#dConstruct - Kelly Goto gets us to think contextually

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

[Kelly Goto](http://www.onemanandhisblog.com/archives/assets_c/2011/09/IMG_9214 - Version 2-2029.html)Are we going to spend the rat of our lives staring at our mobile screens? A babysitter spent the first half hour just texting and ignoring Goto’s kids. She bans texting, iPads et al at the dinner table.

We shouldn’t be designing for addiction, but to fit in to people’s rituals. Do you read a physical newspaper over breakfast or RSS feeds on an iPad? Do you listen to the radio as you commute, or podcasts? Goto is shocked by how little people understand the customers they’re providing business services to.

Mood and context change people’s experiences – she gives the example of her Mini, and the “fun” of its design, and the way that shapes her whole driving experience.


  • get people to stay upright and communicate with others
  • understand what machine to human communications should be and how they should work.

The gulf between what people tell you, what they believe about themselves and what they actually do is a problem when researching user needs.

The iPhone home button is comforting because it always takes you back to the home screen, something clearly happens when you use it, and it has a optic experience that make sit feel good. Oh, and you can customise it, if you want.

We’ve moved up the hierarchy of needs to the point of comfort, beyond merely usable. Sensory engineering has been around since the 1960s, Kansei provides a framework for measuring emotional response to design. I like the idea of “contextual personas” – personas which reflect what people do at different times of day. One of my minor obsessions is that people consume news in different forms at different times in their day, based on their working, commuting and relaxing patterns. This looks like a good way to start exploring those ideas, and understanding the context of how people use what we do.

Fascinating talk.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.