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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.
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Holtzblatt, Karen, Rondeau, David B., Holtzblatt, Les (2010): Understanding "cool. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2010, . pp. 3159-3162. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753846.1753943
Holtzblatt, Karen, Barr, Joshua, Holtzblatt, Les (2009): Driving user centered design into IT organizations: is it possible?. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2009, . pp. 2727-2730. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1520340.1520392
Holtzblatt, Karen, Beringer, Joerg, Baker, Lisa (2005): Rapid user centered design techniques: challenges and solutions. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2005, . pp. 2037-2038. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1056808.1057088
Holtzblatt, Karen (2005): Innovating organizational processes: a practical approach. In: Proceedings of OZCHI05, the CHISIG Annual Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , 2005, . pp. 1-8. http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1108368.1108389
Holtzblatt, Karen (2001): Contextual Design: Experience in Real Life. In: Oberquelle, Horst, Oppermann, Reinhard, Krause, Jürgen (eds.) Mensch and Computer 2001 March 5-8, 2001, Bad Honnef, Germany. http://mc.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/konferenzbaende/mc2001/Holtzblatt.pdf
Holtzblatt, Karen (1999): Introduction to special section on contextual design. In Interactions, 6 (1) pp. 30-31. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/journals/interactions/1999-6-1/p30-holtzblatt/p30-holtzblatt.pdf
Holtzblatt, Karen (1999): Contextual Design: From Customer Data to Implementation. In: 4th IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering RE 99 7-11 June, 1999, Limerick, Ireland. pp. 1-. http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/re/1999/0188/00/01880001abs.htm
Beyer, Hugh R., Holtzblatt, Karen (1999): Contextual design. In Interactions, 6 (1) pp. 32-42. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/journals/interactions/1999-6-1/p32-beyer/p32-beyer.pdf
Beyer, Hugh R., Holtzblatt, Karen (1996): Contextual Techniques Starter Kit. In Interactions, 3 (6) pp. 44-50. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/journals/interactions/1996-3-6/p44-beyer/p44-beyer.pdf
Holtzblatt, Karen (1994): If We're a Team, Why Don't We Act Like One?. In Interactions, 1 (3) pp. 17-20. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/journals/interactions/1994-1-3/p17-holtzblatt/p17-holtzblatt.pdf
Wixon, Dennis, Holtzblatt, Karen, Knox, Stephen T. (1990): Contextual Design: An Emergent View of System Design. In: Carrasco, Jane, Whiteside, John (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 90 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference , 1990, Seattle, Washington,USA. pp. 329-336.
Holtzblatt, Karen, Jones, Sandy, Good, Michael (1988): Articulating the Experience of Transparency: An Example of Field Research Techniques. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 20 (2) pp. 45-47. http://michaelgood.info/publications/usability/articulating-the-experience-of-transparency/
Holtzblatt, Karen (2008): Contextual Design. In: "The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications" .