So I'm writing a book on Designing Context

As I hinted in a post a couple of weeks ago, I’m writing a book. The topic: Designing Context.
If the phrase sounds a little awkward, that’s on purpose. It’s not something we’re used to talking about yet. But I believe “context” to be a medium of sorts, that we’ve been shaping for years without coming to grips with the full implications of our work.
Although I have written many things, some of them pretty long, I have never written anything this long before. I’m a little freaked out.
But I have to keep reminding myself that the job of this book isn’t to definitively and comprehensively cover everything having to do with its subject. I just want to do a good job getting some fascinating, helpful ideas about this topic into the hands of the community in a nice, readable format that gives me the room to tell the story well.
This isn’t a how-to book, more of a “let’s look at things this way and see what happens” book. It’s also not an academic book–I’m not an academic and still have a 50+ hour a week job, so there’s no way I’ll ever have time to read & reference every related/relevant work on the topic, even though that seems to be what I’m trying to do in spite of myself.
And I’m going to be very honest about the fact that it’s largely a book on information architecture: how information shapes & creates context for humans.
Thanks to O’Reilly Media for working with me on getting this thing going, and to Peter Morville for the prodding & encouragement.
Now … time to write.

PS for a better idea of what I’m getting at, here are some previous writings:

Author: Andrew Hinton

I use information to architect better places for humans. More at

3 thoughts on “So I'm writing a book on Designing Context”

  1. Congratulations, Andrew!

    Getting people to understand the importance of context in relation to the designed object is often a difficult task, in part due to the abstract thinking required vs. the tangibility of an artifact.

    Having heard your deeply insightful conference talks and reflecting upon our conversations over the years, I’ve often wondered when you would write a book. If I can be of any help at all during the process, with all sincerity, please let me know.

    Sign me up for a copy!

  2. This is fabulous news Andrew, congratulations! Funny, I was thinking earlier today that there are no books at the moment that cover this aspect of UX. I can’t think of anyone more qualified than you to write it… Looking forward to reading it!

  3. And the reason you weren’t talking this up in Dublin last week was…?


    Big congrats on the book! Very happy to see this news.

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