Recognized as a leader in the design community, Karen has pioneered transformative ideas and design approaches throughout her career. Karen is the inventor of Contextual Inquiry-the industry standard for gathering field data to understand how technology impacts the way people work. Contextual Inquiry and the design processes based on it provide a revolutionary approach for designing new products and systems based on a deep understanding of the context of use. Contextual Inquiry forms the base of Contextual Design, InContext's full customer-centered design process.
Karen co-founded InContext Enterprises in 1992 to use Contextual Design techniques to coach product teams and deliver customer-centered designs to businesses across multiple industries. The books, Contextual Design: Defining Customer Centered Systems, and Rapid Contextual Design, are used by companies and universities all over the world. Karen is a member of the CHI Academy (awarded to significant contributors in the Computer Human Interaction Association) and received the first Life Time Award for Practice at CHI2010 for her contributions to the field. Karen's extensive experience with teams and all types of work and life practice underlies the innovation and reliable quality consistently delivered by InContext's teams.
Karen also has more than 20 years of teaching experience, professionally and in university settings. She holds a doctorate in applied psychology from the University of Toronto.