Context includes: context for us and contexts of use.
Ver plank identifies 8 steps of the process of interactive design: invention (includes error), idea, metaphor, scenario (design), task (engineer), model and representation.
Sketches are important because they help us understand, define and frame the problem.
Flow charts help show missing information, the most appropriate next steps, potential directions and help identify what goal has to be achieved to how to solve the problem.
There are different techniques to gather information including: precedent research (existing products), testing prototypes and asking people/questionnaires/polls.
Retrieving the same piece of information in different situations is where designers come in. They have to identify situations which a user may use the interactive and how it would be best for them to access it e.g. will they use it on their phone, laptop, tablet, etc.
Questions that must be asked: Who will be using the device? How long will the interface be used? Will the person be able to focus on their task?