The Effectiveness of Metaphoric Resources in Graphic Interface Design

By Francisco Felip Miralles.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research is conducted in a moment when the emergence of new formats in Communication Technologies fills a gap in an unpublished stage on the social, cultural and artistic practices. The information access and its management are nowadays defined by a strong interconnection, which allows an information omni-directional dynamic flow, and as such, it contributes to re-define the social and cultural structure.

The user interface, whose formal and functional bases are provided by the computer scientists, artists and designers’ interdisciplinary labour, can be defined as a type of language on the basis that it allows a dialogue between the user and the machine. From the image massive deployment on the current spheres of communication, and the close relation between image and language, it is possible to establish a visual-nature study in the interface, where the graphical metaphor plays an essential role as a vehicle in the association of ideas, and it is directly implied on the interfaces’ applications optimization. For this purpose, we consider the graphical metaphor to be a fertile area from which we can project usability solutions, considering this metaphorical use of the image the suitable attribute to communicate an idea in a more efficient way, or to project creative artistic applications, by establishing dynamic conceptual associations.

In general terms, this paper seeks to explore the operative spectrum of the graphic interface based on a metaphorical structure navigation. For this purpose, some interfaces have been designed using metaphorical vehicles in its conceptual architecture and navigation paths. After analyzing the interaction with a sample of users, conclusions have been obtained that would help artists and designers to outline useful guidelines for their work, and to create new applications for the interactive interfaces.

Keywords: Graphic Interface, Interactive, Metaphor, Design, Communication, Cognitive, User, New Technologies, Information, Language

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.385-400. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.426MB).

Dr. Francisco Felip Miralles

Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Design (ESID), School of Technology and Experimental Sciences, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain

Graduate in Industrial Design Engineering and Doctor of Fine Arts. Associate Professor at the Universitat Jaume I of Castellón (Spain), and Technical Assistant in the project DAPA at the School of Technical Design Engineering (Universitat Politècnica de València).


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