Enhancing human–computer interaction design education: teaching affordance design for emerging mobile devices

Authors: Faiola, Anthony1; Matei, Sorin2

Source: International Journal of Technology and Design Education, Volume 20, Number 3, August 2010 , pp. 239-254(16)

Publisher: Springer

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The evolution of human–computer interaction design (HCID) over the last 20 years suggests that there is a growing need for educational scholars to consider new and more applicable theoretical models of interactive product design. The authors suggest that such paradigms would call for an approach that would equip HCID students with a better understanding of the social context of technology design and development. An intrinsic part of the proposed pedagogical model is the concept of affordance or that which implicitly suggests to the user a particular kind of functionality of the product. According to cognitive theory, people approach multi-functional mobile devices by building mental models of their functions, starting with physical appearance. A case study of an HCID teaching strategy, based upon the primacy of affordance, highlights how students can be taught a range of knowledge domains for product design to support creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Affordance; Design; Human–computer interaction; Multimedia mobile device; Social context

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10798-008-9082-4

Affiliations: 1: Indiana University – School of Informatics (IUPUI), 535 W. Michigan Street, IT Building, Room 475, Indianapolis, IN, 46202-3103, USA, Email: afaiola@iupui.edu 2: Department of Communication, Purdue University, Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education, Room 2114, 100 North University Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907-2098, USA, Email: smatei@purdue.edu

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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