Publication details [#9332]

Rohrer, Tim. 1995. Feelings stuck in a GUI web: Metaphors, image-schemata, and designing the human computer interface.
Publication type
Unpublished manuscript
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Eugene, Oregon


In this essay I challenge conventional practices of graphical user interface design, arguing that we need to radically rethink interface design from the perspective of the computer user. I argue that designers should think carefully about user's embodiment and how the conceptual metaphors offered take advantage of the biological tendencies of their bodies. I illustrate how Mark Johnson's image schemata play a crucial role in how natural or "intuitive" a computer interface feels to a user, arguing that well-designed interfaces require thinking about subjective, preverbal bodily patterns of feeling. Thinking about bodily patterns of feeling instead of abstract, symbolic, and verbal communication is at the core of the distinction between feeling-based and conversation-based user interface design. I conclude by arguing that the development of a good user interface depends on careful phenomenological and psychological cognitive research on subjective bodily experiences. (Tim Rohrer)