Affordance + Constraint + Interface Exercise

After reading Murray and Norman, and in light of last two weeks:

Let’s analyze the affordance, constraint, and interface designs of a standard mobile device “app,” and what it would take to redesign any feature or function, or add to them.


How much of the design question is constrained by device features and limitations (size, internal architecture, OS, software)?

Institutional, social, cultural constraints: the whole system for design questions

How much of a design problem is constrained by institutions, policies, regulations, user community cultures

App designers are given iOS or Android “APIs” to address “native features and functions” of the device. How many “native functions” are there in a smartphone that you can list?

You can’t add a new function like an x-ray enabled camera. Why?


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About Martin Irvine

Martin Irvine is a professor at Georgetown University and the Founding Director of Georgetown's graduate program in Communication, Culture & Technology. He is interested in a wide range of interdisciplinary topics, including media theory, semiotics, cognitive science approaches to language and symbolic culture, computation and the Internet/Web, philosophy and intellectual history, art theory, contemporary music, vintage guitars, and all things post-postmodern.