scenarios in Contextual Design.”

The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications
Edited by Julie A. Jacko and Andrew Sears
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ, 2003.
This handbook has a chapter by Karen Holtzblatt, “Contextual Design.”

Field Methods for Software and Systems Design
Edited by Dennis Wixon and Judith Ramey
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: NY, 1996.

A good resource for anyone wanting to adopt customer-centered methods in his or her own organization, this book includes chapters describing the experience of several different practitioners using field methods. Various people who have used Contextual Inquiry and Contextual Design — including Beyer and Holtzblatt — have written chapters describing their experiences.

References and Articles

Numerous articles on Contextual Design and the Cool Concepts have appeared in refereed journals, books on user-centered design, and websites. They include:

General Motors partners with InContext Design to Redesign Cadillac User Experience (CUE)
by InContext Design
InContext White Paper
This white paper describes the process used to understand how Cadillac owners were responding to GM’s new driver interface (CUE) and to design for the future of highly-connected cars. Download pdficon

“Is This Article Cool?”
By Ryan Bradley
Fast Company online (May 21, 2014)
Fast Company columnist Ryan Bradley and InContext’s Karen Holtzblatt debate what makes a product “cool.”

“Finding a Product’s Cool Factor”
By Karen Holtzblatt
The Wall Street Journal online (February 5, 2014)
In this article in’s The Accelerators series Karen outlines the three most important findings in InContext’s Cool Project research and how they apply to product design.

“Cool in Business: Developing a Data-Based Instrument Measuring ‘Cool'”
by Karen Holtzblatt, InContext Design; Carol Farnsworth, SAP Labs; Theo Held, SAP AG; Shantanu Pai, SAP Labs
Third International Conference, DUXU 2014, held as part of HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014, Proceedings, Part IV.
This paper describes the creation and validation of a set of metrics that accurately measure a product’s “coolness”. Download pdficon

“What Makes Things Cool?”
By Karen Holtzblatt
ACM interactions (Nov. 2011)
This cover story introduces InContext’s research into what makes someone describe a product as “cool” and the key constructs uncovered as core to the user experience of cool.

“Customer-Centered Design for Mobile Applications”
By Karen Holtzblatt
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (May 2005), Issue: Volume 9, No 4
This article describes InContext’s experience using customer-centered design to create a mobile application for sports fans, and how we modified Contextual Design to produce the application.

“Designing for the Mobile Device: Experiences, Challenges, and Methods”
Edited by Karen Holtzblatt
Communications of the ACM, T. S. Balaji, K. Holtzblatt, E. Kangas, J. Kates, T. Kinnunen, B. Landers, C. Page, B. Moritz, J. Bloom, J. Chipcase, J. Lehikoinen, D. Rondeau. Volume 48, No 7, July 2005.
This special section in Communications of the ACM has articles by Karen Holtzblatt and several of our clients describing their experiences with real-world aspects of mobile application design. Downloadpdficon

“An Agile Customer-Centered Method: Rapid Contextual Design”
By Lisa Baker, Hugh Beyer, and Karen Holtzblatt
XP Agile Universe 2004 Proceedings, August 2004, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This paper describes how a user-centered design method such as Contextual Design naturally fits with Agile development methods and recounts our experience with combining the two. Downloadpdficon

“xApps-A New Practice for Next Practice”
By Joerg Berringer and Karen Holtzblatt
SAP Design Guild Edition 7 (Nov. 2003)
xApps are composite applications, designed to define next practices. This article describes how composite applications drive business process and work practice innovation using concepts from Contextual Design.

“Beyond Commerce: Bringing Business Relationships and Community to the Web”
By Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
SAP Design Guild Edition 5 (September 2002)
The web’s power to traverse space by linking disparate, distributed databases enabled e-commerce marketplaces, but they haven’t proved profitable. Now companies are looking at the web to support collaboration among the distributed workers of global companies.

“Creating New Work Paradigms for the Enterprise Portal”
By Karen Holtzblatt
SAP Design Guild Edition 3 (May 2001)
This article explores the future of the Enterprise Portal. As the Enterprise Portal evolves from an information sharing tool to a complete work environment, it will need to improve information access and find ways to integrate information with work applications.

“Contextual Design at SAP”
By Karen Holtzblatt and Hugh Beyer
SAP Design Guild Edition 0 (Apr. 2000)
This article recounts some of the first Contextual Design projects at SAP, including the ENJOY effort and the travel planning and accounting applications.

“Contextual Design”
By Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
interactions 1.1.(Jan./Feb. 1999): 32.
This article is an excellent overview of the Contextual Design process, accompanied by case studies describing its use by three organizations.

“Apprenticing with the Customer: A Collaborative Approach to Requirements Definition”
By Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
Communications of the ACM Issue (May 1995).
This article discusses how to gather data from customers in one-on-one interviews through Contextual Inquiry. It is one of the two primary discussions of how to do Contextual Inquiry. (The other is “Contextual Inquiry: A Participatory Technique for System Design,” by K. Holtzblatt and S. Jones.)

“Representing Work for the Purpose of Design”
By Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
Representations of Work.Ed. Lucy Suchman Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) Monograph, January 1994.
This paper describes work models and how they provide insight into the structure of work practice. It is the most complete description of the various work models and how they influence design.

“If We’re a Team, Why Don’t We Act Like One?”
By Karen Holtzblatt
interactions 1.3 (July 1994): 17.
This column describes some of the problems of working in teams, showing why they arise and why working in teams is difficult. It describes some of the interpersonal problems that cause teams to break down and suggests strategies for handling them.

“Calling Down the Lightning”
By Hugh Beyer
IEEE Software 11.5 (September 1994): 106.
This column discusses the nature of creativity — what drives creativity and what gets in the way. It uses the development of the spreadsheet as an example, showing that close knowledge of the customer is critical to making invention happen.

“Where Do the Objects Come From?”
By Hugh Beyer
Software Development ’93 Fall Proceedings (August 1993)
This paper dissects the process of going from object-oriented analysis to object-oriented design, demonstrating why it is difficult. The design of the overall system is identified as a missing step, and ways to re-introduce that step are discussed.

“Contextual Inquiry: A Participatory Technique for System Design”
By Karen Holtzblatt and Sandra Jones
Participatory Design: Principles and Practice.Eds. Aki Namioka and Doug Schuler. Lawrence Earlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ, 1993: 177-210.
This article is the first published description of Contextual Inquiry. It describes the process, including three of the four interviewing principles, the interpretation session, and affinity diagrams.

“Making Customer-Centered Design Work for Teams”
By Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
Communications of the ACM (October 1993).
A good and reasonably concise description of the process, this was the first article published on Contextual Design.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]