Dear Dinesh Katre,
Thanks for including me in your list of HCI
gurus. I appreciate the recognition, and continue to work hard to
promote HCI and user centered design.
I hope you might be willing to focus some attention
on two topics near to my heart:
1) universal usability - you already address this in your discussion of
pluralistic usability but might want to link to www.universalusability.org
In that spirit, maybe you should cover www.worldusabilityday.org
2) the growing theme of creativity support
tools maybe you could promote our conference
Your writings are important as they help
spread interest in our field and raise awareness of the importance of
Best wishes.. Ben
Dept of Computer Science 301-405-2680
University of Maryland 301-405-6707 fax
College Park, MD 20742 www.cs.umd.edu/~ben
Message from HCI Guru
Dr. Ben Shneiderman to Usability Practitioners of India
on the event of World Usability Day 14th Nov. 2006.
Thanks for your patience. I apologize for my slow reply of more than one
year. I finally had time to look through your paper about metaphors.
It was interesting and provocative.
It also reminded me of a Japanese project
called Friend 21, which took lace in 1989-1994 and was reported on at
CHI in about 1994 or perhaps 1995. The Japanese Ministry of Trade funded
projects of advanced technology, which included the development of metaphor
management software. Essentially, it was assumed that applications in
the future would be able to deliver information in a variety of metaphors,
and the user, or someone else, could switch, as appropriate. The information
that might have been delivered in the form of charts and reports might
be reported by a simulated "television news announcer."
I have for a long time thought that India
and China might produce new applications that derived their metaphors
from local culture/history/literature. Your article points the way. What
seemed intriguing was to view a list of these metaphors and religious/historical
references, and to compare them with some standard Western approaches.
Your comparison at the end of categories or types of metaphors was useful.
What I do not understand however, is the category
of "no metaphor." I think this is not really possible in human-human
communication. The only example I usually give of "communication"
without metaphor is putting a lighted match under the hand. The hand "gets
the message" without the mediation of metaphors; it is a simple matter
of stimulus and response. In such situations, of direct linkage, we do
not need metaphors. But this is limited "communication."
For more complex kinds of communication, we rely on metaphors all the
time. Your article is a good introduction
to thinking about Indian approaches to metaphor.
I hope you will continue your work. I look forward to a future meeting
some day, somewhere.
(In my subsequent work 'no metaphor'
category has been renamed as 'functional interface'.)
Dr. Vladimir Averbukh
Dear Dr. Dinesh Katre!
Excuse me please for a delay with my answer. Only recently I has finished studying your dissertation in connection with preparation of our book "Structures of computer metaphors". Working on our book I has gathered the collection of articles and dissertations on interface and visualization metaphors including your papers and dissertation. I may conclude that your works are very interesting and useful for researchers and developers who deal with HCI design.
First of all, your work stands out of the real engineering approach to construction of interface metaphors. I have made the synopses of the collected works, and I choose only those text pieces in the paper or the dissertation, which really reflect the kernel of the problem of metaphors, instead of retold well-known positions of the theory. Sometimes the paper synopsis has a size in some lines of the text. In case of your dissertation all text is important for understanding of interface metaphors, its concepts, and methods of its formation.
Vladimir L. Averbukh. Ph. D.
Head of the researcher's section
of Inst. for Math. and Mech.
Urals Branch of Russian Academy of Science
on Computer Science and Control Processes Department
Urals State University
GSP 384, Inst. Math. Mech. 16. S. Kovalevskoi
Ekaterinburg. Russia. 620219
Telephone: + 73433753496 fax: + 73433742581