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Chapter 7 Affordances (May 2011)

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Gráinne Conole
5 May 2011

This chapter defines the term affordances, starting from its original use in an Ecological context, through to its use in Human Computer Interactions (HCI). It will then consider how the term can be used to describe the characteristics of technologies, along with illustrative examples. Although the term is contested, I will argue that it is valuable in that it accurately describes the ways in which the inherent characteristics of different technologies can be instantiated in different context, and through the different preferences of individuals and how they interact with technologies. The chapter will describe how the term affordances can be used to help develop a better understanding of the characteristics of different technologies. 

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