Radicle blog / Notes on the book, Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

Some of the most important things I gather from books and papers are terms of art. Something I’m excited to do is to start and build up my own glossary of terms and definitions.

I wonder what Don Norman, who popularized the term affordance, would think of this: “Affordance is the quality of an object that lets a user know that the object can be used to perform an action.”

This is the sort of thing that encourages me on my mission to affect the industry. Here is one man, myself, whose single most defining characteristic concerning expertise in user-interaction design is his lack of knowledge, that nevertheless understands the fundamentals better than someone who authors a book on the subject.

Here’s what Mr. Norman would say: An affordance refers to what you can do with a thing. A signifier is sometimes used to indicate what affordances are possible.

—Raphael Schindler
6 Apr 2017