Violet: The length of the stem shows how long we’ve been talking.
Rose: And the flower?
Violet: Flower shows how many messages a person posts.
Rose: More petals, more messages?
Violet: And the more recent ones are brighter on the right.
Rose: Sweet metaphor! 3D!
Violet: 3D indeed. But on a flat screen.
Two participants in a multimodal metaphor exchange. Multimodal because the exchanges are text message, depicted visually. This is an idea for depicting duration, activity, and recency in message exchanges suggested by Rebecca Xiong and Judith Donath way back in 1999.