Online contextmapping; using the opportunities of Web 2.0 for the contextmapping procedure

M. C. Kaptein, A. Weisscher*, J. M. B. Terken, H. Nelissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This study examines the use of online tools to conduct generative research. We focus on the contextmapping procedure, which consists of several stages: the preparation stage, the sensitisation stage, the session stage, the analysis stage, and the communication stage. In the preparation stage, the target group and the aim of the study are defined. In the sensitisation stage, participants are introduced to the topic under study. In the session stage, participants are encouraged to create several collages and discuss these in a group. The resulting discussions are then analysed and communicated to designers to serve as input for design concepts.

A platform to conduct a contextmapping study online was created and a comparative study of the online and face-to-face method was set up. In both methods participants were highly motivated to contribute and experts on the topic rated the collected data in the online study similar in richness to the data collected in the face-to-face setting. It is shown that the topics of interest, which emerged from analysis of the collected data, were very similar for the online and the face-to-face study. The online contextmapping procedure is a promising addition to the current methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-228
Number of pages16
JournalCodesign: International journal of cocreation in design and the arts
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • contextmapping
  • user experiences
  • generative techniques
  • online research


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