The Affordances of Broken Affordances

Abstract : We consider the use of physical and virtual objects having one or more affordances associated to simple interactions with them. Based on Kaptelinin and Nardi’s notion of instrumental affordance, we investigate what it means to break an affordance, and the two ensuing questions we deem most important: how users may (i) achieve their goals in the presence of such broken affordances, and may (ii) repurpose or otherwise interact with artefacts with broken affordances. We argue that (A) thorough analyses of breakdowns of affordances and their associated signifiers and feedbacks have implication for design, particularly so for virtual artefacts, and that (B) there is a largely unexplored design space for designing, and redesigning objects with broken affordances, rather than broken or decayed objects.
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Martin Grünbaum, Jakob Simonsen. The Affordances of Broken Affordances. 15th Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2015, Bamberg, Germany. pp.185-202, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-22698-9_13⟩. ⟨hal-01609405⟩

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