Affordance

Affordance is the possibility of an action between a person and an object. It is the purpose of objects that we perceive visually and they convey information to us.

An example of affordance in the lecture was a door handle, and how we identify a push or pull handle. This is all down to the design of the door handle. It is supposed to be designed to fit the human hand, this is understood by us through the size and shape of the handle. As we know to push a door that doesn’t have a handle sticking out clearly prompting us to pull down. Sothe design is significant to us when we are going through doors in our everyday  lives.

Thinking about how affordance applies to me, whether or not the design is good, I managed to pick out an umbrella I own that I believe is badly designed. The first thing wrong with it is it’s material is PVC, which is great, as it’s strong and keeps you dry from the rain, however in order to close it fully shut you need to use your hands to squeeze it together, as it doesn’t close naturally when you pull the umbrella down. This goes against an umbrella keeping you dry as this then makes your hand wet. The second thing that isn’t practical is the handle.

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From the image above, you can see the handle is round and doesn’t fit comfortablly in the palm of your hand. So when you are holding the umbrella it is difficult to keep control when the rain is coming down heavy as the handle doesn’t allow you to have much grip on it. My hands are also fairly small and this handle still isn’t practical for me. The next time I choose an umbrella I will make sure it has a good design affordance, as this never really occured to me until this lecture.

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