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Study on Personal Characteristics and Emotional Affordances through User Activity Analysis

Yong Se Kim , Min Kyoung Kim , Ji Yun Jeong , Jae Ho Moon

Design methodology should address psychological and cognitive aspects based on human emotion and feeling as well as physical and functional aspects based on product structure. Donald Norman introduced perceived affordances as characteristics in the appearance of an object that gives clues for its proper operations. We conducted a case study in a public space - building lobby - used by many general people. User activities and behaviors were analyzed in several specific tasks given to twenty participants with similar cultural background in the lobby of a building they have never been to before. Then we identified affordances and building structure elements, called affordance features, critically related to those affordances. While performing the tasks in the same building lobby, user activities can be classified into several different groups for each task based on affordance features involved in their activities. These user activity differences are then compared with their personal cognitive characteristics derived from their perception and judgment preferences using intuitive and factual perception orientation and objective and subjective decision making inclination respectively. For user of less common activities for some tasks, personal cognitive characteristics have been identified. This study could help in affordance-based design so that alternative affordance features are designed considering diverse user cognitive characteristics.


Emotional Affordances, Affordance Features, Personal Characteristics, User Activity Analysis