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Metaphors in Web Design and Navigation

Metaphors in Web Design and Navigation

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Metaphors in Web Design and Navigation

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  1. Metaphors in Web Design and Navigation Presented by: Jade Anderson INF385E October 5, 2006

  2. METAPHORS: THE ORDER • What is Metaphor? • History & Context • Discussion by major players • Benefits • Dangers • Bottom Line

  3. WHAT IS METAPHOR? • Relates new information to the familiar • Tool for communicating complex ideas and bridging complex concepts • Tool for generating enthusiasm

  4. www.cnet.com

  5. www.creative.gettyimages.com

  6. www.halfbakery.com

  7. HISTORY • Lackoff & Johnson 1980s • Metaphor integral to thoughts and actions • Not just a literary device • Metaphor is ubiquitous • E.g. theories as buildings • E.g. the mind as container

  8. Cooper & Reimann: About Face 2.0 Three dominant design methods for visual interface, based on: 1. Understanding 2. Intuiting 3. Learning

  9. Cooper & Reimann Continued • Understanding • Implementation-Centric Model • Must learn how program works in order to be successful • By engineers for engineers • Users would rather be successful than knowledgeable

  10. Cooper & Reimann continued • Intuiting • Metaphoric Model • No need to understand mechanics of system • Definition of Intuition: “knowing something without rational use of thought.”

  11. Cooper & Reimann continued • Learning • Idiomatic Model • Definition of Idiom: “expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meaning of its parts” • E.g. Kick the bucket, caught red handed • E.g. Drop down menu, close box, resize function • All idioms must be learned; good ones need only be learned once

  12. Rosenfeld & Morville: IA for World Wide Web • Organizational • Familiarity with physical organization leads to understanding of virtual organization scheme • E.g. Auto dealership • Functional • Familiarity with tasks in traditional environment leads to understanding of virtual tasks • E.g. Library • Visual • Familiarity with images, icons, and colors of traditional object leads to connection with virtual object • E.g. Yellowpages

  13. Vanderwal: Metaphor of Attraction • Metaphor of Attraction • 1. User searches for information • 2. Results attracted or repelled • 3. User attracted to meta information • 4. Process continues until information found or attraction lost

  14. Maglio & Matlock: Metaphors we Surf the Web by • Spatial metaphor of web • People moving toward information rather than information coming to them • Relates to how we obtain info in the real world: walk towards it, reach for it, grasp it • If people naturally grasp web as physical space, tools for navigation can be improved to exploit this connection

  15. Nielsen: Designing Web Usability • Geographic Metaphors almost always bad • Shopping carts are interface standard • Not shopping sleds • Even standard metaphors are not without problems

  16. BENEFITS & BEST PRACTICES • Can make the site memorable • Relate new information to the familiar • Better for sites not expecting repeat visitors

  17. DANGERS & DOWNFALLS • Limiting • Sacrifice later growth for a little initial quick recognition • Suck for intermediates • Tie interfaces unnecessarily to physical world • Hold back functionality with relationships to obsolete technology

  18. DANGERS & DOWNFALLS continued • Don’t scale well • Can’t grow with process • Rely on associations • Cultural • Human mind is idiosyncratic

  19. DANGERS & DOWNFALLS continued • Oversimplified • Tiresome • Graphic nature can slow down site • Only a shallow representation • No Metaphors for processes

  20. BOTTOM LINE • Popularity of metaphors has waned • Few work well • Make empowering, not limiting • Usability testing

  21. REFERENCES Cooper, A. (2003). About Face 2.0: The Essentials of User Interface Design (2nd Edition).: Wiley Publishing, Inc. Fleming, J. (1998). Web Navigation: Designing the User Experience. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Associates, Inc. Kuhn, W. (1993). Metaphors Create Theories for Users. Retrieved September 30, 2006 from http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/332805.html Maglio, P. P., & Matlock, T. (1998). Metaphors we surf the Web by. Paper presented at Workshop on Personalized and Social Navigation in Information Space, Stockholm, Sweden. Nielsen, J. (2000) Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity. Berkeley, CA: New Riders Publishing branch of Peachpit Press. Norvig, P. (2004) Review of Metaphors we live by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Retrieved September 30, 2006 from http://www.norvig.com/mwlb.html Powell, T. (2002). Web Design: The Complete Reference. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional. Rosenfeld, L., & Morville, P. (2002). Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (2nd Edition). Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc. Vander Wal, T. (2001, March). The Model of Attraction. Retrieved September 30, 2006, from http://www.vanderwal.net/essays/moa1.html