Designing for Context

Friday, March 9 – 2:00PM – 3:00PM
Andrew Crow VP, Experience Design GEBen Fullerton Director, User Experience Method
Leah Buley Design Strategist IntuitNate Bolt Pres Bolt|PetersRyan Freitas Co-founder AOL/


Design for different locations, environments and relationships and product ecosystems. What problems exist in all of these areas, and design for those problems.

Examples of Crazy Design Context:
Astronauts in space. Design applications that could be used in the shuttle and on a space station. Zero gravity was a challenge for design.

Browser-based is typical, and moving that to mobile. Desktop/browser first is very different than mobile. Push the behaviors you want to represent first. Don’t just map the typical experience into the new context.

Important themes when designing-

Designing interactions for different lengths or instances of time.
How are people using your design? They use it, go away, then come back to it. People live their lives outside of your app or design. Make sure that you design tasks based on the amount of time people have (surveys, etc.).

What is the bigger picture? How does your product fit into the whole ecosystem? Be sure to take a look at how your product fits in with brand, or social, or other technologies. For many products, the majority of users are entering through mobile interfaces, so a good amount of people don’t even see the rest of the ecosystem. You need to make sure that you’ve created something that can stand on its own in just the mobile environment. You also have to look at the difference between a tablet environment and a mobile phone environment. They’re both mobile, but very different environments.

How do we accommodate and embrace various locations? Provide different tools for your mobile phone that you always have with you. This was used in a Victoria Secret app on the phone that was not in a tablet version because people likely don’t have their tablet with them when they are in the store.
Tax Online Accountant app uses mobility in the workplace so that someone doesn’t have to stop what they are doing and run to a computer and look something up. This app allows someone to pull up information they need regularly quickly on their mobile device (e-file status). It doesn’t need to be out and about.

Form & Technology
What about screen size, input methods, technical constraints?

Brand & Relationships
One conversation… Make sure you are having the correct conversation that your brand represents.

What have we learned?

  • Make sure your users can engage with your products that give them the most value and experience your product in the best way.
  • Be sure that you are aware of your audience and how they are accessing your product and design for that audience and context and the environment they are accessing your stuff.
  • Find quick easy ways to get on your users timeline.
  • Design for the ideal intended experience. Be comfortable with the fact that you might miss something. Just be the best designer you can be for your users.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *