Context is everything

Short Session, presented by Iain Barker.

We must ground our work in a rich understanding of the context of use, or else we run the risk of creating well meaning rubbish.

If we don’t ground our work in a rich understanding of the context in which the products we design will be used, we run the risk of creating well meaning rubbish. Techniques such as usability testing are excellent for bringing user involvement into the refinement of a solution, but by the time a prototype is available to usability test, the design space for exploring alternate solutions is often constrained. Only through understanding the broader context in which we are designing can we create the best products.

In this presentation Iain argues that field based research should be a cornerstone of all our work. He shares insights garnered from his 13 years conducting various forms of user research. The presentation touches on topics such as innovation and optimisation, the perils of pseudo-contextual interviews, conceptual design, and includes a couple of case studies that may help you convince whoever necessary of the value of contextual research.

Iain Barker

Iain Barker

Iain Barker is a freelance user experience practitioner who has spent the last 13 years researching, defining and refining interactive products for clients in Australia and the UK. Recent clients include News Digital Media and the New South Wales Department of Education.

His favourite project to date was conducting research for the BBC’s inaugural interactive TV coverage of the football world cup. The project involved lots of early mornings watching football with complete strangers in various living rooms around London, limitless bacon sandwiches and cups of tea. He can’t quite believe he got paid for it!

His musings on all things user centred can be found at Simpler is Better where you will also find contact information.

Program Schedule is online

The program schedule is now online. Don’t worry, we have a couple suprises planned to de-stress the packed schedule.

Student rates!

We’re offering special rates for full time students, for the conference and for the workshops.

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