Title: Turing machine task analysis: a method for modelling affordances in the design process

Authors: Thierry Morineau

Addresses: CRPCC-LESTIC Laboratory, University of Southern Brittany, Centre Yves Coppens, Campus de Tohannic, 56000 Vannes, France

Abstract: Recently, the affordance-based approach was promoted as an ecological design methodology integrating the user-object interaction dimension. However, the number of properties afforded by an object can potentially be very large. We present a new method called Turing machine task analysis (TMTA). This method is respectively founded on ecological psychology and Turing machine formalism. This method allows for identifying relevant affordances in the scope of a particular task and possible user-object configurations that can involve degraded situations of interaction. We illustrate the application of TMTA on the task of writing a message on a paper with a pen. We conclude that TMTA can help the designer to explore affordances through a formalised simulation of task.

Keywords: ecological psychology; design process; Turing machine; design methodology; affordances; work domain analysis; WDA; user interaction; cognitive engineering; task analysis; ecological design; task analysis; task simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDE.2011.041409

International Journal of Design Engineering, 2011 Vol.4 No.1, pp.58 - 70

Available online: 21 Jul 2011 *

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