Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?


The object I chose was a paper clip. Initially I thought of the paper clip as only being useful for holding together pieces of paper however during the exercise I realized a paper clip can be used for many more things such as scratching, poking, pushing into small holes, entertainment (by bending it into different shapes) and even tying stuff together like a piece of string. This helped my understand how objects may have many more uses than I may think.


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.


This exercise helped me understand how affordances may vary from user to user and are affected by the users abilities and thus the abilities of the potential users (and thus their potential affordances) must be considered when designing a product. For example when I taped my pencil to the back of my hand it became much harder to draw with the pencil, particularly when drawing things with fine detail but I was still able to draw larger, less precise strokes. It also highlighted to me that users may use things in ways I may not have thought of which suggests to me I should keep in mind, while designing, how people may use the designs in unique ways. Again I think of the paper clip, while it is designed to hold pieces of paper together I often us it to open the sim tray on my phone.