Meaning is a pattern of abstract thoughts. It is the content of "communication" in art. It is often discussed in terms of "symbolic systems," and semiotics (the study of signs).
Often the desired effect of a design is to communicate a message to the user in some particular way. The existence of a meaning is key to the success of such a goal. Communicative goals can also serve to organise and critique the elements of a design as to whether they help to fulfil the goal.
Meaning provides a complex, highly ordered, difficult to perceive generative mechanism from which creators can extract and transform elements. Since the user's attraction to environments with these properties is based on their search for ways to deal with their environment, the inclusion of meaning (relevant to the user) in the design tends to make the design as a whole becomes more satisfying for the user.
Art and the Text
Art as Critique
Document Name: tc.play.meaning.htm
Copyright (c) 1997 -- Mike Fletcher
Reproduction for other than personal use prohibited without express written permission from the author.