Response to chapter 1: The Psychopathology of Everyday Things


Chapter 1 mentioned that designers often misuse the term “affordance”. Much rather than affordance, the focus should be shifted towards “signifiers”. Signifiers are simple indications to bring awareness of a certain function to the users. However, with too many signifiers, it might lead to confusion and a complicated design. Simplicity of apple products is probably the reason why it is so popular. The single button on the iPhone is simple yet functional. No complex manual is needed to figure how it works. That is why it is important to strike a balance between number of signifiers and simplicity of the design. The author also stated that feedback is key. In which I agree to. Interactions are necessary to engage users. Feedbacks continue the flow of interaction just like responses in a conversation.


1) Should we have a signifier for every affordance?

2) If a project requires many signifiers, how does one find a balance between the signifiers and simplicity of the design?