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The Metaphor Fallacy (in Digital Product Development)

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Sharing personal thoughts on how metaphors can hinder, rather than help software modeling and design (at different levels). Talk presented at the 2014 Better Software Conference.

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The Metaphor Fallacy (in Digital Product Development)

  1. 1. THE MATAPHOR FALLACY A tale about the UI, the DB, and a Bus Stop Better Software Conference – Florence (Italy), 14-10-2014
  2. 2. STEVE @MARASPIN
  3. 3. http://www.mvlabs.it/
  4. 4. CONTEXT ONE: HOTEL ENTERTAINMENT
  5. 5. Movie Player Application
  6. 6. Distributed Context
  7. 7. Internet
  8. 8. What if it fails?
  9. 9. Replication
  10. 10. What if connection fails?
  11. 11. No Problems!
  12. 12. Are things that simple?
  13. 13. The Movie Entity
  14. 14. Headquarter Update
  15. 15. Remote Update
  16. 16. Different Documents
  17. 17. How to solve the conflict?
  18. 18. Natural entity representation
  19. 19. What if we represented it like…
  20. 20. Avoiding Conflicts
  21. 21. GOOD PRACTICES
  22. 22. NOT ALWAYS WHAT WE COME UP FIRST
  23. 23. CONTEXT TWO: PRODUCT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  24. 24. Ever seen something like this?
  25. 25. CRUDWARE
  26. 26. /kruhd'weir/ Pejorative term for the hundreds of megabytes of low-quality freeware circulated by user's groups and BBSs in the micro-hobbyist world. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/crudware
  27. 27. /kruhd'weir/ Realistic term for user interfaces grown out of a database schema.
  28. 28. SOMETHING TO FIGHT AGAINST
  29. 29. Table is so wide, we need to scroll horizontally…
  30. 30. We simply can't keep so much information in mind at once!
  31. 31. USER CENTERED DESIGN
  32. 32. Use Cases
  33. 33. Simplified Interfaces
  34. 34. LET'S NOW TALK ABOUT MOBILE
  35. 35. AN AFTERTHOUGHT
  36. 36. Consistent Design 39
  37. 37. Bringing everything everywhere
  38. 38. FORGETTING
  39. 39. HOW SYSTEMS
  40. 40. WILL BE USED
  41. 41. CONTEXT MATTERS
  42. 42. Continuous Design
  43. 43. Complimentary Design 50
  44. 44. Don't shrink, rethink
  45. 45. Don't shrink, rethink
  46. 46. 55
  47. 47. 56
  48. 48. 57
  49. 49. 58 INFLUENCED BY WHAT WE KNOW, BY WHAT WE EXPECT
  50. 50. Conceptual Metaphor Theory Understanding of one idea, or conceptual domain, in terms of another
  51. 51. Argument is War Your claims are indefensible I've never won an argument with him You disagree? OK, shoot! He shot down all of my arguments
  52. 52. So what? Metaphors can help us understand things, but they can also influence and direct us toward unintended goals. War goal is defeating enemy, argument goal should be reaching a solution. What if our metaphor is so strong that it hinders our reasoning rather than helping it?
  53. 53. Stop Now
  54. 54. Really. Skip to next slide. And read it carefully. Attempt to solve the problem before continuing
  55. 55. Connect the dots with no more than 4 straight lines without lifting your hand from the paper
  56. 56. The limitations our mind adds to the problem often prevent us from finding the best solution to it
  57. 57. Doorbell outside Doorbell Doorbell Light
  58. 58. WHAT CAN HELP US?
  59. 59. HE'S OUR ANSWER!
  60. 60. HE'S OUR ANSWER! His sense of humour, I mean
  61. 61. With humor thoughts and ideas are arranged in novel ways
  62. 62. PAIRWORK
  63. 63. Elaborating more than one solution
  64. 64. Incubating
  65. 65. Systems Thinking 77
  66. 66. Component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationshipswith each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation
  67. 67. BE INQUISITIVE
  68. 68. Thank you for your attention Stefano Maraspin @maraspin s.maraspin@mvassociati.it
  69. 69. QUESTIONS?
  70. 70. FOLLOW @MARASPIN
  71. 71. http://www.mvlabs.it/
  72. 72. Further reading
  73. 73. Further reading
  74. 74. • http://www.flickr.com/photos/uggboy/8043043095 - hotel room • https://www.flickr.com/photos/inklaar/7776986724 - supermarket • https://www.flickr.com/photos/larlyboi/10817772745 - figting match • https://www.flickr.com/photos/hindrik/8578352814 - man walking with monitor • https://www.flickr.com/photos/piermario/375470947 - doorbell UX issue • https://www.flickr.com/photos/icathing/26603225 - woodden spoiler • https://www.flickr.com/photos/highwaysagency/11235762823 - smartphone • https://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/14391802087 - smartphone usage at the traffic light • https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/6937521074 - smartphone while on bicycle • https://www.flickr.com/photos/42736403@N08/5439996103 - 3 monitors on personal computer • https://www.flickr.com/photos/sinkdd/14674613090 - using a smartphone under the rain • https://www.flickr.com/photos/caribb/184328594 - bus stop on a rainy day • https://www.flickr.com/photos/horlik/4461554607 - darts on target • https://www.flickr.com/photos/planetbene/6073389358 young friends playing with lego • https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiertz/6952472683 - bin and drafts sent to trash • https://www.flickr.com/photos/christianhaugen/6026460141 barrels • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_thinking#mediaviewer/File:Systems_thinking_about_the_society.svg – systems thinking • https://www.flickr.com/photos/theloushe/4640871734 - kid with magnifier • https://www.flickr.com/photos/uspn/4894253589 - bus in India. Crowded Other pictures are by Stefano Maraspin, or gathered from fotolia/iStockphoto archives 86 Picture Credits
  75. 75. Stefano Maraspin @maraspin

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