Affordance and Symmetry
Whilst it is generally accepted as a positive criterion, affordance only gives the weakest of hints for interactive systems designers. This paper shows how useful it is to consider affordance as generated by a correspondence between program symmetries and user interface symmetries. Symmetries in state spaces (for instance, as might be visualised in statecharts) can be carried through to user interfaces and into user manuals, with beneficial results. Exploiting affordances, understood in this way, in addition to their well known user interface benefits, makes programs simpler and more reliable, and makes user manuals shorter.
KeywordsState Space User Interface Object Oriented Programming Cyclic Symmetry Alarm Clock
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