Research Output
The role of metaphor at the human computer interface.
  Interface metaphors are introduced as a technique to facilitate the learning of systems. To better understand this process, metaphors are discussed in terms of their role in the formation of mental models. This suggests that the principle advantage of metaphor lies in it's ability to facilitate the transformation of existing knowledge in order to comprehend novel situations. It is hypothesised that this characteristic will have implications for the selection of interface metaphors. Summary results are provided of an investigation in which a comparison was made between three metaphors. The results support the selection of interface metaphors which encourage exploratory learning.

  • Date:

    01 January 1994

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group Ergonomics Society of Australia, Inc

  • Library of Congress:

    QA76 Computer software

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    004 Data processing & computer science


Smyth, M., & Knott, R. P. (1993). The role of metaphor at the human computer interface. In S. Howard, & Y. K. Leung (Eds.), Proceedings of OZCHI'94, the CHISIG Annual Conference : Harmony through working together, 287-291



Mental models, Metaphors and interface design, HCI, metaphor

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