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Lambs on Monkey Ranch.

The Myth of Metaphor

Software designers often speak of “finding the right metaphor” upon which to base their interface design. They imagine that rendering their user interface in images of familiar objects from the real world will provide a pipeline to automatic learning by their users. So they render their user interface as an office filled with desks, file cabinets, telephones and address books, or as a pad of paper or a street of buildings in the hope of creating a program with breakthrough ease-of-learning. And if you search for that magic metaphor, you will be in august company. Some of the best and brightest designers in the interface world put metaphor selection as one of their first and most important tasks.

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Metabolist architecture.
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A buggy whip, a running board, a dial tone, a phonograph needle, a phone booth. (Photo by Andreas Frank)
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The Magic Cap interface

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Ancestry Thinker, Software Alchemist, Regenerative Rancher

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