Exercise Five – Braden Mangione

The item I love is my wireless mouse. It is just the right size to fit in your hand, brilliant affordance for such actions. More towards this same theme is how the buttons are in the perfect places for your fingers to be placed perfectly on top of them, for maximum clickable comfort. And since it is only comfortable holding one way, there’s no way one can mistake it for being held any ways but the correct way. It has little constraint, the only one being the click wheel which one may use to scroll through pages with. It turns on a horizontal axis towards or away from your hand, but never stopping at any point along the way. This is a very minor constraint if it can be considered one. Its mapping is perfect, having buttons precisely where your fingers sit comfortably when holding it in your hand. There are no confusing buttons or instructions or placements on it. Although visibility is not a huge factor when designing a mouse, my mouse still possesses it, clearly showing the boundaries of the left and right buttons, as well as the scroll wheel, and the small button which opens the battery compartment. It is an entirely intuitive devise and is an easy object with which to interact.

My coffee grinder is the thing I hate. It is an odd shape and weight, not making it incredibly easy to pick up or grab. Also the cord is short, which makes it hard to plug in. It doesn’t have much gripping or moving or placing affordance. The one constraint is the embossing on the top cover saying ‘do not remove cover until blades stop turning.’ Of course when your hand is on the cover holding it down, which it needs to be while grinding, one cannot see the warning. Excellent mapping skills were just a little out of reach I suppose. The other mapping flaw is the placement of the actual grind button. One approaches the grinder intending to lock the top cover down, and instead grinds whatever is in the way of the blades. They will also soon find that they need to hold down the button until the coffee grinds are ready, making it impossible to do other activities one would normally do while their coffee beans are grinding, like sleeping or eating or brushing his/her hair. There is absolutely no visibility on this design. There is no way of telling if you are doing the right thing, and even when you are, for example when holding down the cover until the coffee is ground, one must stop grinding to check if it is done, wasting time and regretting their choice to buy this coffee grinder in the first place.