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I. Affordance

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What exactly is an affordance? According to Affordances: Clarifying and Evolving a Concept, “an affordance is the design aspect of an object which suggests how the object should be used [14]” (McGrenere 1).   McGrenere then goes on to explain the different meanings of affordance defined by different people such as James J. Gibson, Donald Norman, Mohageg, Vaughan etc. McGrenere then goes on to bring up an interesting point: Does it [affordances] matter? (McGrenere 6). She goes onto quoting Norman, “Sloppy thinking about the concepts and tactics often leads to sloppiness in design. And sloppiness in design translates into confusion for users. [18,  p. 41]” (McGrenere 6). I found this bit particularly interesting because I feel that it holds true.  A poorly conducted thought leads to a poor design and ultimately into pandemonium with the users; it sets off a chain of events. This confusion then leads to frustration and complaints amongst the consumers which will ultimately lead to fewer sales. It messes with the whole economic supply and demand graph. For example, if a new brand of computers come out but have a faulty design then people grow restless and ultimately give up on the product in the end. This loses money for the company and there’s a decreased supply of those computers because there’s no increased demand or want from the buyers. It’s interesting to see how a faulty design can affect the economy and money flow. Besides economics, I can relate this whole idea to college or schooling in general and grades. For example, someone who procrastinates (granted, I’m writing this entry pretty late but that’s besides the point…) and rushes their work will not get the same results as someone who has taken the time and effort. The person who has rushed last minute and has only sloppy work to show is relatable to the faulty design that was not thought out thoroughly for the users. They both end up getting unsatisfactory results for their unsatisfactory products. I end my thoughts with this quote by Jane Addams:

“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.”

or nothing could be worse than a sloppy design because if it was functional and easy to comprehend for the people, it might’ve too been able to save the world or at least enhance it.


Written by minjikwon

September 9, 2009 at 3:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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