Online Media Practice — A Case Study

The reading from Norman (1998), is situated from within a field of design. He describes affordances in that context as being the ‘perceived and actual properties of a thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine how the thing could possible be used’ (p.9). The initial concept of an affordance was coined by psychologist James Gibson in 1979, in his work The Ecological Approach to Human Perception. Within the context of this affordance reading, a constraint is basically the converse of an affordance — it’s the ‘actual and perceived attributes of an object or system that limits its possible uses.’ Affordances and constraints are useful to understand when analysing online video because they allow us to understand why certain things have occurred in the piece as a result of, for example, the service it was published on.

The video we wanna focus on is an advertisement from What’s On Melbourne, advertising the new club named Holy Moley.


We chose this advertisement because it attracts the audiences very well, It captured every fantastic moment that people can do in this new club and with fast transiting scenes and fast rhythm of the music, the only one-minute video shows much more than we can imagine which also makes the video more lively and not boring to view. It gives people a sense of active and enthusiastic. If there is no editing, the music and live action will not be combined so well . I guess the video was recorded by some professional cameras like DSLR for it seems like high definition work.

The service this online video is published on is Facebook. As many will know, this service was started by Mark Zuckerberg while at college, but over time has grown to accomodate a worldwide userbase. The service itself has developed far more of an emphasis on video as time has gone on. In terms of the affordances it provides, it allows any user to upload their own content and make it as public or as private as they wish. Videos autoplay in someone’s feed, which can often draw people to watch something they wouldn’t initially have watched, had they only seen the thumbnail. Most videos are shared natively on Facebook, however users can share videos from other websites such as YouTube — these however will lose that autoplay feature that was previously mentioned. There is no restriction on the duration of videos as well, which ensures that users don’t feel restricted in regards to what they choose to upload.