From W3C Wiki
Some additional background and references on the concept of affordances.
Psychologist James J. Gibson introduced the term "affordances" in the 1977 article "The Theory of Affordances" and later as a chapter in his 1986 book "The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception."
The affordances of the environment are what it offers ... what it provides or furnishes, either for good or ill. The verb 'to afford' is found in the dictionary, but the noun 'affordance' is not. I have made it up (page 126).
Don Norman used the term "affordances" in 1988 in his book "The [Design|Psychology] of Everyday Things."
"...the term affordance refers to the perceived and actual properties of the thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possibly be used. (pg 9)"
- Affordances and Design
- Affordance, Conventions and Design (Part 2)
- Signifiers, not affordances
Roy Fielding used the term "affordance" in 2008 Presentation on REST.
"When I say Hypertext, I mean the simultaneous presentation of information and controls such that the information becomes the affordance through which the user obtains choices and selects actions (slide #50)."