The Design of Everyday Things notes.

Notes from The Design of Everyday Things.

Affordances
The term affordance refers to the relationship between a physical object and a person. An affordance is a relationship between the properties of an object and the capabilities of the agent that determine just how the object could possibly be used.
A chair affords support and sitting. Glass affords transparency. To be effective affordances must be discoverable. Affordances exists even if they are not visible.

Signifiers
Affordances determine what actions are possible. Signifiers communicate where the action should take place. A sign on the door saying "PUSH" is a signifier. It signifies the affordance of the door. Signifiers signal things, in particular what actions are possible and how they should be done. Signifiers must be perceivable, else they fail to function.

Mappings
Mapping is the relationship between the elements of two sets of things.

Feedback
Feedback is the communicating the results of an action. Feedback must be immediate and informative.

Positive Psychology
Feedback is the communicating the results of an action. Feedback must be immediate and informative.

  • Do not blame people when they fail to use your products properly.
  • Take peoples difficulties as signifiers of where the product can be improved.
  • In addition to error messages, provide help and guidance.
  • Allow people to continue their tasks after error messages with the guidance.

Learn and use the 5 Whys technique.