Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



User experience design is a diverse field of study that is constantly changing as unique technologies and modes of interaction are developed. Metaphors are a critical aspect of UX design, serving to acclimate users to new technologies by comparing them to existing objects and ideas. As newer technologies become increasingly distant from real-world objects, developers are quick to look to existing technology for metaphors. This results in a lack of experience-unique metaphors that would create a more immersive experience. This thesis focused on identifying potential real-world metaphors through the use of emerging technologies in an interactive art installation. Based on observations and participant responses, it was clear that the installation was successful at establishing an engaging user experience. However, findings exposed that this experience was facilitated not by metaphor, but by stimulation more along the lines of mimicry. Though different than the initial objective, this discovery was profound due to the implications it holds for developing presence-aware technologies and spaces in the future.