| Lesson 6 || Using metaphors |
| Objective ||Metaphors are used to create Meaning |
Metaphors used to create Meaning
Using metaphors to imply meaning
Explain how metaphors are used to create meaning on a website.
A metaphor is an implied comparison of two things that are not inherently alike. For example, the statement "we are moving full-steam ahead on the project" uses the metaphor of a train to describe a project's progress. websites often use metaphors to present signs.
Web design relies heavily on metaphors. For example, a physical room is used as the metaphor for a virtual chat room. The site map tells you where you are in a site and is based on the metaphor of a geographical map.
Metaphors can convey simply what would otherwise take a lot of text to explain. For example, when you buy books online, the shopping cart icon that holds your purchases until you check out of the site simply conveys a complex idea.
Web users tend to enjoy rich metaphors. A site with plain text and no metaphors can be boring.A site that employs novel or interesting metaphors (for instance, a restaurant theme in which each link is depicted as a food item instead of simply a list of links)
may hold the interest of the visitors longer. Like signs, metaphors can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the background of the audience. A site that uses metaphors specific to one region may be confusing to viewers from other regions.
For example, if a site were structured around American football metaphors, people unfamiliar with the rules of the game might not understand the organization of the site. Below is an example of how a company uses metaphors on its site.
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I am sure you have encountered the type. Every time you show them their latest crazy design idea, they have already moved on to another look, another color scheme, another entire web site.
So how do you deal with clients or those tricky hard-to-get-right websites?
You start with paper, pencil, and a big fat pink eraser. Learn how to work smart before you dig into your HTML editor. Coming up with a theme and visual metaphor for your site by mocking up sketches using pencil,
and using storyboards that will turn you into a web designer.
In the next lesson, various ways of structuring information on a website for navigation and usability will be discussed.
A further concern is that marketing itself may be a metaphor and perhaps even a poor one underlying deeper exchange relationships that have to be conceptualized more appropriately. A further point seems to be that, despite an ever-increasing crescendo of firms adopting the marketing concept, there is a growing unease among customers and consumers. Are needs really being satisfied? Is marketing more to do with competitive focus than consumer focus? Is marketing more concerned with rhetoric, spin and jargon than actually seeking to satisfy customer needs? Thus the module, among other things, raises critical theoretical questions, citing issues of current and emergent importance among marketing thinkers.