Affordance

Definition: 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.

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.

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).

Why I Looked It Up

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 #11 in a sequence of 413 items.

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