theory of affordances

After carrying out initial research into a number of research methodologies, I decided to focus on the Theory of Affordances.

This particular theory appealed to me and my natural tendency to want to simplify and condense information. I was intrigued by the idea that an object can pass on instruction and meaning simply by the way it looks.

James J Gibson first described the Theory of Affordances in his 1979 book 'The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception'.

In its simplest form, it is the theory of how an object gives an implicit instruction on how to use it. Humans are capable of assessing objects according to their perceptible properties and using them accordingly. 

Designers rely on this innate ability of ours when creating objects or applications that require a certain degree of intuitive behaviour. 


The classic examples of this are buttons that ask to be pressed, or handles that ask to be turned. Game and App designers rely heavily on a users ability to be able to interpret and navigate the world they have created.