An Affordance Experiment

affordance, (n) : the quality of software that naturally leads people to take the correct steps to accomplish their goals

This is an experiment to see what design decisions and compromises are made when trying to make a parameter tree control that provides the most intuitive interface possible. This application is an attempt to let you manipulate parameters that control the vector graphic on the right in natural ways.

Download (About 27 KB).
Requirements Windows 2000/NT/XP, MFC71.dll and MSVCR71.dll.
Instructions Download and open the archive. There's no installer. Affordance.exe is the application.
SourceCode (About 3K). These are the sources (C++ templatized patterns) for the architecture behind the control.

The fine print:
Updated 10/15/2004
  • Better hierarchical expand/contract button.
  • An undo stack
  • Dragging on labels modifies parameters
  • Direct value entry for parameters
  • A little math would enable more direct manipulation on the wireframe.
  • A visual indicator on whether a parameter is at its default value.