Affordance in property

1. Affordance

Affordance is defined as “A property in which the physical characteristics of an object or environment influence its function.”[1] The light switch is one of the best examples of this. The light switch is a very simple product yet it is very effective. Not only does it control the ‘on' and ‘off' of the light but also it indicates whether the light is on. When the switch is up, it is on and likewise when it is down, it is off. It is designed very well because the lever can only move ‘up' and ‘down' and cannot move ‘left' or ‘right' and therefore it can only be ‘on' or ‘off'.
The dimmer light switch offers more variation to the traditional light switch. To switch it on and off the knob is to be pushed. To increase the brightness, the knob is to be turned right and to decrease the brightness the knob is to be turned left.

2. Attractiveness Bias

Attractiveness Bias is defined as “A tendency to see attractive people as more intelligent competent, moral, and sociable than unattractive people.”[2] In 1997, Tony Blair won the General Election against John Major. At the time, John Major had already been Prime Minister for seven years and he even secured the most votes in British electoral history in 1992. However a few years later, John Major's Conservative party was losing the votes of the British people and in 1997 he lost to a younger and fitter Tony Blair and his New Labour. However the scale of his defeat was not as widely predicted. There were many factors which lead to John Major's defeat and one of the leading factors was no doubt that the British people saw Tony Blair as a younger, more energetic and a more charismatic individual than John Major.

3. Flexibility Usability Trade-off

Flexibility Usability Trade-off is defined as “the more flexible a system is, the usability of the system decreases.” A good example of this would be the Swiss Army knife. One of the simplest Swiss Army knives is the Victorinox Ecoline Knife. It has three main functions; a knife, a cork screw and a cap lifter. Because of its simplicity, it has a high level of usability.

Unlike the Wenger's Giant Knife, it has eighty-seven implements and one hundred and forty-one functions which include the likes of a torch and a compass. Its flexibility has increased greatly because it has many more functions. However, the usability has decreased because with so many functions, the user will spend time look for the right tool.

4. Proximity

Proximity is the simplest way to achieve unity. “Elements that are close together are perceived to be more related than elements that are far apart.”[3] A good example of this would be the document editing program, Microsoft Office Word 2007. This is a good example of good proximity because, as you can see by the Font example, it is easy to figure out what is in the box as they are all related to the Font. Likewise if one was looking to put in bullet points, they would look in the Paragraph box. The Font and paragraph are put in boxes so help users save time and reduce any unnecessary confusion when trying to find the correct feature.

5. Ockham's Razor

Ockham's razor is a Methodological principle which “favours simpler theories over more complex theories.”[4] For example, the search engine Google is a very good example of Ockham's razor. Its homepage is very simple, just focusing on what people want. There is a bare minimum on the page, only the search bar and a few other necessary tabs.

Unlike Google, the Intellectual Property Office Search Bar is a lot harder to use. A lot of text boxes have to be filled in before a search can be made.





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