New Word: “Affordance”

By Deane Barker • Posted on November 28, 2015 • Filed under words

Actually not a new word – I had encountered this once before in a book about why we would never completely rid ourselves of paper. The reason being that it offered “affordances” that digital screens never could.

A noun:

…a relation between an object or an environment and an organism that, through a collection of stimuli, affords the opportunity for that organism to perform an action.

For instance, paper has the affordance of being able to be easily passed around a room of people. Digital text does not currently have that (clearly, however, digital text has affordances of its own).

Found in The Organized Mind:

… [some stores] have made a business model out of […] products which function as affordances for keeping wayward objects in their respective homes.

This is item #19 in a sequence of 122 items.

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