Learning Portfolio 1- Summary

This article, the Aesthetic-Usability Effect, (Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. 2003) discusses the psychological effects that an aesthetically pleasingly designed product, may have on the individual.

When we use a product that may not function the way we perceive it to do so, it may cause such emotions as frustration, impatience, stress and negativity resulting in the user feeling compelled to cease using such a product. This can also be called ‘usability mood’, (Jacobs, D. 2014). However, if a product is perceived as being more attractive in the first instance, our desire to use it is heightened, thus creating a more positive environment in which we can establish feelings such as patience, excitement, even affection towards a device, the consequence being long-term usability and success.

Although these aesthetically agreeable devices draw us in initially, often they may not perform as well as the less aesthetically pleasing counterpart. ( Jacobs, D. 2014 ).  As experiments have shown,  we purchase a product on face-value, and they may not function in a practical, user-friendly way.  This can be a perception which leads us to frustration if purchasing a product based on looks alone. Clever design means that beauty and usability are in balance.. ( Norman, D. 2002 )

A well designed product is integral to the end result being satisfactory to the consumer, as well as being practical and pleasing to the eye. Certain elements and principles of design contribute towards a product being both these things such as shape, colour, texture, proportion and balance. When a product is designed properly, we achieve our goals more efficiently and effectively making us feel positive and creative about our achievements, thus wanting to use this product more. The old saying, “form follows function”, is prevalent in these circumstances. (thevisualcommunicationguy.com)

As Thomas J Watson said, “Good design is good business.” ( identity visuals.com  )


Doctor Disruption » Principles of Design #6 – Aesthetic-Usability       Effect. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.doctordisruption.com/design/principles-of-design-6-aesthetic-usability-effect/

Emotion & Design: Attractive things work better – jnd.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/emotion_design_at.html

Jacobs, D. (2014). The cultural side of innovation: Adding values.

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principals of Design (pp.18-19). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Search results for “aesthetic design principles”. (n.d.). Retrieved      from http://thevisualcommunicationguy.com/?s=aesthetic+design+principles


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