Publication details [#11930]

Nazli, Cila, Paul Hekkert and Valentijn Visch. 2014. “Digging for Meaning”: The Effect of a Designer’s Expertise and Intention on Depth of Product Metaphors. Metaphor and Symbol 29 (4) : 257–277. 21 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Milton Park: Taylor and Francis


This research is concentrated on the metaphors used in the field of product design. It investigates the effect of the expertise level of the designer (i.e., novice or expert) and different types of intention (i.e., pragmatic or experiential) on metaphor depth. The distinction is made between “surface” metaphors, which focus on a salient quality of the target, and “deep” metaphors, which focus on a non-salient quality. The authors conducted a study in which groups of expert and novice designers were asked to generate metaphors. The depth of the metaphors was evaluated by external judges. The results showed that being a novice designer or having a pragmatic intention induced the generation of surface metaphors, whereas having experiential intentions or being an expert contributed to the generation of deeper metaphors.