Research. Apply. Document. #4 Affordances


Discipline: Industrial Design

Affordances is the elements that a user will be able to see or feel clues on how to interact with it. The play button is a great example of an affordance, and universally, majority of people will know to click the play button on an image and can expect a video to be played.

The purpose of affordances is to:

  • Grab the attention of the user
  • Let the user know the function without instruction

The buttons below show two popular versions on the web of affordances. The first one is on Carhartt’s site, and is a flat, button design. The bottom is Home Depot, and they added a shadow to the bottom indicating that it should be pressed, or clicked. The Carhartt one is interesting though because they added the arrows, so even though it is flat, the user will know that there is more information with that button.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 1.47.26 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-30 at 1.45.33 PM.png

Below is words in the search field giving the user clues to type in the box to search. The magnifying glass is also a strong cue and icon for search.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 1.43.34 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-30 at 1.43.57 PM.png–cms-23902


Author: MattBlair

I am a designer with a focus on user experience.

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