Morgan Kaufmann Publishers; ISBN: 0123540518

This handbook introduces Rapid Contextual Design, a fast-paced, adaptive form of Contextual Design. It’s a hands-on guide for anyone who needs practical direction on how to use the Contextual Design process and adapt it to tactical projects with tight timelines. Rapid Contextual Design provides detailed suggestions on structuring the project and customer interviews, conducting interviews, and running interpretation sessions. The handbook also walks you step-by-step through the consolidation process, along with visioning, storyboarding, and paper prototype interviewing.

Throughout the handbook there are actual examples from real projects run by InContext clients. Each chapter includes Tips and Do’s and Don’ts, as well as guidance on what to think about and watch out for while running your project. The handbook also addresses how to fit the Contextual Design process into existing product development processes like RUP and XP and how to use Contextual Design data to create personas.

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  • 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, affinity labels, and step-by-step instructions for consolidating sequence models.
  • Includes real project examples that illustrate how a Contextual Design project actually works.

Praise for Rapid Contextual Design

“This book sets forth a detailed, flexible design plan that can be tailored to suit your needs. 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.”

— Journal of the Society for Technical Communication, August 2005

“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, Professor, 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 do’s 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, Professor, University of Maryland

“Rapid Contextual Design provides a further step in innovation by offering detailed, practical advice on how to conduct successful research projects and 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

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Planning Your Rapid CD Project
  • Chapter 3: Planning Your Contextual Interviews
  • Chapter 4: The Contextual Inquiry Interview
  • Chapter 5: Contextual Interview Interpretation Session
  • Chapter 6: Work Modeling
  • Chapter 7: Consolidating Sequence Models
  • Chapter 8: Building an Affinity Diagram
  • Chapter 9: Using Contextual Data to Write Personas
  • Chapter 10: Walking the Affinity and Consolidated Sequences
  • Chapter 11: Visioning a New Way to Work
  • Chapter 12: Storyboarding
  • Chapter 13: Testing with Paper Prototypes
  • Chapter 14: Paper Prototype Interviews
  • Chapter 15: Rapid CD and Other Methodologies
  • Chapter 16: Issues of Organizational Adoption
  • Appendix: Suggested Supply Checklist