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Technology affordances

Abstract : Ecological approaches to psychology suggest succinct accounts of easily-used artifacts. Affordances are properties of the world that are compatible with and relevant for people's interactions. When affordances are perceptible, they offer a direct link between perception and action; hidden and false affordances lead to mistakes. Complex actions can be understood in terms of groups of affordances that are sequential in time or nested in space, and in terms of the abilities of different media to reveal them. I illustrate this discussion with several examples of interface techniques, and suggest that the concept of affordances can provide a useful tool for user-centered analyses of technologies. (
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Contributor : Jerome Zeiliger <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 27, 2012 - 4:49:24 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 10:39:30 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00692032, version 1



William W. Gaver. Technology affordances. CHI 91 Conference on Human Factors in Computing New Orleans, LA, USA — April 27 - May 02, 1991, 1991, New Orleans, Lousiana, United States. pp.79-84. ⟨hal-00692032⟩



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