Conceptual foundations of the metaphors of interaction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Metaphor is often viewed as fundamental to successful interface design and is presented as such in HCI courses and textbooks. We present a re-analysis of two common metaphors used in human computer interaction. We will argue that previous work has underestimated the complexity and richness of conceptual metaphor and this has led to a view that metaphor is just a tool for improving the learnability of an interface so that metaphors present the interface in terms with which the user is familiar. We will argue that this misconception is due to a confusion of the levels of interaction at which metaphor operates. Following cognitive linguistics, we view metaphor as fundamental to how humans conceptualize the world and therefore any interface will be viewed using the set of conceptual metaphors the user already uses in their natural language regardless of the designer’s intent. Therefore, we propose that interface design must be informed by current work in cognitive linguistics. Designers should aim should be to ensure that any interface is consistent with users’ conceptual metaphors rather than to attempt to force a novel metaphorical view on the user.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMCCSIS 2007 - IADIS Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems - Proceedings of Intelligent Systems and Agents 2007, Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2007, Computer Graphics and Visualization 2007
EditorsAntonio Palma dos Reis, Katherine Blashki, Yingcai Xiao
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event2007 IADIS International Conference on Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction, IHCI 2007, part of the 1st IADIS Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, MCCSIS 2007 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 3 Jul 20078 Jul 2007

Publication series

NameMCCSIS 2007 - IADIS Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems - Proceedings of Intelligent Systems and Agents 2007, Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2007, Computer Graphics and Visualization 2007

Conference

Conference2007 IADIS International Conference on Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction, IHCI 2007, part of the 1st IADIS Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, MCCSIS 2007
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period3/07/078/07/07

Keywords

  • Cognitive Linguistics, HCI, Interface Design, Metaphor

ASJC Scopus subject areas