Language metaphor for UE disciplines

14 Apr 2008 - 1:51pm
6 years ago
11 replies
501 reads
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

This metaphor came up at our last IxDA Colorado meetup (which was quite
lively, by the way).

"IA deals with nouns, IxD -- verbs, Visual Design -- adjectives."

This is rough division, of course.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

Comments

14 Apr 2008 - 1:55pm
SemanticWill
2007

Interesting - to add my 2 cents (and Chauncey or Saffer will kick my
butt)....

Content Strategists are nouns,
IAs is the grammar,
IxD is the verbs,
Visual is the adjectives,
Experience Architects are the poets....

I know there is a Haiku in here somewhere

Anyone want to play more with this?

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:51 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
wrote:

> This metaphor came up at our last IxDA Colorado meetup (which was quite
> lively, by the way).
>
> "IA deals with nouns, IxD -- verbs, Visual Design -- adjectives."
>
> This is rough division, of course.
>
> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
>
>

14 Apr 2008 - 1:56pm
SemanticWill
2007

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:55 PM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Interesting - to add my 2 cents (and Chauncey or Saffer will kick my
> butt)....
>
> Content Strategists are nouns,
> IAs is the grammar,
> IxD is the verbs,
> Visual is the adjectives,
> Experience Architects are the poets....

Jacob Nielson is the times Lit Critic...

>
>
> I know there is a Haiku in here somewhere
>
> Anyone want to play more with this?
>
>
>
>
> --
> ~ will
>
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:51 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > This metaphor came up at our last IxDA Colorado meetup (which was quite
> > lively, by the way).
> >
> > "IA deals with nouns, IxD -- verbs, Visual Design -- adjectives."
> >
> > This is rough division, of course.
> >
> > --
> > Oleh Kovalchuke
> >
> >
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com

14 Apr 2008 - 2:11pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Another interesting metaphor, and the topic of the presentation at the IxDA
Colorado meetup by Josh Zapin (Texturemedia), was "Interaction Designer is
occupies the role of Director in film industry: privides vision and guides
other contributors to fulfill the vision". Inspired by book "What a Producer
Does" by Buck Houghton.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

14 Apr 2008 - 2:24pm
SemanticWill
2007

I would love to see the presentation - can he put it on slideshare? I am
wondering whether the metaphor is really scalable like the more classic
metaphors such as:
time is money
human life is a plant
human life is a day
death is a person, driver, escort

etc...
If it was more abstract - designing information spaces is creating a movie,
who is the script writer?
the cinematographer?
key grid?
producer?
editor?

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 3:11 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Another interesting metaphor, and the topic of the presentation at the
> IxDA
> Colorado meetup by Josh Zapin (Texturemedia), was "Interaction Designer is
> occupies the role of Director in film industry: privides vision and guides
> other contributors to fulfill the vision". Inspired by book "What a
> Producer
> Does" by Buck Houghton.
>
> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is design of time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com

14 Apr 2008 - 2:55pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

We didn't have slides. Instead the presentation served as a seed for
audience discussion (we try to encourage audience participation, hence all
the interesting metaphors).

As far as I understand, Project Manager analogous to Producer. Key Grip? I
wonder myself...

Another good book on film, which is relevant to user experience design, is
Jon Boorstin's "The Hollywood Eye. What makes movies work."

Do come to our next meetup on May 14th :) -- it will be as exciting. Simon
Hill of SpireMedia will cover user experience research and how it translates
into online experience.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 1:24 PM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I would love to see the presentation - can he put it on slideshare? I am
> wondering whether the metaphor is really scalable like the more classic
> metaphors such as:
> time is money
> human life is a plant
> human life is a day
> death is a person, driver, escort
>
> etc...
> If it was more abstract - designing information spaces is creating a
> movie,
> who is the script writer?
> the cinematographer?
> key grid?
> producer?
> editor?
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 3:11 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Another interesting metaphor, and the topic of the presentation at the
> > IxDA
> > Colorado meetup by Josh Zapin (Texturemedia), was "Interaction Designer
> > is
> > occupies the role of Director in film industry: privides vision and
> > guides
> > other contributors to fulfill the vision". Inspired by book "What a
> > Producer
> > Does" by Buck Houghton.
> >
> > --
> > Oleh Kovalchuke
> > Interaction Design is design of time
> > http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> ~ will
>
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com
>

14 Apr 2008 - 2:58pm
SemanticWill
2007

Grip would be analogous to IT support for the team, I guess.

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
wrote:

> We didn't have slides. Instead the presentation served as a seed for
> audience discussion (we try to encourage audience participation, hence all
> the interesting metaphors).
>
> As far as I understand, Project Manager analogous to Producer. Key Grip? I
> wonder myself...
>
> Another good book on film, which is relevant to user experience design, is
> Jon Boorstin's "The Hollywood Eye. What makes movies work."
>
> Do come to our next meetup on May 14th :) -- it will be as exciting. Simon
> Hill of SpireMedia will cover user experience research and how it translates
> into online experience.
>
> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is design of time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 1:24 PM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I would love to see the presentation - can he put it on slideshare? I am
> > wondering whether the metaphor is really scalable like the more classic
> > metaphors such as:
> > time is money
> > human life is a plant
> > human life is a day
> > death is a person, driver, escort
> >
> > etc...
> > If it was more abstract - designing information spaces is creating a
> > movie,
> > who is the script writer?
> > the cinematographer?
> > key grid?
> > producer?
> > editor?
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 3:11 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <
> > tangospring at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Another interesting metaphor, and the topic of the presentation at
> > > the IxDA
> > > Colorado meetup by Josh Zapin (Texturemedia), was "Interaction
> > > Designer is
> > > occupies the role of Director in film industry: privides vision and
> > > guides
> > > other contributors to fulfill the vision". Inspired by book "What a
> > > Producer
> > > Does" by Buck Houghton.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Oleh Kovalchuke
> > > Interaction Design is design of time
> > > http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > ~ will
> >
> > "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> > and what you innovate are design problems"
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> > tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com
> >
>
>
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com

14 Apr 2008 - 3:53pm
SemanticWill
2007

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 4:44 PM, Dave Katten <dkatten at gmail.com> wrote:

>
>
> Out of curiosity, has anyone out there read Lakoff & Johnson's "Metaphors
> we live by"?
>

I believe we all have!

I believe we all *should* have read that - as well as Dan's masters thesis.
Another great one is Lakoff's "Women, Fire and Dangerous Things," although
that is better utilized by IAs and has less meat for IxD practitioners.

>
> Best,
> dave katten
>
>
>
--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com

14 Apr 2008 - 3:44pm
Dave Katten
2008

I think this thread is starting to show some salient aspects about metaphor
that warrant some discussion, namely what is a metaphor and when is one
appropriate.

In my view, there are two kinds of metaphors: experiential and explanatory.
Experiential metaphors are practically transparent - we use them without
even thinking about them when we talk about one domain as another. My
favorite example is POLITICS IS WAR - there are campaigns, one party attacks
another, such a position is indefensible, what is their strategy for the
ground game, etc. The way Westerners practice politics is talked about (and
to an extent, experienced) the same way they practice war.

The explanatory type is transient and (occasionally) forced. It is used to
make a specific point about how one element in some domain (like UE
architect) is kinda sorta like an element in another domain (like film
directing). Yes, I can see some connections, but the systematicity of an
experiential domain simply isn't there.

That isn't to say "pshaw" to the whole thread - it's fun to try and link
things together. But I think this opens up a larger topic about the place of
metaphor in interaction design. I seem to recall a number of works that
suggest leveraging metaphors in interaction, such as the "cut, copy, paste"
of photocopying, which mapped to word processors, which in turn was
generalized to OSs in general. That to me seems like a great experiential
metaphor because users are manipulating things in the same way for the same
purpose. But then I imagine some eager IxDers trying to ram every interface
and every vocabulary item into a metaphor that just doesn't fit.

I would argue that interaction designers should really think about how they
choose and deploy metaphors and guard against "forcing" explanatory
metaphors. As one of my friends says "Just because you can do it, it doesn't
mean you can do it for a living". In this case, "just because you can
imagine a metaphor doesn't mean the metaphor will make sense to your users".

Out of curiosity, has anyone out there read Lakoff & Johnson's "Metaphors we
live by"?

Best,
dave katten

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:58 PM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Grip would be analogous to IT support for the team, I guess.
>
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > We didn't have slides. Instead the presentation served as a seed for
> > audience discussion (we try to encourage audience participation, hence
> all
> > the interesting metaphors).
> >
> > As far as I understand, Project Manager analogous to Producer. Key Grip?
> I
> > wonder myself...
> >
> > Another good book on film, which is relevant to user experience design,
> is
> > Jon Boorstin's "The Hollywood Eye. What makes movies work."
> >
> > Do come to our next meetup on May 14th :) -- it will be as exciting.
> Simon
> > Hill of SpireMedia will cover user experience research and how it
> translates
> > into online experience.
> >
>
>

15 Apr 2008 - 2:19pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:44 PM, Dave Katten <dkatten at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think this thread is starting to show some salient aspects about
> metaphor
> that warrant some discussion, namely what is a metaphor and when is one
> appropriate.

I don't think the language metaphor for UE disciplines is too far fetched,
because it is embodied -- uses the same grammar, we use for language.

We experience designed (and natural) systems by communicating with them. The
communication has structure, defined largely by our evolved brain -- the
experience is embodied, to paraphrase Lakoff and Chomsky (they were writing
about language, of course). Different disciplines in UE field put emphasis
on distinct parts of the communication (objects, actions, attributes).

This schema, in my mind, reflects specialization of user experience
disciplines, which, in turn, reflect the specialization in our minds, rather
well:

Content Strategists are nouns,
IAs is the grammar,
IxD is the verbs,
Visual is the adjectives,
Experience Architects are the poets....

Thanks, Will, for expanding the schema.
Disclaimer: as with any classification, the boundaries are fuzzy.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:44 PM, Dave Katten <dkatten at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think this thread is starting to show some salient aspects about
> metaphor
> that warrant some discussion, namely what is a metaphor and when is one
> appropriate.
>
> In my view, there are two kinds of metaphors: experiential and
> explanatory.
> Experiential metaphors are practically transparent - we use them without
> even thinking about them when we talk about one domain as another. My
> favorite example is POLITICS IS WAR - there are campaigns, one party
> attacks
> another, such a position is indefensible, what is their strategy for the
> ground game, etc. The way Westerners practice politics is talked about
> (and
> to an extent, experienced) the same way they practice war.
>
> The explanatory type is transient and (occasionally) forced. It is used to
> make a specific point about how one element in some domain (like UE
> architect) is kinda sorta like an element in another domain (like film
> directing). Yes, I can see some connections, but the systematicity of an
> experiential domain simply isn't there.
>
> That isn't to say "pshaw" to the whole thread - it's fun to try and link
> things together. But I think this opens up a larger topic about the place
> of
> metaphor in interaction design. I seem to recall a number of works that
> suggest leveraging metaphors in interaction, such as the "cut, copy,
> paste"
> of photocopying, which mapped to word processors, which in turn was
> generalized to OSs in general. That to me seems like a great experiential
> metaphor because users are manipulating things in the same way for the
> same
> purpose. But then I imagine some eager IxDers trying to ram every
> interface
> and every vocabulary item into a metaphor that just doesn't fit.
>
> I would argue that interaction designers should really think about how
> they
> choose and deploy metaphors and guard against "forcing" explanatory
> metaphors. As one of my friends says "Just because you can do it, it
> doesn't
> mean you can do it for a living". In this case, "just because you can
> imagine a metaphor doesn't mean the metaphor will make sense to your
> users".
>
> Out of curiosity, has anyone out there read Lakoff & Johnson's "Metaphors
> we
> live by"?
>
> Best,
> dave katten
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:58 PM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Grip would be analogous to IT support for the team, I guess.
> >
> > On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > We didn't have slides. Instead the presentation served as a seed for
> > > audience discussion (we try to encourage audience participation, hence
> > all
> > > the interesting metaphors).
> > >
> > > As far as I understand, Project Manager analogous to Producer. Key
> Grip?
> > I
> > > wonder myself...
> > >
> > > Another good book on film, which is relevant to user experience
> design,
> > is
> > > Jon Boorstin's "The Hollywood Eye. What makes movies work."
> > >
> > > Do come to our next meetup on May 14th :) -- it will be as exciting.
> > Simon
> > > Hill of SpireMedia will cover user experience research and how it
> > translates
> > > into online experience.
> > >
> >
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

15 Apr 2008 - 3:02pm
Angel Marquez
2008

Well, I think the entire process should be thought of like an automobile.

Users/Drivers/Buyers should only have control over the obvious things,
AC, power windows.

You can't buy a car and then decide you want 4 wheel drive on your
convertible sports ride.

Certain things aren't interchangeable and it's a known when you go and
buy a car. If you're going to request it, it's going to cost a lot
more and take a lot more time.

Like when you order something custom from the McDonalds drive through,
what happens?
THE WAIT. c'mon I just asked for meat and a bun and I have to park and
wait for 30 minutes...

I apologize if I'm hard to follow. I do love metaphor and think of
them when I work with dev teams. Seams like I'm always being forced
into making something happen with items purchased or acquired by the
wrong people. Like being asked to wash windows with a Spatula and
quart of motor oil...and when questioning the items THEY just point at
a nice shinny clean window.

lol

24 Apr 2008 - 11:24pm
Troy Gardner
2008

My take

Information and Content are the nouns,
IA is the grammar,
IxD are the verbs,
Graphic Design are the adjectives,
Your application is the poem
Experience Architects are the poets....

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