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Applying Experientialism to HCI Methods.

Imaz, Manuel (2001) Applying Experientialism to HCI Methods. PhD thesis, Napier University.

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    Abstract/Description

    The aim of this thesis is to incorporate the results of Experientialism in the domain of
    Human-Computer Interaction. The purpose is twofold: on the one hand it shows how some
    concepts of Experientialism like metaphor, image-schema, stories or conceptual integration
    may be used to explain where some concepts of HCI come from. On the other hand it uses the
    same conceptual background to support the design activity: the same concepts of
    Experientialism may be employed to build new conceptual artifacts in order to design User
    Interfaces and application software in general. One of the most fruitful ideas Experientislim
    may offer is conceptual integration as the basis upon which to construct new design solutions.

    Notwithstanding the pervasive use of metaphor in everyday language and even in HCI texts,
    there is a considerable amount of criticism regarding the use of metaphor in designing user
    interfaces based on the assumption that this practice may be the origin of troubles when using
    such software products. That is why one of the chapters is aimed at showing that not only the
    use of metaphor is pervasive in HCI but even the use of figurative language as well. Not only
    figurative language is usually employed but it is even one of the main tools for conceptualising
    new ideas and concepts required in the activity of software development.

    The Thesis proposes a framework aimed at designing User Interfaces based on the concepts
    of Experientialism. The proposal integrates two phases (analysis and design) the same way as
    most of software development methods do, trying to profit on the broad scope of the cognitive
    processes such as image-schema, metaphor and conceptual integration. These general concepts
    may be well suited to build conceptual models upon which to elaborate the user interfaces and
    the optirnalizy principles proposed to study the suitability of conceptual integration may be also
    used as validity criteria to evaluate such design artifacts.

    In order to validate such a proposal, the Thesis shows how to use the framework in two
    different situations: i) to explain why a problem such as the Mac trashcan -used to eject
    diskettes- is not a problem of using metaphors but an unfortunate design decision, and ii) to be
    applied in the design of a new User Interface.

    Other concepts of Experientialism are proposed in capturing user requirements. The concept
    of story is the ground on which to build scenarios or use cases, as stories are a more general
    cognitive process and a form of telling things at a more general level. That is why the user
    stories may be mapped to use cases, as both are essentially different type of stories and the
    capture of requirements is a way of specifying one type of stories (use cases) based on the
    original stories (user stories).

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Human Computer Interaction; HCI; Experientialism; Metaphor; Image schema; Stories; Conceptual integration; Artifact design; User interfaces;
    University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
    Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 006 Special Computer Methods
    100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology > 152 Perception, movement, emotions & drives
    000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 005 Computer programming, programs & data > 005.4 Systems programming and programs > 005.43 Systems programs & operating systems > 005.437 User interfaces
    Library of Congress Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
    Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
    Item ID: 2813
    Depositing User: Dr. David A. Cumming
    Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2009 10:30
    Last Modified: 16 Sep 2011 13:10
    URI: http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/id/eprint/2813

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