Dan Saffer's thesis on "The Role of Metaphor in Interaction Design"
OK, for anyone who designs or facilitates online interaction, read Dan's paper, he Role of Metaphor in Interaction Design. The above link is to his blog. The direct link to the 340k pdf is here.
Dan says on his blog,
"I think it's an interesting piece of work and I'm proud of it."Dan, you should be. First, it is readable by mere mortals like me. Second, your use of quotes and human voice is -- well, I appreciate it. Finally, throughout the paper there are pieces that are directly useful in practice. You bridged between theory and practice which doesn't happen often enough. Here is one snippet by way of example:
Using Metaphor to Introduce New ConceptsThanks, Dan!
Since one of metaphor’s main applications is to use the familiar to explore the unfamiliar, one of the main (and the most overused) reasons to use metaphors is their power to introduce new concepts to users. At its best, this can cause fantastic cognitive leaps, like the ones made at the appearance of the desktop UI and the internet browser. At its worst, it can trap users into a metaphor that obscures more than it illuminates, that causes anger and frustration, and that in some cases can cause injury or eath.