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Exploration of Rhetorical Appeals, Operations and Figures in UI/UX Design

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Slides of the paper presented in "LearnxDesign" 3d 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers and PreK-16 Design Educators, held in Chicago, IL at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
=== Abstract ==
In this paper, we introduce a first pass of a rhetorical handbook intended for UI/UX designers. This handbook is based on an earlier version for graphic designers, introduced by Ehses & Lupton in 1988, in which diverse rhetorical concepts are illustrated through graphic work. For the UI/UX version, we examined desktop, web and mobile interfaces in order to illustrate the same concepts. In this first pass, we observe that the three modes of appeal (i.e., pathos, ethos and logos) fluctuate throughout the user experience. Additionally, we learned that rhetorical operations aid describing the adjustments made on an interface to work in different platforms. Further, the rhetorical figures (tropes and schemes) help to describe conceptually the interface’s composition and interactions. The concepts presented in the handbook provide a framework to examine and critique user interfaces, through which the disciplines of user experience and rhetoric connect.

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Exploration of Rhetorical Appeals, Operations and Figures in UI/UX Design

  1. 1. ExplorationofRhetorical Appeals,Operationsand FiguresinUI/UXDesign Omar Sosa-Tzec1, Martin A. Siegel1 and Paul Brown2 Indiana University Bloomington 1 School of Informatics and Computing 2 Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts June 29, 2015 - The School of the Art Institute of Chicago 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers and PreK-16 Design Educators
  2. 2. Motivation AllegoryofLadyRhetoric
  3. 3. Rhetoricalhandbook An illustrated manual for graphic designers ‣ Ehses & Lupton (1988) ‣ NSCAD student work ‣ Application of rhetorical concepts in graphic design Modes of Appeal Rhetorical Operations Rhetorical Figures
  4. 4. Rhetoric Graphic Design Persuasion Meaning Argumentation Connection with oral communication Generation of concepts
  5. 5. Rhetoric UI/UX Design Persuasion Meaning Argumentation Connection with oral communication Generation of concepts ?
  6. 6. Rhetoric UI/UX Design HCI ? Persuasion Meaning Argumentation Connection with oral communication Generation of concepts Design Pedagogy
  7. 7. Rhetoric UI/UX Design HCIUI/UXversion Persuasion Meaning Argumentation Connection with oral communication Generation of concepts Design Pedagogy beta
  8. 8. Project/Exploration
  9. 9. ‣ “Rhetoric and Design”(Ehses,1987) ‣ Interview ‣ Selected Bibliography ‣ Three modes of appeal ‣ Rhetorical operations ‣ Rhetorical figures ‣ More student work Structure Extracts Other references (Online/Offline) Illustration of Concepts (Desktop,Web,Mobile)
  10. 10. uxrhetoric.com beta version
  11. 11. “RhetoricandDesign”-takeaways 1.Rhetoric is not about trickery of flattering 2.Rhetoric is about effective communication and meaning generated in context 3.Rhetoric is infiltrated in all the forms of human communication
  12. 12. “RhetoricandDesign”-takeaways 4.Applying rhetoric as design methodology requires the comprehension of the use of symbols and patterns that could be familiar to a user 5.Both the design of interface and experience have social,moral and political implications. Rhetoric would help to become aware of those implications
  13. 13. Observations
  14. 14. 1.The three modes of appeal (logos,ethos and pathos) fluctuate throughout the user experience paper's takeaways
  15. 15. 1.The three modes of appeal (logos,ethos and pathos) fluctuate throughout the user experience 2.Rhetorical operations describe modifications made on an interface for working on different platforms paper's takeaways
  16. 16. 1.The three modes of appeal (logos,ethos and pathos) fluctuate throughout the user experience 2.Rhetorical operations describe modifications made on an interface for working on different platforms 3.Rhetorical figures (tropes and schemes) help to describe conceptually the interface's composition and interactions paper's takeaways
  17. 17. Ethos,logosandpathosfluctuate
  18. 18. Ethos,logosandpathosfluctuate YahooWeatherAppforiOS (initialscreen) YahooWeatherAppforiOS
  19. 19. BloombergBillionaires–Thewebversionisthestandardcomposition Rhetoricaloperations,interfacemodifications anddifferentplatforms
  20. 20. Rhetoricaloperations,interfacemodifications anddifferentplatforms BloombergBillionaires–Themobileversionistheresultoftheapplicationofrhetoricaloperations Addition + Subtraction + Inversion Subtraction + Inversion Inversion + Subtraction
  21. 21. Tropesandfigures,softwareas composition,descriptionofinteractions Alliterationrepeatsthe initialpartsofelementsin asequence. (Ehses&Lupton,1988) ClearforiOS
  22. 22. Tropesandfigures,softwareas composition,descriptionofinteractions Ellipses deliberatelyomits elementsfroma statement. (Ehses&Lupton,1988) Vinewebinterface
  23. 23. Discussion
  24. 24. 1.The UI/UX rhetorical handbook would be used as a framework to engage designers in discussion and reflection upon possible meanings conveyed by the interface composition as the user interacts with the software ‣ Denotation ‣Connotation
  25. 25. ‣ To go“beyond”the figures of metaphor and metonymy ‣ To move away from the skeuomorphic“origin” of interfaces ‣ To consider interfaces as a kind of visual artifacts with its particular materials and ways to be shaped ‣ To consider interfaces as visual artifacts that affect people's lives,beliefs,and attitudes 2.The UI/UX rhetorical handbook offers a vocabulary for UI/UX designers to analyze,conceptualize,and critique interfaces
  26. 26. ‣ To consider software as a form of argument ‣ To have a better comprehension of persuasion and persuasive technology ‣ To create a link with other contemporary approaches in HCI,including interaction criticism,sustainability and feminism 3.The UI/UX rhetorical handbook would function to introduce UI/UX designers to rhetoric (classic and contemporary)
  27. 27. Conclusion
  28. 28. ‣Interfaces are quite different from the examples analyzed and presented in the original handbook
  29. 29. ‣Interfaces are quite different from the examples analyzed and presented in the original handbook ‣There is a fluctuation in the weights of each of the modes of appeal
  30. 30. ‣Interfaces are quite different from the examples analyzed and presented in the original handbook ‣There is a fluctuation in the weights of each of the modes of appeal ‣Tropes and schemes support such a fluctuation
  31. 31. ‣Interfaces are quite different from the examples analyzed and presented in the original handbook ‣There is a fluctuation in the weights of each of the modes of appeal ‣Tropes and schemes support such a fluctuation ‣Tropes and schemes help to describe conceptually, not only the composition,but also interactions
  32. 32. Limitationsandfuturework ‣More examples are needed; simplification of language ‣We found difficulties to interpret chiasmus* and anastrophe** ‣We expect to create a repository of cases ‣We aim at motivating other design scholars to join this project and make it grow *Chiasmussymmetricallyarrangeselementssothatonesidereversestheorderoftheother **Anastropheinvertsnormalgrammaticalorder
  33. 33. Thanks! This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant Award no. 1115532. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire research team or the NSF. Thanks to Ian B. Wood for the discussion about ideas and examples presented in the UI/UX rhetorical handbook. @omitzec-tzec.com profmartysiegel.com ptbrown@indiana.edu uxrhetoric.com

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