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Which clippings match 'Visual Metaphor' keyword pg.1 of 5
21 NOVEMBER 2014

Nuggets: an animation about the downhill slide into drug addiction

"Ein Kiwi bewegt sich entlang einer Ebene. Er entdeckt einen Gold Nugget und kostet. Es ist köstlich.

In knapper und äußerst reduzierter Form mit wenigen Linien und Farben (schwarz–weiß–gelb) und einem starken, sicheren Gefühl für Rhythmus offenbart der Film das Prinzip der Sucht: Er zeigt, wie der Stoff den ganzen Körper erfüllt, zum Abheben bringt und leicht dahin schweben lässt. Er zeigt die harte Landung und den stärker werdenden Drang, das Hochgefühl wiederzuerlangen. Aber die Höhenflüge werden immer kürzer, müssen in immer knapperen Zeitabständen wiederholt werden. Gleichzeitig wird der Aufprall in der Realität immer härter und schmerzvoller. Dabei wird der Körper stärker und stärker in Mitleidenschaft gezogen. Kaum merklich wird der anfangs helle Vogel vor hellem Hintergrund in feinen Schattierungen von Grau immer dunkler, bis der Stoff der Träume ihn schließlich nicht mehr locken kann.

Durch die reduzierten Stilmittel wirkt der Film umso überzeugender. Auf dem schwarz–weißen Hintergrund geht von dem leuchtend gelben, runden Nugget eine sichtbare Versuchung aus. Wer würde ihn nicht probieren wollen? Dabei steht der Nugget nur als Metapher, hinter der sich verschiedene Formen der Sucht verbergen können: Drogen, Erfolg, Reichtum etc. Darüber hinaus könnte man den Film als Sinnbild des Lebens interpretieren, in dessen Verlauf man alles ausschöpfen will, bis unmerklich der Lebensabend naht und alles relativiert.

Ein kurzer Film mit klarer Form und Aussage, der aber dennoch viele Deutungen zulässt."

(Deutsche Film – und Medienbewertung)

Director: Andreas Hykade, Country: Germany, Year: 2014, Length: 5 mins 17 secs.

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20142D animationallegory • Andreas Hykade • Angela Steffen • animated short filmbirdchemical dependency • cycle of addiction • dependence • downhill slide • drug addictiondrug takingdrug user • FFA Berlin • floatingGerman cinema • golden nugget • Heiko Maile • Kiwiline drawing • Nuggets (2014) • physical transformation • Ralf Bohde • repeating patternsubstance abusesubstance dependencesymbolic meaningvector animationvisual metaphoryellow

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 OCTOBER 2014

Less, But Better: Dieter Rams's Influence on Today's UI Design

"Design should not dominate things, not dominate people, it should help people".

(Dieter Rams, Gestalten)

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20th century design • Adrien Olczak • Anton Repponen • Awwwards • Braun • Braun Style • Celegorm • Christopher Paul • David Stefanides • Denis Shepovalov • design classics • design inspired by • Dieter Rams • Eder Rengifo • electronic appliances • Eugene Balashov • Filip Slovacek • functionalism • functionalist vision • Gestalten • gute form • Hans GugelotHfGindustrial designindustrial designerinfluential designerinterface metaphor • Joao Pires • Jordi Verdu • Kirill Zhylinsky • Klaus Klemp • less but better • Luca Banchelli • Osme Pietro • Otl Aicher • Peter Behrens • Piotr Kwiatkowski • principles of good design • rationalist vision of design • Simon Alexander • SK2 radio • SK5 • skeuomorphism • TG60 • tone et type • UI designUlm School of Designuser interface designuser interface metaphorvisual metaphor • Vladimir Kovalev • Wilhelm Wagenfeld

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 APRIL 2014

What is skeuomorphism?

Dan "O'Hara argues that, strictly speaking, the term skeuomorphism refers only to those vestigial elements in nature or artefact that survive from an original form, even though they are no longer required. At its broadest, this definition extends to the levers and dials in a modern aircraft cockpit, for example, which no longer connect to systems directly, but instead are merely inputs and outputs of a computer that actually controls things. Such controls are skeumorphs because they are holdovers from the days before computerised aircraft, and have been left in their original form for the benefit of pilots, who are used to them working in a particular way.

So can a digital depiction of something properly be called a skeuomorph? It is more accurate to refer to it as a visual metaphor that calls to mind a physical skeuomorph without really being one. The iPhone's notification panel, with its imitation linen effect, was not descended from an object that was once made of linen. The switch that, say, allows you to switch an iPhone into Airplane Mode is not an on–screen replacement for what used to be a physical switch. In the early days of graphical user interfaces, designers employed familiar devices, such as folders, trash cans and other objects commonplace in the office. The result was that operating systems ended up being littered with depictions of things that had never existed inside a digital device; the on–screen 'trash' icon is not the vestigial remnant of an actual trash can that was once part of the computer, which is why it is really a metaphor, not a skeumorph. (That said, as computer graphics became more detailed, the original blocky icons gave way to more detailed depictions of trash cans, folders and so forth, which are arguably skeuomorphs of visual metaphors.)"

(Glenn Fleishman, 25 June 2013, The Economist)

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1889 • actual object • Apple • Apple iOS 7 • archaeologyauthenticitycomputer graphicscultural materialism • Dan OHara • digital depiction • familiar devices • faux leather • faux wood panelling • folder • Glenn Fleishman • graphical user interface • holdover • imitation • iOS 7 • metaphor • Microsoft Windows 8 • Microsoft Windows Phone 7 • nostalgiaobsolescence • on-screen replacement • on-screen textures • operating systemornamental designornamental form • physical skeuomorph • romanticism • Scott Forstall • skeumorph • skeuomorphskeuomorphic designskeuomorphismThe Economisttrash can • vestigial remnant • visual depictionvisual metaphor • visual representations • visual simulation • Windows 8 interface • Windows Phone 7 • wood panelling

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 APRIL 2014

Designing the Star User Interface: Familiar User's Conceptual Model

"A user's conceptual model is the set of concepts a person gradually acquires to explain the behavior of a system, whether it be a computer system, a physical system, or a hypothetical system. It is the model developed in the mind of the user that enables that person to understand and interact with the system. The first task for a system designer is to decide what model is preferable for users of the system. This extremely important step is often neglected or done poorly. The Star designers devoted several work–years at the outset of the project discussing and evolving what we considered an appropriate model for an office information system: the metaphor of a physical office.

The designer of a computer system can choose to pursue familiar analogies and metaphors or to introduce entirely new functions requiring new approaches. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. We decided to create electronic counterparts to the physical objects in an office: paper, folders, file cabinets, mail boxes, and so on–an electronic metaphor for the office. We hoped this would make the electronic 'world' seem more familiar, less alien, and require less training. (Our initial experiences with users have confirmed this.) We further decided to make the electronic analogues be concrete objects. Documents would be more than file names on a disk; they would also be represented by pictures on the display screen. They would be selected by pointing to them with the mouse and clicking one of the buttons. Once selected, they would be moved, copied, or deleted by pushing the appropriate key. Moving a document became the electronic equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it. To file a document, you would move it to a picture of a file drawer, just as you take a physical piece of paper to a physical file cabinet.

The reason that the user's conceptual model should be decided first when designing a system is that the approach adopted changes the functionality of the system. An example is electronic mail. Most electronic–mail systems draw a distinction between messages and files to be sent to other people. Typically, one program sends messages and a different program handles file transfers, each with its own interface. But we observed that offices make no such distinction. Everything arrives through the mail, from one–page memos to books and reports, from intraoffice mail to international mail. Therefore, this became part of Star's physical–office metaphor. Star users mail documents of any size, from one page to many pages. Messages are short documents, just as in the real world. User actions are the same whether the recipients are in the next office or in another country.

A physical metaphor can simplify and clarify a system. In addition to eliminating the artificial distinctions of traditional computers, it can eliminate commands by taking advantage of more general concepts. For example, since moving a document on the screen is the equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it, there is no 'send mail' command. You simply move it to a picture of an out–basket. Nor is there a 'receive mail' command. New mail appears in the in–basket as it is received. When new mail is waiting, an envelope appears in the picture of the in–basket (see figure 1). This is a simple, familiar, nontechnical approach to computer mail. And it's easy once the physical–office metaphor is adopted!

While we want an analogy with the physical world for familiarity, we don't want to limit ourselves to its capabilities. One of the raisons d'être for Star is that physical objects do not provide people with enough power to manage the increasing complexity of the 'information age.' For example, we can take advantage of the computer's ability to search rapidly by providing a search function for its electronic file drawers, thus helping to solve the long–standing problem of lost files."

(David Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem, 1982)

David Canfield Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem (1982). "Designing the Star User Interface: The Star user interface adheres rigorously to a small set of principles designed to make the system seem friendly by simplifying the human–machine interface." Reprinted from Byte, issue 4/1982, pp. 242–282.

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1982 • alien environment • analogy • Bill Verplank • black and white • Byte (magazine) • Charles Irby • common metaphorscomputer history • computer system • conceptual model • concrete objects • David Smith • desktop metaphor • digital analogues • display screen • electronic mail • electronic metaphor • electronic world • Eric Harslem • familiar analogies • familiarityfiles and foldersfiling cabinetfolderGUIinformation ageinterface metaphor • international mail • intraoffice mail • mailbox • memo • office environment • office metaphorold-world equivalents • operational behaviour • physical metaphor • physical world • Ralph Kimball • resemblanceskeuomorphismvisual analogyvisual metaphorWYSIWYG • Xerox Corporation • Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)Xerox PARCXerox Star PC

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 MARCH 2014

The Magic Canvas (1948): An animated quest for freedom

"After the war years the studio made this beautifully fluid experiment in animation, a remarkable achievement before computers were born. The film shows how the union of the material and spiritual natures of man can lead to fulfilment. John Halas with the Hungarian designer Peter Foldes produced and directed Magic Canvas with an original score by Matyas Sieber, a student of Bella Bartok."

Year: 1948; Length: 10 mins; Production: John Halas, Joy Batchelor; Direction: John Halas; Script: John Halas; Design: John Halas, Peter Foldes; Animation: Wally Crook; Music: Matyas Sieber.

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19482D animation • abstract score • animation • associative images • balletbirdBritish animationcel animationdanceenvironment as antagonistescapeexistential insightexistentialismfreedomfulfilmentHalas and Batchelorhand-painted stop motion animationimprisonmentJohn HalasJoy Batchelor • Matyas Sieber • Peter Foldes • separation • struggling to be free • surrealist style • The Magic Canvas (1948) • traditional animationtrapped • visual association • visual metaphor • Wally Crook • war years

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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