UX for Startups: Affordance In Product Design In Everyday Life

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Last month I happened to meet two people who have different problems in using their iPhones. This is not the first time that people have asked me about iPhone’s hidden features though, it did make me think about what is behind this and what I can do about it.

The problems they reported were both related to the concept of affordance in product design.  According to Donald Norman, the author of the book The Design of Everyday Things, affordance “refers to the perceived and actual properties of the thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possibly be used.”

For instance, a text box affords writing and a button affords clicking on a web form. You don’t need to provide instructions like “please fill in…” or “please click…”, and people will know what it’s about. This is how affordance can be illustrated in everyday life. In this article, I would love to share some problems my friends had met in their daily use of the iPhone and my thoughts on the application of affordance in design.

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Hong Kong-Based Wearable Tech Startup Digi-Care Building A Lightweight Healthcare Wristband With Long Battery Life

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Healthcare tech has been getting a facelift as the wearables space teems with competition. Seasoned players and startup companies alike are all tinkering away in their shops to reiterate what’s already on the market, or have been innovating to bring something new to the table.

The latest to hit the scene via Indiegogo is ERI: a new lightweight fitness tracker with an unnaturally long battery life – you only need to charge it twice a month. We met up with Jimmy Liao, co-founder and CEO of Digi-Care, the Hong Kong-based company behind ERI, and he told StartupsHK about his passion for consumer products.

“I studied High Polymer Materials and Engineering at the Harbin University of Science and Technology,” said Jimmy. “The school was working in cooperation with the military so all of my classmates either went on to do research for the army or work for the government.” Despite the conventional path of all of his classmates, Jimmy said that he’s always known he’s wanted to use technology to improve the lives of people, and was the only one in his class to go rogue and work on consumer products.

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Dave Morin of Path interviewed by @Jason on This Week in Start-Ups