Visual metaphors, which are widely used in graphic design, can deliver messages in creative ways by fusing different objects. The keys to creating visual metaphors are diverse exploration and creative combinations, which is challenging with conventional methods like image searching. To streamline this ideation process, we propose to use a mind-map-like structure to recommend and assist users to explore materials. We present MetaMap, a supporting tool which inspires visual metaphor ideation through multi-dimensional example-based exploration. To facilitate the divergence and convergence of the ideation process, MetaMap provides 1) sample images based on keyword association and color filtering; 2) example-based exploration in semantics, color, and shape dimensions; and 3) thinking path tracking and idea recording. We conduct a within-subject study with 24 design enthusiasts by taking a Pinterest-like interface as the baseline. Our evaluation results suggest that MetaMap provides an engaging ideation process and helps participants create diverse and creative ideas.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2021.acm.org/)