“Affordance” was originally a psychology term used to define the possible actions between a person or animal and the world. Our colleague Donald A. Norman applied the term to the user-experience world in his classic book The Design of Everyday Things. Basically, in design an “affordance” is whatever can be done to an object.

“A door may afford pulling or pushing, depending on which way it opens. When a person can see in advance whether to pull or push the door to open it, that’s a good user interface.”

Prioritizing Web Usability — Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger

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