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TitleAffordances and Design
PublisherThe Interaction Design Foundation
ISBN 139788792964137
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.4 MB
Total Pages116
Table of Contents
                            Abstract
1 Introduction: Why affordances?
2 Theoretical roots
3 Affordances in HCI research: An overview
4 Key issues of debate
5 Conclusion: Reflections on the present and future of affordances as an HCI concept
6 Where to learn more
Acknowledgments
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

V i c t o r K a p t e l i n i n
affordances and

DESIGN

Page 2

ii AFFORDANCES AND DESIGN

TITLE: Affordances and Design.

AUTHOR: Victor Kaptelinin.

PUBLISHER: The Interaction Design Foundation

EDITION NUMBER: 1

ISBN PAPERBACK EDITION: 978-87-92964-12-0

ISBN EBOOK EDITION: 978-87-92964-13-7

COPY EDITOR: Ailsa Campbell

REFERENCE VALIDATION: Armin Walinsky

GRAPHICS, INTERIOR/EDITORIAL DESIGN, AND COVER: Bent St. Madsen

and Mads Soegaard

COPYRIGHT CLEARANCE: Michael Thorman

PROOFREADER: Ailsa Campbell

SUPERVISORY EDITORS: Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Soeren Dam

TYPOGRAPHY: This text is set in Georgia

COPYRIGHT: See section on Copyright

PEER REVIEW: This book has undergone double-blinded

peer-review based on the reviewing guidelines

Page 58

52 affordances and design

basic neuronal responses correspond to whole classes of

human actions having a shared goal, and similar respons-

es can be registered when people observe other human

beings trying to achieve the same goal. It is concluded

that by way of imitative learning children can come to un-

derstand the action potential of objects in terms of what

goals can be achieved by using these objects. Rizzo argues

that it is important to understand how people commu-

nicate intentions and how “intentional affordances” (a

term, originally proposed by Tomasello, 1999) are pro-

duced and perceived. Such analysis, according to Rizzo,

opens up new ways to study affordances as being cultur-

ally determined through individual history. A follow up

paper by Rizzo et al. (2009) suggests that to fully exploit

the heuristic potential of the notion of affordances inter-

action design research needs to focus on the interplay be-

tween basic, sensory-motor affordances, on the one hand,

and intentional affordances, on the other hand.

Still and Dark (2013) offer an account of affor-

dances in terms of traditional cognitive psychology con-

cepts and models. The most central concept within this

account is automatization, the process during which

the cognitive pattern recognition system learns to au-

tomatically identify constraints (irrespective of whether

the constraints are physical, cultural, logical, etc.). The

emergence of perceived affordances is linked to the

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affordances in hci research: an oVerView 53

transition from controlled to automatic processing. In

cognitive psychological research automatic processing is

described as “not open to awareness, rendered without

intention, carrying light long-memory load, and leading

to rapid responses” (p. 293). The characteristic features

of controlled processing are, generally, opposite. De-

signers can support the transition from controlled pro-

cessing to automatic processing and, therefore, help the

user take advantage of perceived affordances, by making

sure their designs are highly consistent.

3.4 Exploring alternative and
complementary concepts

3.4.1 �Norman�(2008;�2011;�2013):�Signifiers

As mentioned earlier, a decade after introducing affor-

dances to HCI Donald Norman felt obliged to clarify his

understanding of affordances and warn against over-

using (and abusing) the concept in design (Norman,

1999). Yet another decade later he made an even more

radical claim and suggested that designers should be

concerned about signifiers, rather than affordances.

The concept of signifiers was briefly introduced by Nor-

man in 2008 (Norman, 2008) and discussed in more

detail in his subsequent books, Living with Complexity

(Norman, 2011) and a revised edition of The Design of

Everyday Things (Norman 2013). Norman explains

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109

About the author

Victor Kaptelinin is a

Professor at the Department

of Informatics, Umeå

University, Sweden, and the

Department of Information

Science and Media Studies,

University of Bergen, Norway.

He has held teaching and/

or research positions at the Psychological Institute of

Russian Academy of Education, Moscow Lomonosov

University, and University of California in San Diego.

His main research interests are in interaction design,

activity theory, and educational use of information

technologies.

Victor Kaptelinin

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