Words and Concepts About "Preferences"

As we move away from using the word "profile" to refer to the collection of user needs and preferences, we are looking for alternatives that clearly communicate what we're doing. Although we can pick anything we want for internal use, communicating with stakeholders and others will require us to select a clear, attractive term and adhere to it. We have made a little bit of progess along those lines; we're currently using "preference set".

This page will collect ideas for describing what we're doing in a popularly understandable and culturally rich way. (Some of these may be too cutesy for some, but I put them here just to get a complete collection.)

  • Silhouette. A silhouette is an outline of a particular person which is clearly not a full portrait, but is recognizable. Extension word: "silhouwant", the idea of a personalized feature I want;
  • Shadow puppet. Jointed figures that are front-lighted to project onto walls to tell typically classic stories of gods and rulers. Also a reduced representation of a figure. Asian (not just Balinese) resonance.
  • Avatar. This is an accurate or visionary self-representation which I select or configure because it has meaning to me. Extension word: "avatarget"
  • Doppelganger. Usually negative.
  • Vardøger. Norse spirit twin, a premonition, sign of an action that appears in advance.
  • Etiäinen (Finnish). From Wikipedia: "... a spirit sent forth by a shaman or by a person in great distress in order to receive information. The spirit appears as directed by the summoner in order to contact a person with whom the sender has a strong emotional bond. The spirit manifests itself by appearing and behaving as the summoned person in order to communicate the requested information."
  • Ka. Part of the Ancient Egyptian concept of the soul, a lost twin, existing somewhere else or occasionally being called back for assistance.
  • Bespoke. [look for translations]. Usually for clothing, where personal measurements are taken and applied to one garment, but may also be stored for later use, by a trusted expert tailor.
  • Menu, recipe, cookbook. These refer to actions based on personal preferences, using available resources.
  • Concierge. A shared assistant who knows about the user's needs and preferences, is positioned and empowered to intervene and act.
  • Hammock. No, seriously. A hammock is a relaxing and supportive environment that automatically adjusts to the characteristics of the 'user', via a woven network whose individual strands meld into a single adaptive fabric. It is attached to 2 trees (strong organic forms) in such a way that potentially disruptive winds are reduced to gentle swaying.
  • Key and lock. These 2 must interact for anything useful to happen. The user owns and carries the key everywhere. The teeth on the lock are at different heights. (We could use this as a visualization of abilities, in fact, with the five dimensions (vision, hearing, etc.) represented as different heights of the teeth.) Representing the ICT as the lock emphasizes its responsibility for exclusion.
  • Nunchi, in Korean, is the art of listening and gauging another’s mood.