A framework for engineering metaphor at the user interface.

Alty, James L, Knott, Roger P, Anderson, Ben and Smyth, Michael (2000) A framework for engineering metaphor at the user interface. Interacting with Computers, 13 (2). pp. 301-322. ISSN 0953-5438

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (167kB) | Request a copy


    Interface metaphors facilitate the learning of new computer systems by supporting the transformation of existing knowledge in order to improve the comprehension of novel situations. However, there is very little guidance for software designers on how to select, implement and evaluate interface metaphors. This paper, which is based upon extensive work in developing metaphors for telecommunications systems, provides a framework for software designers who wish to exploit the use of interface metaphors. The paper proposes a set of six design steps, to provide designers with a practical approach to the application of metaphor in the design of interactive systems. An explanation of the activities required in each step is given and justified from experience gained in developing a number of interface metaphors. A pragmatic model of the use of metaphor in human centred system design is introduced, and a technique for eliciting metaphor characteristics is developed from ethnomethodology. The approach has been discussed with software designers at two workshops, and the final content has been influenced by their input

    Item Type: Article
    Print ISSN: 0953-5438
    Electronic ISSN: 1873-7951
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Metaphor; interface design; software design process; framework
    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 > 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: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
    Item ID: 3099
    Depositing User: Computing Research
    Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2010 16:00
    Last Modified: 12 Sep 2013 14:49

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...

    Edinburgh Napier University is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC018373