Interaction designers in order to find ways of how they can make clear demonstrations to the users of what they can do with a device or within a system decided to use the term “Affordances” as a principle for a good design. (Interaction Design Foundation, 2010). It is consider that a good designed object is the one that has a great setup Affordances that the people who use it can do things with it that the designer never imagine.(Norman, 2011)
But what the word “ Affordances” mean?
Affordance is the relationship between an object and a person; it is the characteristic of an object that can be manipulated from a person as he wants, and this term was defined by Jame.J Gibson, a prominent perceptual physiologist. Then Don Norman, the director of The Design Lab at University of California, San Diego, used that term in the context of interaction design but this time in a different meaning. The affordances of an object in a virtual world are not obvious like the affordances of an object in the real world and that is because there is a difference of you can act on an object in the real world and on a computer- generated object. Due to that designers must be aware of how other designers are using graphical objects in the time being as to follow the same convection. If designers were not following the same convection the users will be confused of how the specific icon or feature can be used.
In order to understand better what the term “Affordances” means I will give you examples of features and their affordances using contemporary smartphone.
Camera: The affordance of the camera is to capture pictures. Moreover, using the camera of a smartphone you can document or record a visual content. Microphone: You can record auditory content, voice memos and you can transfer voice recordings to your PC. SMS: Gives you the opportunity to communicate with other people through sending them text messages. Touchscreen:. Allows you to access any kind of information. Below is the list of the affordances of a contemporary smartphone:
- Media Playing
http://www.adlnet.gov/the-affordances-of-mobile-learning/ http://www.slideshare.net/NeilMilliken/the-affordances-of-mobile-technologies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Zb_5VxuM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Norman
Illustrations: http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/games/singstar/Sony/PLaystation/PS4/ps4-version-of-singstar-uses-the-players-smartphone-for-the-microphone/15134http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/cameras-2/cameras-vs-smartphones-which-take-the-best-pictures/ http://smartphones.wonderhowto.com/how-to/send-sms-text-messages-windows-phone-7-smartphone-404822/ http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-touch-screen-smartphone-hand-holding-flying-application-icons-isolated-white-background-image33356017