Understanding Mobile Games through Interface Metaphor

  • 莊 齊珉

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Usability is an important factor when designing user interfaces Interface metaphor increases usability of a new system by making it easier to learn Therefore the interface design guidelines for popular mobile systems also endorse the use of metaphor In addition interface metaphor can enhance learning of a new system by offering a mapping from familiar concepts Although past theories provide sound explanations of how metaphors work changes in interface technologies and interaction styles call for re-examination of how metaphors promote understanding The aim of this paper is to understand the role of interface metaphor in the learning process of mobile games I collected the verbal protocols form twelve participants playing four different mobile games Three of the games had similar mechanisms but employed different structural metaphors whereas the fourth game contained physical metaphors The analysis shows that the cognitive processes involved in understanding physical metaphor and structural metaphor are different In accordance with previous theories metaphor is open-ended The improvement in understanding is also influenced by the goals given in the task the goal of the game as understood by the player and other factors It is found that players are able to recognize physical metaphor immediately and then form judgements or develop intentions On the other hand structural metaphor helped the players correctly understand the goals and helped them perform unfamiliar operations This result complements existing theories by providing a more comprehensive view of the mechanism for interface metaphor At the end some design guidelines for interface metaphor are proposed It is anticipated that the design of metaphor in games will benefit from this finer appreciation of interface metaphor
Date of Award2017 Aug 24
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChun-Heng Ho (Supervisor)

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