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Joined: Sep 2004
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I am curious to hear how other designers use metaphor in their designs. For instance, if I need to design a web site for myself or a client, I often ask "What does this topic suggest metaphorically?"

A business site would naturally bring up a metaphor related to the essence of the business, eg. crafts, baby services, a new computer program, etc. would all be represented somehow. Other metaphors such as abundance, easier lifestyle, climbing the summit and so on might also be included.

A few years back I wrote an article on this subject: <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Top-Notch Design: What�s Your Metaphor?

Are metaphors a consideration in your designs??

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Sometimes, if they make sense. But I think that oftentimes metaphors are overdone and unnecessary. I get annoyed at the idea that everything on the web has to use a metaphor. Sometimes good, clean communication is enough and desirable. Metaphors sometimes get too "cutesy" for me. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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Thanks for sharing your view, Colleen,

Is there a particular genre of web sites that seem less appropriate in this respect?

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Metaphors help designers to understand unfamiliar design problems by juxtaposing them with known situations. Results also demonstrate that metaphors play an important role in design creativity. Analysis of design problems was the predictor that had a unique contribution to innovation and general creativity.
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