Advance Praise

“Andrew is helping us all to realize we’re not designing software or websites. Because ‘language is infrastructure’ and ‘the map is the territory,’ the things we build and inhabit are ‘places made of information.’ From the perspective of experience, these digital ecosystems are as real as the Grand Canyon.”
— Peter Morville (From the Foreword) Author, Intertwingled, Ambient Findability, and Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

“Andrew takes us on a journey from not knowing to knowing; he asks good, interesting questions about the role context plays in the design and architecture of understanding.”
— Richard Saul Wurman

“As computers become smaller they are becoming more ubiquitous. Computers and computing are not only in our mobile phones, but they are rapidly being embedded in everything. Cars, kitchens, street corners and shopping malls are becoming smart and connected. In this connected world, understanding context is more important than ever before. Andrew Hinton has written a thoughtful, well-researched and insightful book, full of key ideas to help you navigate the connected future.”
— Dave Gray Author, The Connected Company and Gamestorming; founder, XPLANE

“Andrew Hinton’s well-organized, useful, conversational approach makes this vast ontology of context not only accessible, but indeed like a long walk with J.J.Gibson himself. Come along for a day, come away better situated in a world remade (but not replaced) by technology, and get ready to give it better architecture.”
— Malcolm McCullough Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan, author of Ambient Commons and Digital Ground.

“Context is hard for humans. It’s even harder for the machines that we oddly hope will guide us through the growing chaos and complexity of modern life. Andrew is a better guide; his book helps us perceive, make sense of, and engage with the contexts that surround us—from cities to kitchens to Minecraft.”
— Louis Rosenfeld Author, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web; founder of Rosenfeld Media

“For all those times when someone says something like, “this is not my beautiful life” when they’re using your design, you’ve probably ignored their context. Andrew masterfully makes the case for meeting users where they are, and putting context in its proper place: at the center of making meaningful design.”
— Dana Chisnell

“Engaging, never shying away from tackling and unraveling the complexity that lies behind the simplest turns of language, this book explains plainly and clearly why designers should pay attention to much-misused concepts such as sense and place, and simultaneously provides sound and elegant foundations for a new and embodied approach to the architectures of information spaces. A necessary read for both those who want to understand the interplay of language, place, information architecture, and design practice and for those who create products and services spanning the digital and the physical, where context is everything.”
— Andrea Resmini, PhD Author, Pervasive Information Architecture; Senior lecturer in informatics, Jönköping International Business School

“Andrew Hinton has created a rigorous and wide-ranging framework for thinking about how we perceive and interact with our linguistic and digital environments. This framework is based on cutting edge cognitive science, and the result is an invaluable guide and common language for all the different people who create and want to understand these relatively new human environments places.”
— Andrew D. Wilson, PhD Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds UK

“Understanding Context is a door to knowledge that will allow an entire generation of digital designers to more properly consider the context in which their work is used. This book is easy to read, but also full of important academic concepts more designers should be talking and thinking about in this messy cross-channel world. Hinton’s writing is like attending a master’s program in Gibsonian psychology while having the smartest kid in class sitting next to you explaining what the heck is going on in everyday language. I applaud O’Reilly in bringing this work to the world and Mr. Hinton for pouring his heart into writing it.”
— Abby Covert Author, How to Make Sense of Any Mess