A Podcast on Affordances and Adaptive Interfaces with Justin Davis

Photo of Justin Davis
Justin Davis of Madera Labs

Justin Davis of Madera Labs is a great speaker and a lot of fun to talk with. I met Justin in 2010 in Lisbon Portugal, where we were both speaking at the UXLX conference.  I invited him to speak on a panel with me at the HCI conference in 2011. I think we talked non-stop for 5 hours one day at the conference. Most of that was just because we can’t stop talking about user experience and designing interfaces, but for a half hour we turned on the microphones and recorded an interview together. It’s a deep dive into affordances and adaptive interfaces.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on this link (30 minute podcast)

In this podcast we talk about:

What is an affordance 

Are affordances important on even something as mundane as a form (the answer is yes)

Have affordances been disappearing over time in interfaces?

Why it is a problem when affordances are missing

Is there a clash between visual design styling and human cognition

The 4 types of affordances — (we refer to the chart below in the podcast):

Chart about affordances

How thinking about affordances helps pay attention to the small things that are important but can be overlooked.

In addition to talking about affordances we talked about adaptive interactions – where the website/app changes based on the users’ actions, including:

Content based adaptation – change content on the page based on your past behavioral data

Content based filtering – change your interaction choices based on your past behavior

Collaborative filtering – change content and interaction based on what others have done who seem to like what you like

Interaction adaptation – the interface changes, not based on content consumption, but based on how you move through the interface.

What do you think? Are affordances important? What is the future of adaptive interfaces?

FYI — Justin’s twitter address is: @jwd2a