tom haynes

False affordances

For serious UI geeks, one way to see an intelligent control interface is as a false affordance – like a knob that cannot be turned, or a chair that cannot be sat in. The worst kind of false affordance is an unreliable affordance – a knob that can be turned except when it can’t, a chair that’s a cozy place to sit except when it rams a hidden metal spike deep into your tender parts.

Mencius Moldbug, from an article about Wolfram Alpha’s interface.