Icons, Icons, Icons.

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The one item I use everyday is my laptop computer. It is filled with all kinds of cognitive affordances; mostly icons. One of the few that stand out always are the ones pictured above. Again, a cognitive affordance improves human mental/thinking capabilities and are characteristics in the appearance of a device that give clues for its proper operation. The icons pictured above all have a purpose to help the user.

The first 3 buttons pictured are 1. Windows mobility center 2. dell support center 3. blackout screen. No labels are needed, they are cognitive affordances. They inform the user (me) that if I want to go to mobility center, dell support center, or blackout my screen, I just have to click on them. The next 5 icons inform me of the status of my computer. The arrow pointing up is to show the extra icons that are programs running in the background, which are unimportant. The flag is to notify me of important issues that need attention regarding my computer. For example, if my firewall isn’t working then I would click on the flag to see what I can do to fix that issue. Next is battery icon, which simply notifies me how much battery life I have left to keep my computer on and running. When I connect my computer to an outlet, this icon changes to a batter with an outlet plug. Next it’s the Wi-fi icon. This displays that my computer is connected to Wi-fi. If it’s not then the icon would show yellow triangle with an exclamation point. Lastly, the volume/audio icon. This icon allows me to see all the audio inputs and volume for my comptuer, and I can easily change the volume level by clicking on it.

The last bottom picture is familiar to all Windows 7 OS users. These icons are what allows us to use our software programs, and they need not a label to let us know what they are.


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