Design verbs not objects

When designing any system, think first about the verbs present in that system. Designers will call these affordances, what does the object afford you the ability to do? Game designers call them game mechanics, which is closer to the truth. I call them verbs.

Verbs multiply the possibility of interaction which can create a space giving the participant agency. Combo moves in video games are an example of how just a few core interactions can combine to create a large amount of possibilities.

Objects have inherent verb associations, by designing with familiar objects you limit to specific verbs of interaction (button=click; tree=climb). By first designing the verbs of interaction, Verbs shape the design of objects.

Related: Vocabulary of computer interaction may still be nascent