“Appropriation means that users integrate technology into their everyday practices, adapting and sometimes transforming its original design. It covers the use, the modification, the reuse and further development of artefacts in ways often un­ foreseen by the original designers (Dix 2007). Reacting to the initial design of an artefact and changing it according to other needs has been described as a common consumer and user activity (Pacey 1983). The material aspects of Internet culture and the effective possibilities for collaboration have only aggravated this practice on a global scale. Appropriation is related to affordance, because the material characteristics and the design choices affect the act of appropriation. Design and the specific material qualities form the basis for use and appropriation.
Figure 2. Affordance, appropriation and design.
As shown in figure 2, affordance, appropriation and design are interdependent. Affordance exists in both, namely the specific material features used for design, and in the design process, which also constitutes affordance. Design is the formalization of anticipated user activities through the use of certain materials or technologies and the shaping of these into artefacts that constitute the designated affordances. The challenge for design is to employ material characteristics accordingly. A pro­totypical example of contradictory design will be presented in the case of the Microsoft Xbox, a game console that actually had the typical characteristics of a per­sonal computer but was limited, due to its design, to the functionality of a game console. Users hacked and modified the game console in ways unintended by the vendor. Microsoft learned from these acts of user appropriation and formalized several aspects into the design of the next game console, the Xbox 360, aiming to include several forms of game console use and attempting to exclude others that were more efficient than the older design. The labour of user communities, their innovations and their way of using a device were then formalized into new design decisions and therefore implemented in further developments. During all stages of development, the involved participants can be professional designers employed by a company, individual users, a collective of enthusiastic students, or a user commu­nity, a team of hackers and so on; all of these participants are users and producers.”

Quoted from

Schäfer, M. T. (2011) Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production. Amsterdam University Press. pp. 19 – 21