Saturday, April 18, 2015

Design like golf: wang

What are the minimal elements needed within the interface presentation in order to effectively communicate context and potential action(s), and how should those elements be placed in order to conserve the greatest amount of user energy to realize place and to focus effort?

Perhaps this concentrated and protracted question haunts every blank sheet of paper, digital artboard, or open html editor- if it doesn’t, I encourage the designer or developer in the moment to attempt to embrace this banshee of inspiration and follow its undulating flow down a concentrated hallway of effort and closure on the task at hand.  If we approach our design workflows like golf, where every play counts and reward awaits for those who work to minimize their approach to the finish, then we are forced to place a tremendous amount of effort into the thinking process of our designs so that the actual employment of stroke produces maximal effect and our failures at least place us near enough our intended goal that we can recover quickly and without too much difficulty.

Iteration and mistake are inevitable- they are a positive part of the exercise that stimulates growth and learning, but they do not disqualify us from the tournament; we can remain in play for as long as we desire and the course is endless.  Greatness is realized by the user and by ourselves when things appear easy to comprehend and to act on- this is the ‘naturalness’ of the interface that makes it feel easy to create and to interact with.  The interface looks ‘easy to do.’  We can recognize this sensation in other contexts such as painting, music, woodworking, cooking, teaching, equation solving, and leadership.  Examples in the painting context are early portraiture works of John Singer Sargent where a shadow cast by a nose is a simple blocked-in stroke of paint held together by surrounding form shadows and by the light it fends from its role to protect a secret held by the sitter.  Such intention of purpose, laid down with the energy of storytelling, will exude greatness to any user, observer, or creator.  Though Sargent would tend to the bravado in his growth, his mastery of placement of pigment and conjure of potential energy in his subjects only grew more obvious.

Bliss, in the Roland Barthes vocable sense of the term, takes form within the interface of humans and technology as we minimize our visible work in the ‘final deliverable.’  We are already presenting our work on some of the finest materials ever crafted and utilizing some of the most excellent tools ever available- with these massive difficulties overcome, it becomes easier to realize the course and path to our goals by focusing only on the shot; what strength is needed to move our position and what general location we wish to land before the next attempt is taken.

Growth in the tournament is mutual for the user, the creator, and the creative observer.

See you at the 19th hole.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Considering metonymy in analytics

As a metonym, an object stands for itself; it does not symbolize, or stand for, or call for similarities with another object- it exists as its own object without representation.  The realm of analytics, which inherently relies on numbers, is ripe with metonymy and the strength of this structure is actuality.  The realism described by analytics is truth, plain and simple.  However, this is a truth that is only as righteous as the algorithm, the harvest of data, and methodology on which the algorithm is constructed and presented.  The interpretation of the analytics and discriminatory course of action pursued following the presentation of the analytical data is subjective and wrought with the complexities of human prioritization.  Within the data, there exist arithmetic truths, but the deduction may not be predictable because the deduction is based on contextual and situational input that are not captured in the analytic function.  Here we realize a tango-esque dance of the objective and subjective with the realm of analytics; a realm that grows ever mustier and shadowy as it welcomes any ‘big data’ guests into the salon.

We know from quantum mechanics that the measurement of a single variable will perturb the findings of an entire experiment.  In the case of analytics, even the choice of variables for presentation immediately guides a harvest of data along the conveyor belt and nearly predetermines the visual impact of the output crop.  Depending on the relay context, the type of graphing method for relay should almost be chosen before the data set to limit the desired impact of the information.  For example, showing an increasing trend would demand a bar or line graph and most certainly not a pie chart.  The act of choosing the architecture for display of the culled data becomes as artistic a practice as choosing the data for display at all and the process of drawing and proof sketching what form interpretable data could take becomes necessary if the data is to meant to influence a particular audience.  It is only through this often lengthy iterative process of data grooming and revelation that a reality begins to settle, or at least approach the asymptote, as a true metonymic structure of the investigation; the inherent and inevitable conclusion nears a solid form in time past the specter of metaphorical guessing and inference.

We must consider an event-driven architecture in the interface of the data’s presentation and constantly carry scrutiny for fraud.  There is caution toward the cardinality of any collection of data, since there is never a complete data set or real closed field post any complex event processing or unveiling of large information sets.  At most we can hope for a distant service and semblance of metonymy- that the sphere of Jupiter will not relent casting a sense of awe with its moons ever lurking in shadow tidal-cast in blissful orbit.

The interfaces that will be most useful in the capture, analysis, and relay of big data will be those that are of definiteness of purpose and of clear design toward a focused set of users, interpreters, and champions of findings.

Monday, April 6, 2015

After Tree View Controls

A tree view control is a common graphical user interface widget that allows for the navigation of a hierarchy of information.  This control allows a user to click into the nodes of the tree, commonly called branches, to view the farthest node or leaf of information.  The information could be a folder structure with files inside or a networking domain with devices and device component IDs.  While useful for exposing the hierarchies of data or the backend programmatic signature of the data, tree views should be employed with great scrutiny when concerns for swiftness of workflow are paramount to usability in a software context.

From their outset, tree views naturally introduce complexity to a user about the data they present.  This obvious inheritance is often not necessary for a user to accomplish the task at hand and so the cognitive work of the user that is immediately escalated becomes an unnecessary source of friction that impedes expediency and builds a tone of intricacy into a software product that could otherwise benefit from a more fluidic, lightweight, and apparently simple interface.  

Tree views demand that the user know a priori or learn the container structure and embedded elements, which can require significant drilling into node elements.  This hunting and seeking of information, especially in the case of first time use, requires time as well as physical and mental effort to seek, click, seek, remember, and click (if luck permits) that unapologetically take away from any accomplishment of acting on the data that a user is hunting for.  The question, ‘Where is the thing?’ heavily burdens the workflow of needing to do something with ‘the thing’ once it is located.  While grouping elements within a container structure that may inherit a hierarchy is a distinct and foundational human tendency, within the context of software applications, there are other control presentation methods that can increase the speed that a desired outcome is attained and, through this unhindered workflow, the user gains a sense of satisfaction in their efforts that can lead to the sale or renewal of more products in a strict business sense and promote infectious positive energy in the broader societal sense.

A very clear usability limitation of tree views is that they often are restrained to vertically-biased rectangles, yet can contain nodes that expand two, three, or more levels deep.  This presentation then requires the user to perform a kind of horizontal scrolling acrobatics, to expand a node, scroll, scan, and hopefully click to expose the details of the target node for further action.  The fact that tree views are often not the location of action on a node, and if they were, are severely limiting in the screen real estate they permit, means that their implementation demands an engineer to exquisitely balance the concepts of action and navigation- not simple feats that challenge senior and principle level developers and designers alike.  All the time that a user spends engaging with ‘tree swinging’ as they navigate a potentially complicated hierarchy is time spent not focused on achieving their ultimate goal; whatever that may be, it is most certainly not locating a node on a tree.

If we can collapse the distance between a user’s current location and their destination then we have necessarily reduced the time of their actions and promoted their satisfaction with their efforts.  Data structure and hierarchy can be crucial to understanding how to solve a given problem and learn workflow, but they can be exposed in areas perhaps more appropriate than a tree view.  Conversely, a tree view can be immensely useful if the hierarchy it uncovers is shallow and if the tree itself is ‘short’ enough to allow for quick scanning for target nodes.  As the tree’s complexity grows, its usefulness decays rapidly, and much like physical trees under human gaze, it becomes an object of bewilderment and paralyzing bliss rather than an object under control.  This statement applies with greater warning as the number of nodes encountered proliferates through an era of planetary size data structures.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chasing Consistency

It is possible for consistency to exist across a product, a product suite, or an entire company.  There are common threads, capable of being sewn by every member of the business, that will hold together a sense of union and deliver a clear message to customers across international boundaries that what they are using, or what they are holding, or who they are talking to is derived from a clear and distinguishable source.  The exact shape of the source of these threads is unique to each business, but the source can be defined and recognized as a foundational element; as a platform.  This foundation or platform need only be intentionally named as one to define it as a bastion or rally call to the entire company and to formalize its announcement to the public.  

The foundation or common thread can be a process, virtual representation, physical product offering, or style of communication.  However, an affirmation of consistency, and the platform’s existence, is largely under jurisdiction of the product users’ and company customers’ perception.  While a company itself can recognize its own inconsistencies and lack of a platform, not until the platform is named by the company and shared with the outside world does it, or a validated perception of consistency, exist in the marketplace.  The life-force given to an article or collection of objects through the perception and labeling by users is the greatest form of existence for a product and leads to advocation, evangelism, and revenue streams.  Once the platform has entered the public conversation, it can then spread its wake of influence and broaden its perceptibility by the public to precipitate other facets of the company into a question of range of consistency.

The concept that the ‘consistency thread,’ or foundational element, simply requires it be named as such to exist in that sense relies on the fact that context drives human perception, and consequently, labeling and grouping procedures.  We can turn to the example of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ (1917) where a urinal was placed in the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917 and the exhibition context anointed this everyday object as an art form or artistic expression; as scandalous as Duchamp’s act was considered at that time.  The impact of Duchamp’s work, and that of the Dada movement he participated in, on the art world continues to inspire and propel an expanding definition of art through notions of context and appropriation.

Returning to the software context, we attribute labels to visual collections of information, or applications, like ‘monitoring software’ or ‘reporting software’ to provide users with an overarching expectation of capability and function.  We can realize the importance here when we contrast productivity software with games or debugging software.  The collection of these applications then become the architectural outgrowths of the business foundation; the perceived image of the company by the user.

Here it is possible to realize the cyclical repercussions of consistency and its ability to alter user perception in the marketplace.

What Doesn't Change Across Form Factors in Interaction Design


Users don’t change.

There are no new ideas in the combination of words below, you create the ideas and meaning as a viewer and user of this document.

Although the concept of ‘the user’ is perhaps the only thing that doesn’t change across form factors when considering user experience design, the users, their selves, do change. Of course we know this is true because we are reactionary and adaptive organisms existing in a constantly changing environment. Our interests, capabilities, dependencies, and expectations are in flux with our surroundings. We are all users, and only through an understanding of ourselves, do we uncover our understanding of others.

There are, however, certain properties of the human mental construct that remain constant enough to create around and, with reasonable certainty, predict a user’s response to the imposed stimulation. This in fact drives to a founding stone in this essay that when creating for users, we are invoking a simple action-reaction process not unlike that at the biological or sub-atomic level. We have the concepts of a receptor and stimulator (probabilistically more physical) and the concepts of an impulse operator and reactionary value (probabilistically more energetic).

Considering first the receptor-stimulator construct, we must appreciate the problem of designing for user experience as visual communication problem solving; dependent on a language as alive as the object that inherits it, but also consisting of ‘atomic’ building blocks that form the inputs for predictive calculations. These basic shapes of the visual language act exactly as the phonemes of verbal language and are universally recognized and ‘spoken’ across all cultures and demographics. An example here would be a circle- it may be called many things, but it is always a circle and recognized, or received by, its never-ending roundness. This roundness then acts as a vehicle for non-specific user reactions such as comfort, safety, and time-dilation.

So there are receptors of the human mental architecture that don’t change across humans at the most basic level or over time (much)- if they do change over time, they change isotropically. There are also stimulators, the building blocks of the visual language, that do not change at all.

We can liken this phenomenon to that of our taste receptors where we have the same receptors for sweet and sour; it is our cultural learning and development that alters these receptors making them more or less affinitive for a particular taste, yet the existence of the receptors is the same. The stimulators, the chemical combinations that invoke sensation, are constant because of the electrochemical laws that govern their shape in space.

Naturally following the pattern of our surrounding universe, elements of the visual language 
are drawn together, interact, and create higher order structures and groupings invoking patterns and sequences catalyzing new reactions in viewers, or users. Not only are new shapes instantiated, but also new spaces- the encapsulating envelopes and framing devices of the visual language- the negative space is altered, and new meaning is realized. As we consider form factors, we must take into account this space surrounding the object and not just the object itself.

Let us define what we mean by form factor in this context before going forward.

A form factor is that container for an interface, for the construct of the interface, and for the user of the interface.

With this definition, we understand the device and the user are both form factors that must be accounted for in design. So we are not just thinking in terms of pixel dimensions or metric units, but also in terms of human intelligence, cultural affiliation, age, or any other number of human properties. While this broad definition of a form factor may seem to intimidate or retard the genesis of design, it is actually more useful than aversive because it forces us to rely on those fundamental human properties that are universal, and in this way things are created that appeal to the greatest audience with greater assurance of their impact and potential reaction.

We also see that the form factor is the space in which the user experience takes place- it is an empty container for processing, interaction, and design. The form factor is not the limiter or catalyst of design problems of user experience as it is typically approached. The major cause of problems in user experience design is the lack of user (human) understanding at the fundamental level during the design phase.

As the word ‘interface’ was mentioned, let’s define that before going forward as

An interface is a constructor that maps a set of inherited functions onto any set of given data to allow for impulse, action, and potential cognition.

So the interface is that active glue which binds the form factors of design, of space, and of the user. We can understand this programmatically as the functional constructor bringing variables and methods into an active or kinetic process. The interface architecture does not exist without the three form factors, yet its elements (elements of the visual language) do exist independent of design and the user, but not of space.

If we now take a big picture perspective of this lecture so far, we will see that all users have fundamental receptors, and therefore, predictable responses to visual stimuli. That user experience design is a process of visual problem solving relying on the same principles of reception and reaction as those on the biological and sub-atomic levels. That form factors include the users as well as the used objects and interfaces.

Let’s continue down the path of understanding the user then to realize specifically those things that don’t change across form factors. From a visual communication problem solving strategy, we can break designing for the user down into concepts of energy and in this way continue to steer toward the foundational and fundamental elements that govern user experience.

We can begin with the potential energy side of the equation or the design planning phase. The visual problem is solved by accounting for universal human traits and conforming the design to draw out (enhance) or push back (de-emphasize) the responses originating from those traits. Let’s take for example the human trait of curiosity. Curiosity is biologically an open receptor for electrochemical change with a high amount of potential for energy change and according to physical law, there is a tendency toward equilibrium with an increase in entropy. (This is the action potential). When the receptor is covered, it undergoes a conformational change and this change, paired with a series of electrochemical responses, indicates the process of learning at the macroscopic level. (A protein folds according to the naturally allowable folds and the system remembers or learns its abilities). At a higher perspective level, the receptor’s host learns this process of stimulation and physical change comes from an external source and the paths of certain stimuli are attributed to a system of rewards and punishment. (Cause and effect are attributed to this process as a method of understanding and predicting the future).

This is a universal process shared inter-culturally amongst all humans and we must search out those other unchanging traits when designing across form factors.

In another language of study we can view this process in terms of linear algebra and the state vectors of quantum mechanics. Let’s pretend we are in the human basis | h > and we create a very simple equation that equates the operation of an interface on a human user to produce some sort of impulse as an eigenvalue. The equation looks like: 

human basis, | h > : I | h > - i | h > = 0

In its simplicity we see the human basis as a state vector which is unchanging and we emphasize the likeness of all humans under specific visual stimulation. So we design our operator ( I ), the impulse of the interface, to produce a measurable and predictable reaction if we understand the unshifting state vector.

If we tend now toward the kinetic energy side of the equation, the design and manufacturing process itself, the visual problem across form factors can be solved in numerous ways. Essentially these methods all employ the use of reshaping information to ‘fit’ the form factor. This is done spatially and temporally. Spatially, the technique is essentially to bifurcate the data from one form factor and reconstruct it to fit the alternate form factor. During this process, information can be lost, the architectural elements can be critically broken and the interface’s ability to allow for potential cognition as we have defined it can be jeopardized. 

This precipitates an issue at the pinnacle of user experience design, especially across form factors, that design is not about haphazardly placing shapes within a frame, it is about composing a message with utmost sensitivity to user cognition. It is also not about squishing and smushing information to fit various form factors- each form factor, whether human or object or interface has its own intrinsic properties that convey the presented information differently. For example, a tablet is held differently than a phone, and therefore will be interacted with differently. The direct translation of visual data from one form factor to another by reshaping it should be approached with exceptional care. 

The most impactful and effective visual design is nearly identical across form factors- it does not depend on the spatial constraints of the display, only on the unchanging fundamental properties of the user. And, here lies the difficulty of this problem; a difficulty that energizes those that undertake the search for its solution.

Temporally, information is reshaped by understanding the user’s ‘read’ of the presented message. (Note that the reading action is necessarily time-dependent). This is not only done by the local placement of objects within an interface, but also by employing those elements of design that again call to the human receptors of visual processing. Namely contrast, composition, and conservation of energy for the user. Through contrast, importance is established- high contrast elements are read first while low contrast elements fade into ‘second reads’ or beyond or are not read at all. Composition is the layout of the interface and it is clear that the human form factor will read a composition differently based on cultural learning. However, this can be tailored through the use of contrast. Conservation of energy is a principle followed by the rest of the universe and we are no exception. We will read information with a default minimal effort and increase or decrease this effort based on our interest in the subject matter. The majority of failures in translations of visual information across form factors occur because at least one of these principles is not respected.

Metaphor and Metonymy in Mobile Interface Design

Essay Catalyst

The use of metaphor and metonym are crucial to user interface design, especially for the mobile landscape, because we are investigating those signs, signifiers, and sequences that relate to some fundamental and deep-rooted structure of how humans interact with their visual environment; a visual environment that has been augmented with portable electronic devices.


Tremendous amounts of research and effort are being focused on the design (drawing) and
development (programming) of user interfaces for consumer products and digestion of electronic information. This makes sense because the interface, the interactive space where a human manipulates and connects with electronic data, can establish an emotive connection between the human user and their device that has numerous effects in the business, cultural, and pedagogical spheres. Yet most of the information collected and published lacks reference to the fundamental aspects of human interpretation of imagery- there is little discussion of how metaphor and metonymy elicit emotive and cognitive effects within the human user. Additionally, the usage of fundamental design principles can easily be pointed to in the creation of any user interface, but again, a discussion of why certain imagery resonates with humans and how that can be manipulated is lacking outside studio lunch breaks and classrooms.

So-called Introduction (after Lucy Lippard)

This essay (as an attempt) discusses the deficiency of ‘art speak’ in the realm of user interface design where a conversation of human relation to metaphor and metonymy seems a good starting point for mending human relations to fine art principles with human relations to computer interactions. Through an understanding of the relationship humans have with metaphor and metonym, I believe we become empowered to create more effective user interfaces for the purposes of learning, entertainment, and advancing human cognition. The mobile form factor is chosen because it is arguable that our mobile devices are increasingly the most important tools for carrying out our daily tasks.

This work is inspired by my own interest in user interface design, specifically for mobile products (software and hardware), and discussions led by Charles Gaines, a Los Angeles based artist and teacher at the California Institute of the Arts. I am taking the definition of essay as ‘attempt’ and therefore do not intend this essay to be a totalization of the topic presented; I would rather it exist as a spoke in a discursive wheel of critical thought on art, design, and human interfaces.

The information presented here is not new- a remarkable amount of information regarding
metaphor, metonymy, interface design, cognition, and linguistics has been developed over
centuries. The unique aspect of this contribution is the combination of these ideas. As this is not intended to be a formal attempt (I would call it pseudo-academic), and the amount of relevant literature available through search is great, citations are minimal, the language is at times personal, and any feedback can be directed to james{[at]}{firstnamelastname}.com.


The Setup- Historical Importance of the Metaphor/Metonym Process

Metaphor, as utilized by the Greeks, was typically confined to the analysis and construction of poetry. For the Greeks, poetics were separate from the arts, which consisted of crafts- unlike our culturally agreed upon definition of the arts today which includes much more than masonry or metal fabrication. Interestingly, the poetic, which I’ll define as an elemental representation of human emotion, persists in the contemporary critical discussions of art. When presented in the physical world, the poetic element is an interface between one human’s emotive experience and another human’s potential cognition. The ink on the page is the interface between humans. Of course, we do not need to stick with the Western reference of the Greeks, as other even more ancient cultures such as the Japanese or Egyptians, also heavily employed metaphor for the purposes of learning, task achievement, and emotional experience. Even further back, we can excavate the use of drawing in the caves at Chauvet. These indications of the metaphor and metonym arising so early
in human development, and the persistence of their usage, serve to underscore the importance of understanding how these tropes function in society in our moment in the mobile landscape.

Quick Cognitive Linguistic Review of Metaphor/Metonym

Theoretical considerations of metaphor and metonymy developed largely through the rise of cognitive linguistics and structuralist theory. Ferdinand de Saussure’s work Course in General Linguistics is often cited as the first revelation of a dichotomy between metaphor and metonymy.  Saussure introduces the vocabulary of langue and parole and immediately a distinction is made between the use of grammar (langue) and the spoken use of words for communication purposes (parole). For us, we can interpret from Saussure that metaphor relates to langue and metonym relates to parole. Plotting langue and parole on two separate axes, Saussure refers to the vertical langue axis as the axis of simultaneity and the horizontal parole axis as the axis of successions.  Synchrony, a term evoking the shared language rules and constructions of individuals from the same language group, is embedded into the axis of simultaneity. Within the axis of successions, diachrony, or the evolving property of language, naturally resides due its time-related dependency.  

Another important player in the metaphor/metonym investigation is Roman Jakobson who published his findings in "Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances," which details Jakobson’s account of two aphasiac disorders named “similarity disorder” and “contiguity disorder.” Where the similarity disorder deals with a dependence on syntactic context, Jakobson’s contiguity disorder describes a condition of language that is independent of syntax that essentially arrives in communication as a “word heap.” Essentially, word choice selections fall into the metaphorical category and the combination of words (syntax) can be categorized as part of the metonym camp.

The distinction between metaphor and metonym, and its proposed binary structure, are important for user interface design because this construct separates the elemental pieces of information that elicit user cognition (the metaphors) from the time-based sequencing of metaphor presentation (the metonym). Through a separation of the pieces creating the whole, it becomes easier to critique and analyze the entire interface. Breaking down the complex form into smaller, easier-to-analyze, elements is a process we undertake constantly, so it makes sense that if we want to better understand human interface design, we can naturally apply this task at the deep-rooted metaphor/metonym level. It also becomes easier to apply fundamental design principles (such as contrast or shape) as a second layer of construction to the individual pieces and help unify the interface- if each element is specifically designed (controlled), there is design (control) across the interface.

We can also appreciate the metaphor element in a visual interface as part of a system, a universal and fundamental biological system within all humans, which functions on the basis of the interpretation of signs through visual reception. All humans with the ability to visualize simultaneously have the ability to interpret metaphor- regardless of the fact that the interpretation could be different. On the other hand, metonymy by definition, is not a universal system- its effective use relies on a culturally agreed upon meaning based on a sequence of metaphors. This is critical to the development of user interfaces for people of different cultures; and the collapsing distance of communication and commerce worldwide heightens this criticality.

Breaking Down the Metaphor and Metonym

If we follow the teachings of Saussure, we are also introduced to the temporal and spatial facets of metaphor and metonym. This is appealing to interface design, and especially user experience design, because of the interest in the time and space based aspects of interaction. An interface can be analyzed not only in terms of navigation from one element to another on a screen, possibly employing Hick’s or Fitts’s Laws for testing, but also by the time elapsed during the cognition of individual metaphors presented. Using this principle, one could imagine mapping the initial designs of an interface based on the time it takes to understand the metonymic structure of metaphors- the design would appear as numbers in place of buttons, graphics, or other visual user interface elements.

Here, at perhaps the deepest and most fundamental level of design, the level of the metaphor and metonym, it is possible to begin construction of an interface that is highly designed with superior control over the presentation of elements and anticipated cognition of a user. At this level, by beginning the design process with the metaphor/metonym structure outright, there is extraordinary potential to achieve the greatest emotive relationship between and amongst a human user, their mobile tool, and the designer (company or individual). In terms of capitalism (or hyper capitalism) and the corporate environment, customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and the bottom line can be maximized. In terms of human development, there is the potential to maximize learning, interpretation, and task achievement. The processes of mobile users, including conducting business, communicating with others, enjoying entertainment, and fulfilling personal satisfaction through information gathering and memory casting, can all be heightened when design occurs at the metaphor/metonym level.

Of course, this process is already employed- icons represent other things, the layout of an
application may represent the layout of another more familiar interface. Since we understand our world through metaphor/metonym, it’s obvious that we would reconstruct other visual worlds by the same process. However, there is a lack of documentation of the use of metaphor/metonym in user interface design and user experience literature and an almost unconscious use of the binary in design and development. We tend to take the usage of the power of metaphors and metonyms for granted.

In most user experience literature, there is a scientific approach to understanding visual
interpretation; and inherently in any scientific examination, there is study bias arising from several factors (in the study environment, in sampling [amazon mechanical turk], user tasking, participant compensation). Individual designer bias (a personal and culturally developed property) exists in the interpretation of a user’s cognitive abilities during interface creation. All of these approaches toward interface design utilize metaphor and metonym, but utilize them without deep recognition. The researchers and designers are aware of metaphor and metonym in the interface under investigation, but fail to account for the metaphor/metonym baggage that every human being carries. Without this accounting, there is an assumption of a ‘totalization’ of human-device interaction and intensive critical discourse on interface design is lacking. Less inferential feedback and user testing is necessary by way of a critical analysis of the metaphor/metonym dichotomy in place.

Following Through the Attempt

There is an emphasis on design in economics, politics, and social relations. In mobile interface design there is a quickening collapse between reality and the metaphor for the user. Therefore, it is crucial, in our moment, to understand and appreciate the use of the metaphor/metonym dichotomy in the future design and development of interfaces across the disciplines of programmers, designers, and researchers working in the field.

For Further Reading and Reference Search These Out: