Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A potential action that is made possible by a given object or environment; especially, one that is made easily discoverable.

Etymologies

From afford +‎ -ance; coined in 1977 by psychologist J. J. Gibson. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Psychology of Everyday Things, where he introduced the term "affordance" to describe physical features that "afford" a user control over a function - in this case, opening a door.

    Across the Great Divide

  • The concept of "affordance" has captured the imagination of designers.

    JND.org

  • (There are entries for the related concepts affordance and emergence, however).

    February « 2010 « An A-Z of ELT

  • Of course this is a pain and close to impossible for anyone to find, but likely a better solution than adding a fourth UI affordance on the title bar.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 | Lifehacker Australia

  • A successful pretending object has to delicately balance pretending affordance with not making you look like an idiot.

    Making Light: Making light under difficult conditions

  • Conversely, URLs have the opposite default affordance — people can go look at them and see what you have said about yourself, and computers can go and visit them and discover other ways to interact with what you have published, or ask you permission for more.

    It’s high time we moved to URL-based identifiers | FactoryCity

  • Sort of echoing @Guillaume it does seem to me that from a branding perspective the name implies an affordance that is backwards.

    OpenID usability is not an oxymoron | FactoryCity

  • Thus, the Web is rolling back modernity's affordance of mass access to the best of culture -- and may, Keen fears, result in the restoration of a feudal class system when it comes to culture and knowledge.

    David Weinberger: Andrew Keen's Best Case

  • Just like the presence of the claims processors that Wenger wrote about in the office of the insurance company and their ability and being allowed to talk to each other, the platform of twitter and its affordance make mutual engagement possible.

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • Affordances, usually associated with human-computer interaction, industrial design, and environmental psychology, is here seen as the flipside of externalities: one person's externality is another's affordance.

    Boing Boing: July 31, 2005 - August 6, 2005 Archives

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