Appendix C. Understanding Context


To make sense of the world, we’re always trying to place things in context, whether our environment is physical, cultural, or something else altogether. Now that we live among digital, always-networked products, apps, and places, context is more complicated than ever—starting with “where” and “who” we are.

This practical, insightful book offers a powerful toolset to help product and service designers understand and solve the challenges of contextual ambiguity. Information architects, interaction designers, and other software and UX professionals will discover not only how to design for a given context, but also how design participates in making context.

Andrew Hinton is an information architect at The Understanding Group, and a founding member of the IA Institute. He helps organizations—from Fortune 500s to small non-profits—make better, more habitable places with information.

For more about Andrew and the book, visit

“Andrew takes us on a journey from not knowing to knowing; he asks good, interesting questions ...

Get Understanding Context now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.