“Affordance” is a key concept for designers. If you want to build products that are intuitive and easy to use, it is crucial to fully understand the relationship between the human mind and technology. The concept of Affordance was popularised by Don Norman in the late 80s, and has played an essential role for user experience professionals and researchers ever since. Understanding this term is essential for anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of what it means for a product to be “intuitive”.
The term “affordance” was introduced by perceptual psychologist James J. Gibson in “The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception“, and has since been applied by practitioners and researchers of User Experience as a means of assessing, evaluating, and generating designs.
Taking this course will teach you both the theory of affordances and also teach you how to design instantly perceptible affordances in your own designs. Your users should be able to identify the actions afforded by a design with speed and accuracy; in order to achieve this, designers must appreciate how users perceive the world and how experience, context, culture, constraints and other factors affect our ability to detect the action possibilities on offer. This is at the heart of why those interested in a design career and established designers alike must learn the meaning and potential application of affordances as a designer’s tool.
Throughout the course we identify the major milestones in the evolution of the term affordance, and outline how it applies to practical User Experience design. Along the way we look at the affordances of objects in the real-world and screen-based interfaces, to reinforce the concepts and principles covered in each lesson.