Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Learning Log #1

I thought that interface was much more complicated. Donald A. Norman really got me thinking about everyday things and every object I use throughout the day. From something as simple as a door to a complicated computer, it is still an interface. I found it fascinating because it made me realize how much trial and error there was into designing objects we normally never think about because they become convenient and subconscious to people. Someone had to design so that a high percentage of people could understand and comprehend. I have noticed since reading, I have paid particular attention of how much I understand and use the interface.

I questioned the statement when, Norman says, "when people have trouble with something, it isn't their fault-it's the fault of the design (DOET, x, preface to the 2002 edition)". I initially didn't believe it because I've felt as though it has been my fault of not knowing how to do something. I feel that people get distracted by the design rather than the usability, or the affordances, as Norman says. Although, sitting in a designer's position, I see that it is their job to make a design so easy for people that they don't need to think about it.

"Gibson claims that the existence of affordances is independent of an actor's experience and culture. Norman, on the other hand, tightly couples affordances with past knowledge and experience (Affordances: Clarifying and Evolving a Concept, 3)". I understand and agree with Norman's definition of affordance more. I feel as though the user needs to experience the object or interface to consider it an affordance. Gibson's definition states that affordances are independent, but I think it makes more sense for affordances to relate to the user. The user uses their own knowledge for the object, if their was not a user, the object would just be an object by itself.

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