Functional tones is a concept that originates in theoretical biology and resembles how the concept ‘affordances’ is used. Both functional tones and affordances are concepts dealing with particularly salient features in an individual’s immediate environment. The concept of affordances has proven useful for practitioners of usability and design as it supports intuitive ways of classifying how action possibilities match between a person and an object . Functional tones have, however, thus far remained obscure among practitioners, despite functional tones having a stronger theoretical foundation and facilitates a deeper and more human-centred analysis of interaction. The functional tones related to an object depend not only on the modes of sensation and action the perceiver is capable of, but also more subjective aspects such as experience, motivation and emotions. Using functional tones in design or analysis of interaction provides a fundamentally user experience centred perspective while avoiding the philosophical luggage of affordances.
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