The salient features of the clock – a functional semiotic design analysis of relevance to digital design

Toke Riis Ebbesen


What is the basis for talking about digital design products? How can designers be more concise in their discourse on design. This article argues for the use of semiotics in practical design processes as well as within historical and interpretive research approaches. For this purpose the position of functional semiotics is explained in short terms and then further demonstrated in the analysis of a basic mechanical alarm clock. On this ground, the digital watch and digital design products in general are characterised and three possible avenues for the interpretation of the interactive possibilities of design products are discussed. Finally some consequences for the role of the designer and the practical applicability of semiotics for design are brought into light.

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