5. interaction design basics

EXERCISE 5.6 [extra - not in book]

Look at some or all of the following objects: a book, a pair of scissors, a cup, a corkscrew. Discuss the affordances of the objects and the constraints that these place on their use.


Book: hand-sized suggests you can pick it up. Covers and spine operate in such a way as to aid opening it, whilst softer pages allow it to be flicked through.

Scissors: holes in handles suggest positions for fingers, especially when shaped specially. Visible blades suggest cutting - restrained motion of hinge means that when fingers move blades move appropriately. Thin pointed nature of blades suggest sharpness and cutting.

Cup: hand-sized for picking up, particularly with handle which suggests fingers go through hole. Space inside suggests it can contain something, whilst flat base means you know you can stand it down again.

Corkscrew: twisted bottom part suggests twisting, echoed by handles on top. Not put-downable - no resting position; it's a dynamic tool, no use when resting on the table.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.5.1 (tut), ex.5.2 (tut), ex.5.3 (tut), ex.5.4 (tut), ex.5.5 (tut), ex.5.6 (ans), ex.5.7 (tut), ex.5.8 (tut), ex.5.9 (tut), ex.5.10 (tut), ex.5.11 (tut), ex.5.12 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter