This is a pair of scissors, with two holes ready for your fingers to go into. The bladder indicate to cut things.

The holes are referred to as affordances, allowing fingers to be inserted. They are also referred to as signifiers, indicating where the fingers are to go to (Norman, 2013). Signifiers identify clearly how people discover possibilities: signifiers are signs, noticeable signals of what can be done (Norman, 2013). The different sizes of the holes give constraints to the limitation of the number of fingers to be inserted: a big hole suggests several fingers whereas a small hole suggests only one finger (Norman, 2013). The mapping between holes and fingers suggests the set of possible operations, and is signified and constrained by the holes (Norman, 2013). Furthermore, the operation is insensitive to finger placement in which the scissors will still work if you use the wrong fingers but it is not as comfortably (Norman, 2013).

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Hair dryer

As you can see from the picture of a hair dryer above, it reminds you of how important its existence to humankind. It can get your hair done drying in a span of a few minutes instead of waiting for it to air-dry which can take up about an hour. How amazing is this product?

The rectangular button-like thing affords the level of temperature by pushing up or down one or two levels. The relationship between a physical object and a person can be referred to as affordance (Norman, 2013). An affordance solely revolves around a relationship between the properties of an object and the capabilities of the agent that cause them to occur in a particular way, resulting how the object could possibly be used (Norman, 2013).

The qualities of the object and the abilities of the agent that are interacting are working together as one to have the presence of an affordance (Norman, 2013). People acknowledge that by pushing the rectangular button-like thing indicates the level of temperature when drying hair.

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Sometimes I want it cold, sometimes I want it hot.

Water heater has increasingly become an essential household item in our lives. What are the chances of people wanting their need to be met, which in this case, shower with varying temperature. Water heater seems like the solution to the aforementioned need. Human-centered design (HCD) is an approach that prioritizes human needs, capabilities, and behavior first, then proceeds to design so as to accommodate those needs, capabilities, and ways of behaving (Norman, 2013). It is a human-centered design as human needs such as showering with hot or cold temperature are considered and put into work.

Water heater is a good design as it also includes good communication, which in this case from machine to person, showing people what actions are possible, what is happening, and what is about to happen (Norman, 2013). There are signifiers on the water heater, telling that their needs are going to be met by just simply pressing, clicking, or pushing.

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

beep means it is time to stop your car.

Vehicles’ parking sensors produce beep sound as an information to alert drivers when it detects object from the back. This happens when drivers reverse their vehicle during a situation such as parking. The beep sound produced acts as a signifier for people when it comes to parking.

The beep sound alerts drivers from running into objects, and sometimes it can be people too. As such, accidents can be avoided with parking sensors equipped in vehicles. Sound should be visible in the sense that it will signal something about the actions that are being taken place and also actions that matter to the users (Norman, 2013). Sound tells us about things that are out of reach by our eyes, and it does so while our eyes are occupied elsewhere therefore it is as essential as visual information (Norman, 2013).

This is a fairly good design as not only does it bring convenience but also ensure drivers’ safety.


Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.