1.Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordance changed over the course of the exercise?
The object I choose is a double-layers pencil box, which is made of mental material. Initially, I thought the only affordance it has was containing pencils, but my perspective changed a lot when I was trying to explore new affordance of this objects.
Firstly, I noticed that this pencil box is too thin to contain other stationaries such as erasers, pencil sharpers and rulers. So I thought the affordance of this pencil box can be expanded by modifying its structure. In addition, I found that this objects can be used not only for containing stationaries inside, but also for protecting them and the pencil box itself. This is because the head-end of the pencils is likely to be damaged if the pencils always crash with the inner edge of the pencil box. Therefore, I considered the affordance of protecting stationaries can be achieved if they are able to be fixed in the pencil box.
2.Given that affordances is a relational property between a person and an object, how did the manipulation of the object and the person’s abilities inform your understanding of the concept? Did it give you inspiration or insight for how to work with affordances as a designer? Discuss this through the specific objects you explored in the exercise.
- An affordance is likely to create a match between capabilities of a user and properties of an object, which means that it can only be achieved when the designed products are able to meet the user’s abilities. For example, during the tutorial session, when I was exploring the affordance of a spoon, I tried to pretend that I lose several essential abilities such as becoming blind and texture sensitivity to use the spoon. So in order to use the spoon in this situation, it is necessary to change the affordance of this spoon like increasing the length and curved angle. This helped me to realise that the affordance of a designed product needs to be varied according to the user’s capabilities.
- By taking this exercise, I have a better understanding of the concept of affordance and it also gave me some inspirations of how to design in a human-centered and user-orientation way. As a designer, it is necessary to make sure that the goal of the design process is to create relationships between users and products. For example, if we want to design a mobile phone for a aged people, the screen and font size should be increased to meet their abilities. Also, designers are supposed to make the affordance of a product perceptible rather than hiding it, which can encourage the user to take the most advantage of the affordance of a product.