Category Archives: LEARNING PORTFOLIO 1

Question two-LP 1, Study of products

ITEM ONE – Alessi juicy salif citrus juicer

This juicer is a prime example of function and form, and why people are persuaded to buy this product because of the aesthetic-usability effect.  Being an iconic product, designed by Phillippe Starck for Italian design brand Alessi in the 1980’s. ( Watson-Smyth, K. 2010 ) it’s the quintessential modern kitchen accessory with a martian-space like appearance that draws the consumer to questioning how the object may actually work.

The juicer stands about 30cm high and is made from polished, cast aluminium which is acid resistant. ( ). The way the juicer functions is simple: When the fruit is crushed on the top of the juicer, the juice simply runs down the elongated shape and into a glass, yet making a small mess in the process!

The item would naturally become a talking point for people, thus becoming an attractive piece of industrial design for one to have in their kitchens primarily for the attached name._MG_2678_2

ITEM TWO-  Kettle.

This kettle has a simple, attractive aesthetic which conveys practicality and functionality. Upon initial inspection, the simplicity of the design and use of consistent language are user friendly, easy and coheres to the overall user experience.


The kettle is obviously a modern take on an old design, where one waited and waited for the kettle to boil and whistle on the stove top.  The new version is simple and basic, which means its ability to prevent errors is minor, and the usability of the product is communicated well in its presentation and operation. Simply filling the device with water, placing it in its charger and pressing the green button until it quickly boils with a ‘ding’ sound indicator.

The kettle is durable in its material of polished aluminium, and minimal cleaning is required, it sits stably on the bench top in its charger and is not a complex or confusing everyday product to use.


The iPod has revolutionised the way we listen to music. With its sleek and simple design, its no wonder we choose this MP3 over other designs. The iPod has a name attached to it also, so people assume that if Apple mac have designed the iPod, it will function in a superior way compared to other brands, which is an example of the aesthetic-usability product. The wide list of features is also appealing to the buyer, and its simple scroll down system is an operation superior to other MP3’s. The iPod is known though to have problems attached to it such as screen freezing, but this does not seem to deter the buyer!_MG_2681 2




Citrus-squeezer – Juicy Salif PSJS | Alessi. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Secret History Of: Philippe Starck’s lemon squeezer – Interiors – Property – The Independent. (n.d.). Retrieved from

 Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principals of Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts; Rockport.


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. (

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


Doctor Disruption » Principles of Design #6 – Aesthetic-Usability       Effect. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Emotion & Design: Attractive things work better – (n.d.). Retrieved from

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