Can Contextual Design be used to define a business process

23 Nov 2007 - 2:03pm
6 years ago
5 replies
943 reads
Pawson, Mark
2007

Well its November and time to reorg the corporation again:)
We are looking at ways to integrate UCD with Business Development. Specifically we are looking at using methods such as K. Holtzblatt's Rapid Contextual Design to develop a new process, rather than a product, that creates a positive user experience for customers transitioning from a legacy application to a new generation product. We are thinking of doing contextual inquiry to understand the decision process customers go through so we can identify what makes them decide to transistion, what are the pain points etc. I can almost envision this being an exciting project but then I hit a lot of grey area. Has anyone ever applied these techniques in such a fashion? Is this UCD or a Business Analyst role? Any articles or reference books on this? Any advice greatly appreciated.

Mark Pawson

Comments

23 Nov 2007 - 3:33pm
Parth Upadhye
2007

Holtzblatt's Rapid Contextual Design process is basically a clarified
definition of most processes; but especially in the context of
software.

>>We are thinking of doing contextual inquiry to understand the
decision process customers go through

If I understand correctly, you want to apply her framework for
software purchase decision-making? What this framework would yield is
representations of the various solutions a buyer would be pitched
with. In addition you would have to do the usual SWOT analysis and
other decision analysis techniques. Start with Wikipedia.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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24 Nov 2007 - 10:39am
Mark Schraad
2006

HI Mark,

Contextual inquiry is a very powerful tool for getting to the heart
of customer usage as well as for taking the temp of the market. I
have used it with field workers, customer service personnel as well
as with sales staff. There is a tremendous amount of tacit knowledge
in those areas of a company that marketing departments rarely know
how to extract, and I personally do not believe that focus groups are
the way to go. While not as effective in some cases as a mini
ethnographic study, or a full blown ethnography, it can be very cost
effective. If you use contextual inquiry working with the staff
that interacts directly with customers you will get a mix of market
knowledge and user information. I would consider doing some work
directly with user as well. This may seem obvious, but the primary
principle to remember is that customers and staff can't tell you what
they don't understand. Much of this process is about the listening
skills of those doing the interviewing. Getting the subject to tell
stories rather than answer the questions will help give depth to the
information you gather.

I believe that most product directives are best determined when you
are able to objectively triangulate user needs, technical
capabilities, and market analysis. Within the market (not marketing -
think Porter's five factors or SWAT) analysis make sure that business
objectives are a part of the conclusion.

Mark

On Nov 23, 2007, at 2:03 PM, Pawson, Mark wrote:

> Well its November and time to reorg the corporation again:)
> We are looking at ways to integrate UCD with Business Development.
> Specifically we are looking at using methods such as K.
> Holtzblatt's Rapid Contextual Design to develop a new process,
> rather than a product, that creates a positive user experience for
> customers transitioning from a legacy application to a new
> generation product. We are thinking of doing contextual inquiry to
> understand the decision process customers go through so we can
> identify what makes them decide to transistion, what are the pain
> points etc. I can almost envision this being an exciting project
> but then I hit a lot of grey area. Has anyone ever applied these
> techniques in such a fashion? Is this UCD or a Business Analyst
> role? Any articles or reference books on this? Any advice greatly
> appreciated.
>
> Mark Pawson
>

25 Nov 2007 - 11:08am
milan
2005

Hi!

be sure to have a look at this article from IBM / Rational:

Integrate business modeling and interaction design
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/ws-soa-busmodeling/

They combine SOA-related BA methods with IxD methods to re-model
business processes - it's maybe not the answer to your core question,
but maybe you'll find some interesting input for your project.

regards
milan

> On Nov 23, 2007, at 2:03 PM, Pawson, Mark wrote:
>
> > Well its November and time to reorg the corporation again:)
> > We are looking at ways to integrate UCD with Business Development.
> > Specifically we are looking at using methods such as K.
> > Holtzblatt's Rapid Contextual Design to develop a new process,
> > rather than a product, that creates a positive user experience for
> > customers transitioning from a legacy application to a new
> > generation product. We are thinking of doing contextual inquiry to
> > understand the decision process customers go through so we can
> > identify what makes them decide to transistion, what are the pain
> > points etc. I can almost envision this being an exciting project
> > but then I hit a lot of grey area. Has anyone ever applied these
> > techniques in such a fashion? Is this UCD or a Business Analyst
> > role? Any articles or reference books on this? Any advice greatly
> > appreciated.
> >
> > Mark Pawson
> >
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--
milan guenther * interaction design
||| | | |||| || |||||||| | || | ||

designing the information workplace
+49 173 285 66 89 * www.guenther.cx

25 Nov 2007 - 11:56am
milan
2005

I'm sorry, I had re-read the article before typing, and I think I just
had too much of their vocabulary on my mind.

BA = business analysis
SOA = service-oriented architecture

What I actually meant is: they use business analysis methods related to
SOA-based enterprise systems, and combine them with an interaction
design approach.

milan

On Sun, 2007-11-25 at 11:18 -0500, William Evans wrote:
> Could you clarify - what is soa-related ba methods? I dont know, and
> perhaps others dont know your acronyms.
>
> will evans
> user experience architect
> wkevans4 at gmail.com
> 617.281.1281

--
milan guenther * interaction design
||| | | |||| || |||||||| | || | ||

designing the information workplace
+49 173 285 66 89 * www.guenther.cx

26 Nov 2007 - 3:18am
milan
2005

Hi again,

I forgot to mention one more resource: there is a book from SAP about
designing business apps via their xApps composite application
framework, which is co-edited by Karen Holtzblatt and introduces a
contextual design approach for processes.

Designing Composite Applications
by Jörg Beringer and Karen Holtzblatt
ISBN 978-1-59229-065-9
http://www.sappress.com/product.cfm?account=&product=H1905

Best regards
milan

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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