Bailey Henderson: exercise 5

Love: Mechanical Pencil

I love this mechanical pencil because it is a comfortable size and shape for gripping and holding in one’s hand. This pencil affords griping because it has a soft, textured, rubber area towards the tip, where one’s fingers naturally should be placed.

The mapping of this pencil is natural: there is a button on the end, that when pushed down, protracts the tip. This button looks like it should be pushed. It is expected that this pushing will cause a protraction of some sort, which it does do. This effect corresponds to the expectation, thus the mapping is good.

This pencil also has good visibility in terms of it giving feedback. When the button is pushed, it makes a loud clicking noise. This click indicates that the action has been performed and completed. If ever the pencil does not make this click, one automatically knows that something is preventing the pencil  from working properly.

Overall, this is a comfortable and easy to use pencil.

Hate: Hair dryer

This hair dryer is irritating to use for a number of reasons.

The reach to the hair dryer is very uncomfortable because it is located too high up on the wall.

The constraint of this device is bad. The hair dryer is connected to a mount on the wall with a cord that is not long enough. This short cord does not pull far enough from the wall to provide a comfortable reach when drying one’s hair. This cord is a constraint, which complicates an otherwise simple task.

What is most irritating about this hair dryer is that to use it, one must constantly hold down the “on” button, which is located on the wall mount, which is hard to reach. This means that there is only one free hand to dry the hair with, which is more difficult to do. When one takes one’s finger off of the “on” button, the hair dryer turns off. This completely defeats the purpose of the “off” button, which does absolutely nothing to speak of.

This is bad affordance because one would assume that the “on” button would remain on, once pushed. One would also expect the “off” button to turn the hair dryer off. Neither of these things happen; one’s expectation is not met, which indicates bad mapping.