Investigating cloudflare DNS currently, and find it very interesting that it uses the metaphor and typical user interface of a DNS service to actually do something quite different. It is basically combining the immense power of DNS with the design flaws of HTTPS to create a very enticing offer.

So when you create what is presented to you like a DNS A record on cloudflare, what it actually does is use that information to set up a global load balancing, caching, and encryption service where that IP address listed in the A record is just a data source, not something that users will actually connect with.

Just like mobile apps (which are in fact browsers that only show a single website) use metaphors that make them look like desktop apps (representation by icon on screen) to make them look familiar, cloudflare is using DNS service configuration interfaces as a metaphor.

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On a more down-to-earth level, I guess the functionality of printing a document is just used metaphorically to export to PDF in most cases.

Olia Lialina wrote about such nested metaphors in "Rich User Experience, UX and Desktopization of War"

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