A Study of the Application of Design By Metaphors to the User Interface of Smartphones


The purpose of this study is to integrate user experiences, semiology, and the design by metaphors into user interfaces by experiments. Designs by metaphors are effectively integrated into the user interface of photo retouching apps on smartphones. Problems with the usage of the original interface can be resolved and the quality of product design can be improved. Current photo retouching apps usually come with a complicated user interface that makes users difficult to figure out a straightforward way of using the apps. Users might have less confidence in using the apps and their willingness of using is greatly reduced. The emerging trend of design by metaphors in recent years has resolved the issues that complicate user perception. It also helps designers simplify complicated user interfaces due to the requirement of multiple functions. An effective approach is proposed in this study to help designers create new user interfaces for photo retouching apps by using signs to simplify operation instructions. The resulting visual designs allow users to associate operations with something they are familiar with so that they can comprehend product functions in an effective way. The resulting design is clear at a glance so that users no longer make unintended uses. Moreover, the experiments in study opened a new horizon for the application of design by metaphors to user interfaces. This approach makes designers value product semantics more. As a result, people can enjoy their life in a more convenient and comfortable way.



Keywords: photo retouching app for smartphones, design by metaphors, operational semantics, semiology, user experience

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