Exercise Five: Dani Kuindersma <3&</3

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Hamilton Beach Grill

The grill has the obvious affordance of a handle attached to the front. The handle is indented to show you where your fingers are supposed to go and is tilted to indicate an upward lift to open the grill. On the inside there are grill plates on the bottom and top of the grill, indicating that you can grill food on both sides. Also the plug has 3 prongs, clearly indicating which way it should be plugged in. This is an affordance, but at the same time a barrier constraint.

There are multiple other constraints, all seen in the timer on the front of the grill. First, there is a physical constraint. It is also a barrier, because the timer physically cannot be turned counter clockwise. There are also two psychological constraints. The first is the use of symbols, seen in the dots on the timer. There are 4 dots between ever 5 minute marker, showing each minute. Since there are no dots between the 15 minute spot and the 0 minute spot there is a psychological constraint informing the user that the timer should not be turned backwards past the 0. There is also the convention of turning things clockwise, which we have all learned through the use of wall clocks.

Finally, the grill utilizes visibility with a bright orange light on the front which glows when the grill is on. This is useful because you know when your meat is cooking and when the grill is dangerous to touch.

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WAHL Razor Charger

This item has very little of the basic principles of design being used properly. It does have the affordance of a hole in the base of the charger, which is an obvious spot to put the razor. There is also a physical constraint in the form of a barrier, seen in the inability to put the razor in upside down. These are the only positive things about the razor.

There is no barrier constraint on the plug, which causes problems trying to plug it in. Also, the affordance of the hole is nowhere near perfect, because although the hole indicates the spot for the razor, it is not properly fitted to the size of the razor. While the razor is inside it can be moved around very easily. This, tied in with the fact that there is no visibility because there is no light or any form of indication of the razors charged state, gives the user no assurance that the razor is in fact charging.