Abstract

The purpose of this study is to suggest a systematic use of metaphors for interactive product design. To do this, we applied domain distance theory from cognitive linguistics to interactive product design. Domain distance theory proposes two forms of distances: one is within-domain distance or the degree to which two concepts occupy dissimilar positions with respect to their own class or domain; and the other is between-domain distance, or the degree to which the classes or domains occupied by the concepts are themselves dissimilar. And it testifies that the good metaphors have large between-domain distance but small within-domain distance because metaphors are more striking as target domain and source domain are more dissimilar and easily understood when the properties of the target and source are more similar. To discover the effects of the theory on metaphorical design, the experiment was carried out with modified measurement methods of two forms of distances. Stimuli for the experiments were a collection of nine interactive products with each product’s source and target domains which were chosen by five industrial designers. The rating of each interactive product’s aptness and comprehensibility was measured with the product itself and between-domain distance and within-domain distance was also measured with the comparison of the source and the target. The result from the experiment shows that within-domain distance is negatively correlated with aptness and comprehensibility of interactive products, while between-domain distance is positively correlated with aptness and comprehensibility at a low level. Specifically, among four items of aptness, betweendomain distance is strongly correlated with how interesting the product is perceived comparing to other three items of aptness.

Keywords

metaphors, metaphorical design, interactive product, domain distance theory

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Applications of Domain Distance Theory to Interactive Product Design

The purpose of this study is to suggest a systematic use of metaphors for interactive product design. To do this, we applied domain distance theory from cognitive linguistics to interactive product design. Domain distance theory proposes two forms of distances: one is within-domain distance or the degree to which two concepts occupy dissimilar positions with respect to their own class or domain; and the other is between-domain distance, or the degree to which the classes or domains occupied by the concepts are themselves dissimilar. And it testifies that the good metaphors have large between-domain distance but small within-domain distance because metaphors are more striking as target domain and source domain are more dissimilar and easily understood when the properties of the target and source are more similar. To discover the effects of the theory on metaphorical design, the experiment was carried out with modified measurement methods of two forms of distances. Stimuli for the experiments were a collection of nine interactive products with each product’s source and target domains which were chosen by five industrial designers. The rating of each interactive product’s aptness and comprehensibility was measured with the product itself and between-domain distance and within-domain distance was also measured with the comparison of the source and the target. The result from the experiment shows that within-domain distance is negatively correlated with aptness and comprehensibility of interactive products, while between-domain distance is positively correlated with aptness and comprehensibility at a low level. Specifically, among four items of aptness, betweendomain distance is strongly correlated with how interesting the product is perceived comparing to other three items of aptness.

 

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