Você está na página 1de 54

AFFORDANCE

AND
PERFORMANCE
DIPLOMA DI LICENZA
Scuola Superiore SantAnna

CANDIDATO
NICOL DE BENETTI
RELATORE
GUALTIERO FANTONI
1

STATE OF ART................................................................................................................... 3
INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................9
EXPERIMENT................................................................................................................... 12
AFFORDANCE EXISTENCE .............................................................................................. 18
IMPACT OF AFFORDANCE............................................................................................... 26
LIGHT AND LIFE BATTERY 31
DESIGNER AND MARKET................................................................................................. 44
CONCLUSION ..................................................................................................................50
SURVEY 51

STATE OF ART
The author that coined the term affordance was James J. Gibson, a perceptual psychologist. Gibson
defined affordance as:
The affordances of the environment are what it offers the animals, what it provides or furnishes,
either for good or ill. It imply the complementary of the animal and the environment.
This concept of complementarity can be applied in design, and in particular for analyzing the
interaction between animal (user) and a product in a particular environment. Gibson added also:
As an affordance. For a species of animal, however, they have to be measure relative to the animal.
They are not unique for that animal. They are not just abstract physical properties. So an affordance
cannot be measure in physics An affordance is neither an objective property nor a subjective
property; or it is both if you like. Affordance are properties taken with reference to the observer.
In his book, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, Gibson try to study how animals perceive
environment.
The psychologist Donald A. Norman applied for the first time the concept of affordance to design. In his
book The Design of Everyday Things, Norman shows how some objects should afford and should not
afford and he gives some examples of affordances of ordinary objects:
A chair affords (is for) support and therefore, affords sitting, A glass is for seeing through, and for
breaking, Knobs are for turning, Slot are for inserting things into but he also adds Wood is
normally used for solidity, opacity, support or carving.
However, the meaning of the term affordance for Norman is a bit different compare to the Gibsons
one caused by the different purpose of their research. For Gibson affordance are offerings or action
3

possibilities in the environment in relation to the action capabilities of an actor, while for Norman
affordances are perceived properties that suggest how to use the product and they may or may not
actually exist. This different definition imply many differences. The main one is that for Gibson an
affordance has a binary existence, or it exist or it not exist and therefore it is independent from the
animal past experience while for Norman, since affordance depends on the perception of the animal,
it is dependent on the experience, knowledge, or culture of the animal or user. For example, both
ecologist and designer focus on the affordance sit-ability of a chair in a visible environment. However,
if this chair is moved to a room so dark that a person entering it cannot perceive the existence of the
chair, for ecologist the affordance sit-ability is still useful as long as it exists (it can support the weight
of the person without any change with the environment); while according to Norman, in this situation
the actor cannot perceive the sitting on the chair, and hence sit-ability is useless for designers
unless the person accidentally touches the chair or turns on the light and perceives the chair.
In order to explain this ambiguity Gaver tried to classify affordance in different type.

Figura 1: Gaver Scheme

Similar to Gibson, Gaver consider affordance independent from the perceptual information since he
put these two variable on the two different axis. However Gaver agree with Norman that only the
affordance that can be perceive are useful. He introduced also the concept of false affordance that
means affordance perceived by the user but not thought by the designer.
Gero and Kennengiesser proposed the function-behavior-structure (FBS) model shown in Figure 2.8,
simulating the view of designers:
4

Figure 2: Geros function-behavior-structure (FBS) framework (Gero and Kannengiesser, the left is the 8-step version published
in 1990, and the right is the 20-step version published in 2002); Xe means the expected X (X=F, B or S)

This model integrates the cognition of users, their perceptions and the environment into the three
levels of the world moving from the specific to the universal, suggesting that affordances are
Structur (Gero and Kennengiesser, 2010). The FBS model shows
the steps in designing a product as continuous processes, comparing the designers expectations with
the practical operations of users and the behaviors and functions of the structure. Gero and
Kennengiesser introduced for the first time a new actor in affordance world, the designer. Based on
the FBS model Cascini and Fantoni developed a new framework in which they separate the different
entities from the Geros circles making the process more clear. In particular Cascini and Fantoni
focused they attention on the bias between their expectation and the products practical use,
resulting in the misuse, alternative use and failed use.

Figure 3: Schematic representations of links between the entities of the proposed extension of the FBS framework and
relations with the situated model (Cascini et al., 2010)

A great contribution to the development of affordances has been brought by Maier and Fadel. They
tried to extend the application of affordance to the whole design world and not just only to some
things as done by Norman.
They created two different categories: Arifact-User Affordances and Artifact-Artifact Affordance.
The first one refers to the interaction between product and user. For them the Artifact-User
Affordance is a characteristic neither of the object not of the human. They also distinguished between
the set of all the possible interactions and the subset that are affordance. As Gibson said typical
physical properties such as mass, texture, color, etc. are not, in and of themselves affordance. But to
the extent, and only to the extent, that these properties or combinations of these properties, are
useful in some way to the user than an affordance exists. Starting from these considerations they
coined a new definition of affordance:
As the set of interaction between artifact and user in which properties of the artifact are or may be
perceive by the user as potential uses. The artifact is the said to afford those uses to the user.

Figura 4: Maier and Fadel Representation of AUA

The affordance type of interaction is first perceptual; it may also require cognition. The perception of
affordance indeed, most of the time requires some kind of sensory information. For example through
the visual perception a person can understand if a chair afford sittability, through the tactile
perception instead she can say if a floor or in general an object afford sustenability etc. It is clear how
every sense could be involve in perceiving affordances.
The Artifact-Artifact Affordances instead, are defined by the authors as:
The set of interactions between two artifact in which some properties of one artifact interact in
some useful way with properties of the other artifact.
Maier and Fadel define also some important properties of the affordances:

Complementarity: an affordance describes an interaction between two subsystems or


between a system and a user. The affordance is relative to both the entities and cannot either
exist with respect to either subsystem in isolation.

Polarity: affordance can be either positive or negative depending upon whether the potential
behavior has beneficial or harmful consequences.

Multiplicity: system can have multiple affordances

Quality: affordance can be varying quality depending upon how well the subsystem support
potential behavior.

Form dependence: affordance depends on the physical structure of artifacts differently from
functions.

Given these characteristic they introduce a new design approach, the Affordance-Based Design. In
their view the design process can be thought as the specification of an artifact that possesses certain
desired affordances, and does not possesses certain undesired affordances.

INTRODUCTION
Maier and Fadel define the affordance as the set of interaction between user and product in which
properties of the artifact are or may be perceived by the user as potential use. In this work we
want to add to this definition an improvement related to the concept of performance. Our
purpose is to analyze how the user perceives the product performances, and how this perception
impacts the use and the customer satisfaction. During the interaction, the user figures out how
the object works, and more precisely how to reach his desired goal through the interaction with
the product. Focusing on this part it can be said that there are two different moments: the first
one where the user figures out how to interact and the second one where he tries to create
expectations of the interaction results. For example, seeing a chair the user understand how he
can interact with it, that means where he has to sit, where he has to put his hands or his back . In
a second moment he figures out how many kilos the chair can support. If the kilos are less than his
weight, he will interact differently, or he will not interact. In this case he could prefer a less
comfortable object than the chair. It is important to underline that as even if the chair can resist to
double the weight of the person but it seems weak the user could prefer to sit on a stair or a table
than on the chair itself. This example shows how the expectation of the performance can have a
huge impact on the user choice and on the customer purchasing decision. From another point of
view, suppose that the chair can afford sittability and that the user can expect that it can support
his weight but actually it cannot. In this case we will have a failure, the chair will be broken and the
user will suffer some damages. Another thing to consider is that if the user doesnt think that the
chair can support all his weight he could decide to use his legs to support a part of his weight.
With this example we want to highlight three interesting areas where the perception of the
performance impacts the user. First, the interaction between product and user could be different
according to his or her perception of the performance. Second, there are many risks related to a
potential misunderstanding of the real performance. Third, the impact on the customer
purchasing decision and the use or not use decision.

IMPACT ON THE INTERACTION


There are some variables of the interaction such as the force or the energy that the user has to use
during the interaction that are not comprehensible to the user without an expectation of the final
performance of the product and the performance of each sub component. For example, if a user
9

has to accelerate a new car for the first time the force that he will use to push the accelerator
depends on the expected acceleration of the car and to the control that the accelerator has on the
engine. Another example could be the use of a knife. When the user see a new knife, he tries to
figure out the force that he has to put to cut a piece of bread or a watermelon. He decides to use
one hand or two hands according to the force the he thinks is necessary to use. Also, the position
of the second hand according on that value and so the interaction will be different and maybe it
can generate some failure or risk that the designer did not expect. From the first example we
highlight how it is not only the final performance that impact, but also the expectation on the sub
components performances while with the second example we want to show how the interaction
itself depends on a users expectations.

POTENTIAL RISK
Maier and Fadel introduced the concept of false affordance as .. Adding to the definition of
affordance, there is, in our view, a new case that is worth analyzing. If the expected performance
is really different from the real one the user interacts with the product according on his
expectations and not on the reality. This means that the final performance obtained will be really
different from the desire goal. In some cases this might be really harmful for the user and for the
product itself. Consider the previous example of the acceleration of the car. If the user uses too
much force he will obtain a great acceleration that could cause a crash with the environment
around him. So we want to introduce the concept of extreme use.

USE COMPREHENSION
CORRECT

UNCORRECT

CORRECT USE

MISUSED

CORRECT

EXTREME USE

MULTIPLE EFFECTS

UNCORRECT

PERFORMANCE
COMPREHENSION

Table 1: division of possible failure considering use and performance perception

We want to focus on the extreme-use since the misuse has already discussed in (Cascini, Fantoni.
Maier and Fadel). The multiple effects situation is the sum of the effects of misuse and extreme10

use while the correct use analysis is the desired goal. We believe that an extreme-use could be
really harmful, particularly for some types of products such as automotive products (cars,
motorbikes.) knifes and more generally all the products that can create a damage to the user, to
other things or to themselves when they are over or under used. Marketing messages often
increase the gap between the real performance and the expected performance. The
communication that the marketer usually expresses about the product performance is not
oriented always to the users correct perception. Rather it is oriented to the perception that
maximizes the probability of purchase. This fact makes extreme-use highly probable compared to
misuse, since the marketing communication always shows the correct use of the product and tries
to reduce the gap between perception and reality though images, tutorials, and through what is
called the educational process of the customer.

IMPACT ON THE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION


The third aspect previously mentioned is the impact of the expectations on the purchasing
decision. This decision is based on all the information which customer can obtain. Often the time
used to make the decision is really small compared to the time needed to have all the information
and to evaluate it correctly. Therefore a considerable part of the decision is based on perceptions
(brand, marketing campaign, packaging and affordance). We want to investigate how different
perceptions of the affordance can impact customer satisfaction before and after the interaction.
We want to understand if there is a common path into the peoples mindset. We also want to
discover the influence that the users perception of the performance before the interaction has on
their perception of the performance after the interaction.

11

EXPERIMENT
In order to investigate this phenomena an experiment has been conducted. We showed four
flashlights to the participants of the experiment from Clemson University that could be potential
users or customers. We have asked them to score the flashlights and their performances before
interaction and after interaction and how much they would be willing to pay. We have chosen the
participants randomly between students inside the campus
The performances investigated are the light that they produce, the last of their batteries and their
weight. For each performance we have two different products that have the same level of
performance (same light, same weight and same last of the batteries). Therefore we can say that
the ratio between the two performances is one. What we want to analyze is the ratio or the
difference between the judgments that the participants score. We want to see if:
1. There are some regularity in the judgments that means a common perception between the
people
2. The judgments change when the participants can interact with the products
3. There is some relationship between the second judgments and the first ones (we consider
for each feature analyzed only the product that have equal performance).
We attach our survey at the end of this document (page 51).

12

SET OF THE EXPERIMENT


CHARACTERISTIC OF THE PERFORMANCE
We want to introduce here a new concept. In our view, there are some performances that can be
easily perceived by the customer while other are hard to evaluate during the normal interaction
with the product. For example we consider a car and two of its performances: acceleration and
protection. The first one is quite easy to evaluate during a normal interaction and it is not hard to
compare it (not always) with the acceleration of another car. The protection, instead, is hardly
evaluable and it is (hopefully) impossible for a person to test it before the sale. Many people also
have never had the opportunity to test it in their lifetime. For this reason we expect a different
impact of the affordance on the final perception of the performance according to the level of
perceptibility. We believe that it is important to know which characteristics are easy to evaluate
during the interaction and which ones instead are not. Knowing exactly the proportion between
the importance of the affordance and the performance on the customer satisfaction, for each
performance, a designer could develop the design focusing on the real performance for the
characteristics with a prevalence of real performance, while focusing on the affordance for the
others. We want to underline also that this ratio of importance could be different during the
lifetime of the product according to the experience and the information the client has. As shown
in the table below we believe that could exist different classes of the performances according to
their level of perceptibility. It is not possible identify this number and the population of its class a
priori and also it could be different from one product to another product. The table represent our
expectation, of course it needs some studies to define the different classes and which
performances belong to every classes.
CLASS

PERCEPTIBILITY LEVEL

EXAMPLE

Class 1

Low

Protection, last.

Class 2

Medium

Acceleration

Class N

High

Table 2: Schematic representation of a possible division of performances according their perceptibility

13

In any case we want to try to identify and study performances belonging to different classes for
the product that we will choose according to our expectations.

PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION
In order to set the experiment we search an object with the following characteristics:
-

Known performances. This means that performances are easy to define and measure.

Easy to test. This means that our product should be known by our participants and that
they can easily test it in the place where the experiment takes place. It is also important
that it could be test in a small amount of time in order to increase our efficiency.

Not dangerous. In order to avoid problems to people

Cheap. Since our budget is limited

Easy to find and to change. This is necessary since our time is limited and we need to
conclude the experiment as soon as possible. Therefore we have to consider the possibility
that the object will broke during the experiment.

Easy to handle: in order to perform the experiment in a very crowded place and to allow us
to change easily the location.

Our choice is, in the end, flashlight.

PERFORMANCE DEFINITION
We developed our experiments setting in the following passage.
First, we decided the performances to test. As said above we wanted to choose performances that
we expect they belong to different classes of perceptibility. Performances chosen are:
-

Light

Weight

Batteries life

Second, we collected all possible data regarding the flashlights into the market. To do that we took
data from sites like HomeDePot and Amazon. The three parameters that we considered were:
-

Lumen for the light

Weight
14

Batteries life

What we were looking for was the possibilities to have different flashlights with completely
different look (in order to maximize the potential affordance for a person) but with the same
performances. Unfortunately, there were no so many flashlights with the same performances for
more than one characteristic.
To solve this problem we decided to use a group of four flashlights in which there were at least
two of them with the same level of performance for each characteristic.
The flashlight we decided to use are the followings:
LIGHT (lumen)

BATTERY LIFE

WEIGHT (lb)

(hours run time)


PRODUCT A (1)

125

1.235

PRODUCT B (2)

10

0.13

PRODUCT C (3)

35

0.275

PRODUCT D (4)

25

0.275

Table 3: Real performance of each product

15

Figura 4: Torchlights

We can observe as product A and D have the same light, product B and C have the same battery
life while product C and D have the same weight.

TEST OF THE PRODUCT


After the purchase, we tested them and we decided to modify them in order to reduce the small
differences. We changed the product Ds LED with one that was the same to product As one as
well as the battery and all the circuit. We balanced product C and product D weights.

EXPERIMENT CONDUCTION
The experiment was conducted in different locations inside the Clemson Universitys campus
during night time. Environment conditions were the same for all the experiments. Our attention
was focused on the following parameter:
1. Light (flashlights should be clearly observable, but at the same their lights should be easily
evaluable)
2. Surface around (same distance and same level of brightness)

16

The place where the flashlights were shown was a bench close to a street lamp during the night
time. All street lamps produced the same light with the same color and the flashlight position
respect them were approximately the same.

TEST OF THE EXPERIMENT


The experiment was tested before that we carried it out. Five people were involved in order to
identify the main problems for the people of the experiment. During the experiment,
unfortunately too late to fix problems, we realized that the question about the resistance of the
products was not clearly expressed. In particular, people confused quite often the orientation of
the scale. They didnt understand, univocally, if the orientation of the scale was from easy to hard
or instead the opposite. Cause to this misunderstanding, we decided to didnt consider the
question in our analysis and we eliminated that result. In addition two flashlights were burst
during the test and we substitute the LEDs creating, again, the same circuits that they had before.

RESULT OF THE EXPERIMENT


The result of the survey can be seen on attachment 1. We analyzed all the points shown above.
In the following analysis we use both standardized data and normal data. We standardize data for
each person for each characteristic, therefore we consider only four data per time. We also
consider normalized data, that are data divide by the maximum of the group and we have obtain,
more or less, the same results than with standardize data. Therefore we show only results obtain
with standardize data and normal data. We omitted the results with normalized data.
We want to highlight that the first 30 data of weight are not take into consideration since we
realized that the torchlight were not perfectly balance.

17

AFFORDANCE EXISTENCE
Our first goal is to determine if there is a common perception between people regarding the
perception of the performance. In order to understand it we start with a consideration. If there is
no common perception the averages of each product scores should not be statistically different
each other otherwise this means that the people have a common preference. Therefore, in case
we consider standardize data for each person we should not have an average statistically different
from zero.
Starting with this consideration our hypothesis is that there is no common perception between
people and so the difference between the averages and zero is not significant.
To test this hypothesis we develop the analysis in two parts:
1 First, we calculate averages and variance for each product and for each characteristic
2 Second, we obtain p-values. (we consider a good p-value if it is smaller than 0.05)
The first step of our analysis is to calculate the average and the standard deviation for each
product and for each category before the interaction.
The results are illustrated in the following tables (first table consider the scores given while the
second one is based on the same data after standardization, the third one instead shows the
standard deviations referred to the standardize variables):
AVERAGE SCORE
PRICE

LIGHT

BATTERY

WEIGHT

Product 1

8.4

6.5

6.6

6.8

Product 2

4.0

4.4

4.9

2.0

Product 3

7.9

6.5

6.3

4.9

Product 4

6.4

6.0

6.1

4.9

Table 4: Average of normal score of each product

AVERAGE STANDARDIZE DATA


18

PRICE

LIGHT

BATTERY

WEIGHT

Product 1

0.49

0.29

0.24

0.96

Product 2

-0.89

-0.75

-0.50

-1.27

Product 3

0.51

0.40

0.24

0.20

Product 4

-0.11

0.06

0.02

0.11

Table 5: Average of standardize score of each product

STANDARD DEVIATION (STANDARDIZE DATA)


PRICE

LIGHT

BATTERY

WEIGHT

Product 1

0.09

0.10

0.11

0.06

Product 2

0.07

0.09

0.10

0.04

Product 3

0.08

0.08

0.07

0.07

Product 4

0.06

0.07

0.08

0.05

Table 6: Standard deviation of the average of standardize score for each product

The graphs below show data in the table 2.

PRICE
0,60
0,40
0,20
0,00
-0,20

-0,40
-0,60
-0,80
-1,00

Figure 6: Price averages (standardize data)

19

LIGHT
0,60
0,40
0,20
0,00
-0,20

-0,40
-0,60
-0,80
-1,00

Figure 7: Light averages (standardize data)

BATTERY
0,30
0,20
0,10
0,00

-0,10

-0,20
-0,30
-0,40
-0,50
-0,60

Figure 8: Battery life averages (standardize data)

20

WEIGHT
1,50
1,00
0,50
0,00
1

-0,50
-1,00
-1,50

Figure 9: Weight averages (standardize data)

FIRST ANALYSIS
In order to evaluate if the differences are significance we consider the distribution of the average.
We want to verify if 0, that according to our hypothesis should be the real value, is too far or not
from our average.

Figure 10: Gaussian distribution. The black area are p-value of our test

Since we are considering a group of 112 individuals and in particular their averages, we suppose a
Gaussian distribution according to the Central Limit Theorem.
In the table below we show standard deviations (relative to the averages) of each variable,
averages, ratio between these two measures and in the end the significance of this difference for
each characteristic.
PRICE

21

STANDARD

AVERAGE

RATIO

DEVIATION

P-VALUE

AVERAGESTANDARD DEV

Product 1

0.09

0.49

5.40

<0.0001

Product 2

0.07

-0.89

-12.65

<0.0001

Product 3

0.08

0.51

6.50

<0.0001

Product 4

0.06

-0.11

-1.68

0.093

Table 7: Standard deviation, average and ratio between average and standard deviation of normalized score for each product
and p-value for price

LIGHT
STANDARD

AVERAGE

RATIO

DEVIATION

P-VALUE

AVERAGESTANDARD DEV

Product 1

0.10

0.29

2.97

0.003

Product 2

0.09

-0.75

-8.64

<0.0001

Product 3

0.08

0.40

5.08

<0.0001

Product 4

0.07

0.06

0.90

0.368

Table 8: Standard deviation, average and ratio between average and standard deviation of normalized score for each product
and p-value for light

22

BATTERY
STANDARD

AVERAGE

RATIO

DEVIATION

P-VALUE

AVERAGESTANDARD DEV

Product 1

0.11

0.24

2.26

0.024

Product 2

0.10

-0.50

-4.80

<0.0001

Product 3

0.07

0.24

3.53

<0.0001

Product 4

0.08

0.02

0.32

0.749

Table 9: Standard deviation, average and ratio between average and standard deviation of normalized score for each product
and p-value for battery life

WEIGHT
STANDARD

AVERAGE

RATIO

DEVIATION

P-VALUE

AVERAGESTANDARD DEV

Product 1

0.06

0.96

16.77

<0.0001

Product 2

0.04

-1.27

-31.47

<0.0001

Product 3

0.07

0.20

2.94

0.003

Product 4

0.05

0.11

1.98

0.048

Table 10: Standard deviation, average and ratio between average and standard deviation of normalized score for each product
and p-value for weight

As we can see, averages are significantly different from zero. This means that there is a common
perception of the performances and so people base their perception on some common factors.
SECOND ANALYSIS
23

We conduct an analysis of variance in order to confirm our results. Before to do that we have to
be sure that the distributions of our variables are Gaussian since this is a hypothesis for applying
the analysis of variance.
We conduct a Shapiro-Wilk test. The results show that our variable are not Gaussian
LIGHT
P-VALUE (SHAPIRO TEST)
PRODUCT 1

0.00003377

PRODUCT 2

0.0002234

PRODUCT 3

0.002414

PRODUCT 4

0.002899

Table 11: Shapiro tests p-values for each product

BATTERY
P-VALUE (SHAPIRO TEST)
PRODUCT 1

0.000027

PRODUCT 2

0.000037

PRODUCT 3

0.000159

PRODUCT 4

0.001619

Table 12: Shapiro tests p-values for each product

24

WEIGHT
P-VALUE (SHAPIRO TEST)
PRODUCT 1

0.0006467

PRODUCT 2

0.00000017

PRODUCT 3

0.00087

PRODUCT 4

0.008456

Table 13: Shapiro tests p-values for each product

The null hypothesis in the Shapiro test is that the population is normally distributed. Since all our
p-value are smaller than 0.05 we have to refuse this hypothesis. Therefore the distribution of our
variables are not Gaussian and so we cannot apply the analysis of variance.
To further investigation we have done to standardize data in order to verify if in this case we could
have a Gaussian distribution. The results are the same and the distributions are not Gaussian.

25

IMPACT OF AFFORDANCE
In order to understand if the affordance has an impact on the final scores, we analyze the changes
in preferences. For this analysis we use the scores of products with same performances. We
consider the first gap (before interaction) as affordance and the second gap as final perception. In
other words we consider the two products with the same performance for each characteristic and
we calculate the difference of the scores before the interaction as an indicator of the affordance
and instead the difference of the scores after interaction as indicator of final perception. For
example we consider light. The first person gave the following scores:
SCORE BEFORE INTERACTION (LIGHT)

SCORE AFTER THE INTERACTION (LIGHT)

PRODUCT A

PRODUCT B

PRODUCT C

PRODUCT D

Table 14: first person of the sample scores of the light

Since for light the two products with the same performance are product 1 and product 4 we
consider:
Affordance= 7-6 =1
Final performance = 8-6=2
We want to underline that we calculate always score product 1 minus score product 2. It means
that the sign of the result indicate the preference. If sign is positive it means that the person
prefers product 1 otherwise it means that she prefers product 4. Since we are interested to
understand if there is an impact and not to quantify this impact, as we should consider more
variables and it is not easy to determine, we use only two possible value, +1 and -1. We indicate
with +1 in case the product preferred is the first one while we indicate with -1 if the product
preferred is the second one. In our example we obtain:
Affordance= +1
26

Final Performance= +1
We consider a 0 significant the case in which the affordance is different from zero while the final
perception is equal to zero. We do not use cases in which affordance is equal to zero since we are
interested in understanding if affordance has a positive impact so we cannot consider cases in
which affordance is not present or not understandable.

HYPOTHESIS
Our hypothesis is that affordance has no impact on the final perception.
To investigate it, we have conducted two different analysis:

FIRST ANALYSIS
CONSIDERATION 1
If the performances of the products are the same and there is no impact of the affordance on the
final perception (previous hypothesis), the probability a person thinks that product B has an higher
performance than product C, after the interaction, is equal to the probability that she thinks that
product C has an higher performance than product B. (we dont consider the cases in which there
are no preferences, in other words cases where both the product obtain the same score).

DEFINITION
We call change of preference the situation in which a person believes that product A has a higher
performance than product B before the interaction and she believes that product B has a higher
performance than product A after the interaction. A change of presence is also if a person believes
that product B has a higher performance than product A before the interaction and she believes
that product A has a higher performance than product B after the interaction. (In other words
when affordance and final perception have different signs).
We call confirmation of preference the situation in which a person believe that the same product
(A or B) has a higher performance than the other one, both before and after the interaction. (In
other words when affordance and final perception have the same sign).

CONSIDERATION 2
27

We can infer from CONSIDERATION 1 and from the original hypothesis (affordance has no impact
on the final perception) that change of preference has the same probability to happen than
confirmation of preference, if the two products have the same real performance.
In the next step of our analysis we determine the number of change and confirmation of
preference. We consider only the two products with the same performance for each characteristic
in order to use CONSIDERATION 2 in our analysis. We conduct the following passages:
a) For each characteristic we calculate affordance and final performance for each
person
b) We calculate the product of them
c) We indicate with 1 if the product of the differences is positive (+1*+1 or -1*-1), that
means person does not change her idea (confirmation of preference), -1 if the
product is negative (+1*-1, or -1*+1), that means person changes her idea (change
of preference) and 0 if in at least one of the judgment is the same for the two
products.

RESULTS
The results of our first part of the analysis are shown in the table below. The same data are
reported also in the graph below.

Number of Confirm

Number of change

Number of 0

of preference

of preference

significant

Light

48

38

16

battery

48

29

18

weight

33

22

11

Total

129

89

45

Table 15: Number of confirm of preference and number of change of preference for each characteristic

28

60
50
40
30
20
10
0
LIGHT

BATTERY

CONFIRMATION OF PREFERENCE

WEIGHT
CHANGE OF PREFERENCE

Figure 11: Graph of confirmation and change of preference

As we can see the number of confirmations is higher than the number of changes of preference
for every characteristic.
We want to know, now, if this difference is statistical significant. Therefore our new hypothesis is:
affordance has not a positive impact on the final perception.
Considering that our variable can assume only two states (confirm or change) we use a binomial
distribution and we want to calculate the p-value of our hypothesis. Since all the results show that
confirmations are more than changes of preference we consider p-value equal to the probability
to obtain a number of confirmation higher than the one we have obtained. To use binomial
distribution we have to identify the number of the population. We place this number equal to the
sum of confirmation and change of preference. We conduct the same analysis in which we
consider the 0 significant. We have split them half in confirm of preference and half in number of
change of preference. This means that we consider half of the cases as positive impacts but too
small to be perceived and half of the times negative impacts but too small to be perceived.

29

Number of

Number of

Number of

P-VALUE

P-VALUE

confirmations

changes of

0 significant

considering

of preference

preference

light

48

38

16

0.138

0.118

battery

48

29

18

0.02

0.011

weight

33

22

11

0.068

0.05

Total

129

89

45

0.0047

0.0027

0 significant

Table 16: Number of confirmations of preference and number of changes of preference and p-value for each characteristic

SECOND TEST
To further investigations of the significance of this measure we conduct a chi-square test. Thus,
for each characteristic we consider the number of confirmation of preference and change of
preference. Given the hypothesis we have done, we consider the average between the number of
confirmations and the number of changes one (Average) and we calculate the :
Average = (Number of confirmations + Number of changes)/2
= ((Number of confirmations) Average)2/ Average + ((Number of changes) Average)2/
Average
We consider the distribution with 1 degree of freedom in order to determine our p-values.
As done in the previous analysis we consider both the cases with significant 0 and without
significant zero.
The results are illustrated in the table below:

30

Number of

Number of

Number of 0

P-VALUE

P-value

confirm of

change of

significant

considering 0

preference

preference

light

48

38

16

0.32

0.2809

battery

48

29

18

0.05

0.0304

weight

33

22

11

0.17

0.138

total

129

89

45

0.011

0.0067

significant

Table 17: Number of confirm of preference and number of change of preference and p-value for each characteristic

The results show as in general the affordance has a positive impact on the final perception but
with different level of impact. In our case it seems that affordance has a greater impact in which
characteristic that cannot be easily perceived by the customer.

31

LIGHT AND LIFE BATTERY


In order to identify possible relations between the variables, we create the differences matrix that
is the matrix with all the differences before and after the interaction for each performances for
each product and for each person. After that we have calculated the correlation between the rows
of the matrix. Results show that the most important correlations (in this case they are positive) are
between light and battery life.
Before to conduct the analysis we want to discuss about this relation. Given a certain battery we
can say that the total energy is fixed and it not change during the interaction. Therefore, from an
engineering point of view the power used each second and the life of the battery should be
inversely proportional. We know that there is a difference between the concept of power
produced and light perceived since there are other variables that play a role, but we can say that if
a relation exists this should be negative. Indeed a positive relation means that an increased in the
light production cause an increase in life of battery. Thus we expect that the reasoning of the
people is:
More light more energy used less life of the battery
Data shows that the correlation goes in the opposite direction. In particular there is the presence
of a positive correlation between the changed of this two variable among all the four objects.
In order to investigate better this phenomena we conduct a further analysis.
This analysis is similar to the previous one used to prove the existence of the affordance.
HYPOTHESIS
Changes in light perception dont cause changes in battery life perception.
DEFINITION
We call INTERACTION CHANGE the difference between the score after the interaction to the score
before the interaction for each person.
We call POSITIVE CORRELATION the case in which both light and life of the battery have an
INTERACTION CHANGE with the same sign (both negative and positive), for the same person.
32

We call NEGATIVE CORRELATION the cases in which light and life of the battery have an
INTERACTION CHANGE with opposite sign, for the same person.

CONSIDERATION 1
We can infer from the hypothesis that, since there are no significant relation between the two
variables, the probability to have a POSITIVE CORRELATION is equal to the probability to have a
NEGATIVE CORRELATION and so equal to 0.5 for each person.
In the next step of our analysis we determine the number of positive and negative correlation. We
conduct the following passages:
a)

For each characteristic and for each product we calculate the INTERACTION CHANGE for

each person
b)

We calculate the product of the two differences

c)

We indicate with 1 if the product of the differences is positive, that means person changes

in the same way the two scores (POSITIVE CORRELATION), -1 if the product is negative, that means
person changes in the opposite way the two scores (NEGATIVE CORRELATION) and 0 if in at least
one of the judgment is the same for the two product.
For example we consider again the first person. His scores are:

SCORE BEFORE INTERACTION (LIGHT)

SCORE AFTER THE INTERACTION (LIGHT)

PRODUCT A

PRODUCT B

PRODUCT C

PRODUCT D

Table 18: first person of the sample scores of the light

33

SCORE BEFORE INTERACTION (BATTERY

SCORE AFTER THE INTERACTION

LIFE)

(BATTERY LIFE)

PRODUCT A

10

PRODUCT B

PRODUCT C

PRODUCT D

Table 19: first person of the sample scores of the battery life

The second step is to calculate the two difference between columns:


SCORE DIFFERENCE (LIGHT)

SCORE DIFFERENCE (BATTERY LIFE)

PRODUCT A

-1

+3

PRODUCT B

-1

PRODUCT C

-3

-2

PRODUCT D

-2

Table 20: first person of the sample score difference of the light and the battery life

We dont consider the zero again because they dont give us information related to what we are
looking for. Therefore we can conclude that it is present a NEGATIVE CORRELATION for product A
and a POSITIVE CORRELATION for product C. We consider a 0 significant the case in which the
difference of light is different from zero while the different in the battery life is equal to zero. Since
we want to know if change in perception of light has a positive impact on the change in battery
light perception we do not consider cases in which light perception does not change. So in our
example product D is a 0 significant while product B is not.

RESULTS

34

The results of our first part of the analysis are shown in the table below. The same data are
reported also in the graph below.

ZERO
SIGNIFICANT

POSITIVE CORRELATION

NEGATIVE CORRELATION

PRODUCT 1

40

29

26

PRODUCT 2

46

30

24

PRODUCT 3

58

26

18

PRODUCT 4

53

24

19

Table 21: Number of positive correlation and number of negative correlation for each product

58
53
46
40
29

PRODUCT 1

30
26

PRODUCT 2
POSITIVE CORRELATION

PRODUCT 3

24

PRODUCT 4

NEGATIVE CORRELATION

Figure 12: Graph of positive and negative correlation

As we can see the number of positive correlation are always higher than the number of negative
correlation.
We want to determine now if this difference is statistical significant, so we need to understand if it
is true that change of light-score has a positive impact on life of the battery-score.

35

Considering that our variable can assume only two states (positive or negative) we use a binomial
distribution and we want to calculate the p-value of our hypothesis. Since all the results show that
positive correlation are more than negative correlation, we consider the value of the p-value equal
to the probability to obtain a number of positive correlation higher or equal compare to the one
we have obtain. To use binomial distribution we have to identify the number of the population.
We place this number equal to the sum of positive and negative correlation. We conduct the same
analysis including the number of 0 significant. In this case we have split half and half the number
of zero in the two categories. This means that we consider half of the cases as positive impacts but
too small to be perceived and half of the times negative impacts but too small to be perceived.
The table below show the results of our analysis:
POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

ZERO

CORRELATION

CORRELATION

SIGNIFICANT

P-VALUE

P-VALUE

considering 0
significant

PRODUCT 1

40

29

26

0.11

0.074

PRODUCT 2

46

30

24

0.045

0.025

PRODUCT 3

58

26

18

0.0005

0.0001

PRODUCT 4

53

24

19

0.002

0.0003

TOTAL

197

109

37

0.0000022

0.0000003

Table 22: Number of positive correlation and number of negative correlation and p-value for each product

36

SECOND TEST
To further investigations the significance of this measure we conduct a chi-square test. So for
each characteristic we consider the number of confirmation of preference and change of
preference. With the hypothesis done we consider the average between the number of positive
and the number of negative correlation (Average) and we calculate :
Average = (Number of positive + Number of negative)/2
= ((Number of positive) Average)2/ Average + ((Number of negative) Average)2/ Average
We consider the distribution with one degree of freedom in order to determine our p-values.
As done in the previous analysis we consider both the cases with significant 0 and without
significant zero.

The results are illustrated in the table below:


POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

CORRELATION

CORRELATION

ZERO
SIGNIFICANT

P-VALUE

P-VALUE

considering 0
significant

PRODUCT 1

40

29

26

0.26

0.1854

PRODUCT 2

46

30

24

0.11

0.066

PRODUCT 3

58

26

18

0.0015

0.0005

PRODUCT 4

53

24

19

0.003

0.001

TOTAL

197

109

37

0.000002

0.0000005

Table 23: Number of positive correlation and number of negative correlation and p-value for each product

As the results show, the significance for product three, product four and all the 4 products
combined is impressively high (p-value lower than 1 over one thousand), while for the second
product the significance is between 0.1 and 0.05 and for the first it is not good. In light of this

37

results we can conclude that for our torchlights the change in the perception of the light has a
positive impact on the battery perception.
We can conclude that there is a positive relation between these two variables.

In order to identify a direct proportionality we want to develop some further investigations.


We divide data in two main groups according to sign of the variation of the light-score for each
product. We want to understand what happen to the life of the battery-scores in each of these
two groups. If it exists a direct proportionality between these variables we expect the same
behavior both when the light-score increases and when the light-score decreases. Therefore the
main steps of this phase are:
1. Divide the data of each product in two groups according to the sign of the variation of
the light score
2. Divide the data of each group according to the sign of the variation of battery life score
3. Compare the results

RESULTS
PRODUCT 1
INCRESE LIGHT

DECREASE LIGHT

INCREASE BATTERY

18

14

DECREASE BATTERY

15

22

Table 24: Light and battery life relation for product 1.

38

22
18
15

INCRESE LIGHT
INCREASE BATTERY

14

DECREASE LIGHT
DECREASE BATTERY

Figure 13: Increase or decrease of battery in two different scenarios relative of the increase or the decrease of light for product 1

PRODUCT 2
INCRESE LIGHT

DECREASE LIGHT

INCREASE BATTERY

36

DECREASE BATTERY

21

10

Table 25: Light and battery life relation for product 2.

36

21

INCRESE LIGHT
INCREASE BATTERY

10

DECREASE LIGHT
DECREASE BATTERY

Figure 14: Increase or decrease of battery in two different scenarios relative of the increase or the decrease of light for product 2

39

PRODUCT 3
INCRESE LIGHT

DECREASE LIGHT

INCREASE BATTERY

15

17

DECREASE BATTERY

43

Table 26: Light and battery life relation for product 3.

43

17

15
9
INCRESE LIGHT
INCREASE BATTERY

DECREASE LIGHT
DECREASE BATTERY

Figure 15: Increase or decrease of battery in two different scenarios relative of the increase or the decrease of light for product 3

PRODUCT 4
INCRESE LIGHT

DECREASE LIGHT

INCREASE BATTERY

30

DECREASE BATTERY

18

23

Table 27: Light and battery life relation for product 4.

40

30
23
18

6
INCRESE LIGHT

DECREASE LIGHT

INCREASE BATTERY

DECREASE BATTERY

Figure 16: Increase or decrease of battery in two different scenarios relative of the increase or the decrease of light for product 4

Starting from the same considerations we do similar analysis using, this time, normalized data.
POSITIVE CORRELATION

NEGATIVE CORRELATION

PRODUCT 1

61

45

PRODUCT 2

64

43

PRODUCT 3

64

43

PRODUCT 4

70

36

Table 28: Number of positive correlation and negative correlation for standardize data

41

70
64

61

45

64

43

43
36

PRODUCT 1

PRODUCT 2
POSITIVE CORRELATION

PRODUCT 3

PRODUCT 4

NEGATIVE CORRELATION

Figure 17: Graph of positive and negative correlation (standardize data)

As we can see the number of positive correlation are always higher than the number of negative
correlation.
We want to determine now if this difference is statistical significant, so we need to understand if it
is true that change of light-score has a positive impact on life of the battery-score.
In order to verify this we want to understand if our original hypothesis is true or not. We use the
same method used for the last analysis but with new data.
The table below show the results of our analysis using the binomial distribution in the first one and
the chi-square test in the second one:
POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

P-VALUE

CORRELATION

CORRELATION

PRODUCT 1

61

45

0.0491

PRODUCT 2

64

43

0.0165

PRODUCT 3

64

43

0.0165

PRODUCT 4

70

36

0.0003

TOTAL

259

167

0.000003

Table 29: Number of positive correlation and negative correlation for standardize data and p-value of binomial test

42

POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

X-SQUARED

P-VALUE

CORRELATION

CORRELATION

PRODUCT 1

61

45

2.42

0.12

PRODUCT 2

64

43

4.12

0.042

PRODUCT 3

64

43

4.12

0.042

PRODUCT 4

70

36

10.9

0.001

TOTAL

259

167

19.9

0.000008

Table 30: Number of positive correlation and negative correlation for standardize data and p-value of chi-square test

43

DESIGNER AND MARKET


In this thesis we want to investigate also if there are some differences in the perception of the
performances between two particular categories: the designers and the market. From our point of
view, this is really important to know in order to determine if the team of designers has the same
perceptions than the future market. In order to understand this we divide our sample in two
distinct groups:
-

People who are studying engineering as a proxy of designers

The other people as a proxy of market.

Our goal is to evaluate if there is a significant difference between the averages of each products
score between the two groups.
We divide the process in the following step
-

We calculate average and the variance for the engineers

We compare results with the whole samples results

We conduct a statistical analysis

ANALYSIS
We divide our sample and we calculate averages and variances for each category.
The results are shown in the table:

PRICE

LIGHT

BATTERY WEIGHT

Product 1

5.7

5.8

6.1

6.9

Product 2

4.3

4.8

5.4

2.1

Product 3

7.0

7.1

6.9

5.4

Product 4

5.8

6.4

7.0

5.2

Table 31: Average for engineers group

44

For the following analysis we use normalized data since we are interested in the relative
preference:
PRICE

LIGHT

BATTERY WEIGHT

Product 1

0.08

-0.11

-0.14

0.69

Product 2

-0.31

-0.65

-0.48

-1.07

Product 3

0.22

0.54

0.24

0.31

Product 4

0.01

0.22

0.38

0.07

Table 32: Average for engineers group (standardize data)

The standard deviations of the averages are shown in the table below:
PRICE

LIGHT

BATTERY WEIGHT

Product 1

0.09

0.19

0.20

0.14

Product 2

0.07

0.15

0.20

0.08

Product 3

0.06

0.13

0.11

0.15

Product 4

0.08

0.14

0.14

0.10

Table 33: Standard deviation of the average for engineers group (standardize data)

COMPARISON
In order to better highlight the differences between the two groups we create some graphs which
show the averages of the whole group (blue) and the ones of the engineers group.

45

LIGHT
0,8
0,6
0,4
0,2
0
-0,2

-0,4
-0,6
-0,8
-1
ALL

ENG

Figure 18: Comparison between averages of the products between engineers and others (standardize data)

Looking this graph it is absolutely evident how engineers have a different perception of the
product 1. While people associate dimensions of the object to the real performance engineers
seems to think differently and based their evaluation on different parameters like for example the
material of the product.

BATTERY
0,6
0,4
0,2
0
-0,2

-0,4
-0,6
ALL

ENG

Figure 19: Comparison between averages of the products between engineers and others (standardize data)

It is clear again how product 1 and product 4 are perceived completely differently between the
two groups.

46

WEIGHT
1,5
1
0,5
0
-0,5

-1
-1,5
ALL

ENG

Figure 20: Comparison between averages of the products between engineers and others (standardize data)

In this case it seems that the phenomena we highlights is still present but in a lighter measure.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
In order to evaluate if the differences are significant we conduct an analysis similar to the first
analysis we have done to investigate the existence of the affordance.
We calculate the differences of the averages and variance ratio and we since we have a group of
24 individuals we suppose a Gaussian distribution of the average according to the central limit
theorem.
In the table below we show the standard deviations of each variable, the difference between the
averages (whole group and engineers group), ratio between these two measures and in the end
the significance of this difference for each characteristic.

47

LIGHT
STANDARD

DIFFERENCE

RATIO

DEVIATION

BETWEEN

AVERAGE-

AVERAGES

STANDARD DEV

P-VALUE

Product 1

0.19

0.40

2.12

0.0354

Product 2

0.15

-0.10

-0.66

0.5092

Product 3

0.13

-0.14

-1.07

0.2846

Product 4

0.14

-0.16

-1.08

0.2800

P-VALUE

Table 34: Standard deviation, difference between averages, p-value

BATTERY
STANDARD

DIFFERENCE

RATIO

DEVIATION

BETWEEN

AVERAGE-

AVERAGES

STANDARD DEV

Product 1

0.20

0.37

1.87

0.0608

Product 2

0.20

-0.02

-0.08

0.9362

Product 3

0.11

-0.01

-0.07

0.9442

Product 4

0.14

-0.35

-2.50

0.0124

Table 35: Standard deviation, difference between averages, p-value

48

WEIGHT
STANDARD

DIFFERENCE

RATIO

DEVIATION

BETWEEN

AVERAGE-

AVERAGES

STANDARD DEV

P-VALUE

Product 1

0.135

0.269

1.99

0.0466

Product 2

0.079

-0.199

-2.54

0.011

Product 3

0.147

-0.107

-0.72

0.4716

Product 4

0.096

0.037

0.38

0.7040

Table 36: Standard deviation, difference between averages, p-value

The results show that for product 1 the differences are always significant that means engineers
have a different perception of the performances of this product compare to the whole group.

49

CONCLUSION
The analysis done show that affordance has an impact on the customer-final-perception of the
product. Therefore it is important to study them in order to maximize the customer satisfaction. It
is necessary also consider the moment in which the client has to judge, her level of knowledge and
experience that can reduce the importance of the affordance. It is also worth to be mentioned
that impact of affordance seems differ according to the perceptibility of the performance.
Our study also highlights there are some characteristics that drive other in the customer
perception and they do not always respect the physic relationship. This is really important in order
to understand the customer perception and the relationship between each characteristic in this
world. The study shows also that sometime the expectation of the designer could be different
from the reality. This fact is also strengthen by our investigation on designers and market, where
we prove how some perceptions of the designers could be really different from the customer
perceptions.
Further investigation will be conduct in order to better understand if exist common path in the
perception of the affordance and if we can group people according to their expectation in terms of
affordance.
A possible evolution to this work could be conducted in order to better understand the level of the
perceptibility of the performance and at the same time to try to quantify the impact of each
affordance on final perception.

50

Age

Sex

Major

How much will you pay for those flashlight?

A
B
C
D
How much light do they produce?

A
B
C
D
How much do their batteries work?

A
B
C
D
51

What is their weight?

A
B
C
D

NOW YOU CAN INTERACT WITH THEM FOR 5 SECONDS EACH ONE AND ONLY ONE
PER TIME.

52

How much light do they produce?

A
B
C
D
How much do their batteries work?

A
B
C
D
What is their weight?

A
B
C
D
53

How easy is it to be damaged? (loss of color, engravings, worn-down, corrosion....)

A
B
C
D
How much will you pay for those flashlight?

A
B
C
D

54