Home > Learning Portfolio 1 > Aesthetic-Usability Effect Analysis (Item 1 / Q1 Summary)

Aesthetic-Usability Effect Analysis (Item 1 / Q1 Summary)

An extract from their article, Lidwell, Holden & Butler (2003) explains the effects in Aesthetic-Usability and how the general public in today’s society react to Aesthetic designs, how they present possibly difficult objects as ‘easier to use’ rather than the negatives.

A brief description extracted from Mark Boulton’s (2005) journal online describes Aesthetic-Usability Effect as “a condition whereby users perceive more aesthetically pleasing designs to be easier to use than less aesthetically pleasing designs.”

Figure 1: Computer Skills (Source: University of New South Wales, 2012)

Further into Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s extract, they go into depth with aesthetic designs and highlight how they will always be presented as easier to use, even though they are or are not easier to use in the first place. A prime example within the text “…in a study of how people use computers, researches found that early impressions influenced long-term attitudes about their quality and use.”  (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003)

Aesthetics in our life-world play a crucial role in the way design is seen and used today. Here is a brief example of aesthetic-usability and its design; the ‘in-vehicle navigational display’. Lavie, Oron-Gilard & Meyer (2011) from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management have conducted studies on the in-vehicle navigational display. The first (1st) study was on the aesthetic scale to “accommodate evaluations of map displays”. The second (2nd) study on the map displays and how much they present on-screen. So it’s with these key factors that people care for the most with in-vehicle navigational displays.

Towers (2010) has stated negatively towards the subject matter of Aesthetic-Usability with “The aesthetics of a product have far reaching consequences”. Further into her article, she explains in dot point what aesthetic design of a product can cause to the general public, like for example; a product may be ‘nicely’ presented but lacks the proper components, but because the product is more appealing, it could lead to the user having positive feelings to it, and thus could lead to a large majority giving the product positive reviews, which would increase sales.

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Boulton, M. (2005) Aesthetic-Usability Effect. Retrieved from http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/aesthetic-usability-effect

Lavie, T., Oron-Gilard, T., & Meyer, J. (2011). International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle navigational displays, 69(1-2). (pp. 80-99).

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

Towers, A. (2010) Usability Friction. Aesthetic Usability Effect. Retrieved from http://usabilityfriction.com/2010/03/30/aesthetic-usability-effect/

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