Affordance Based Design: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications

Maier, Jonathan

Despite the importance of design to engineering, industry, and the overall economy, design science remains a young and underdeveloped field. Current practitioners, researchers, and students of design are left to navigate a patchwork of methods addressing various phases of design without a unifying theoretical framework. In this book the theory of affordances (a concept borrowed from perceptual psychology) is further developed and generalized to apply to engineering situations. An affordance describes the potential behavior of a system consisting of subsystems such as users and artifacts. Advantages of Affordance Based Design include the ability to describe and explain the actions of novice as well as experienced designers, the evolutionary development of products over time, and the value of prototyping early in the design process. Affordance based methods are shown to streamline the design process while fostering innovation and guarding against failure and danger to users. This book will be helpful to design researchers and design practitioners alike.

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