Posts Tagged ‘internal’

Consistency Examples (Item 1&2 / Q2 Examples)

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Figure 1: Traffic Lights (Source: X-PERT GENERAL SERVICES, LLC., 2012)

I’ll be delivering three (3) examples of consistency, the specific principles of consistency will range from aesthetic-consistency to functional-consistency. To begin, I’ll be using the example of the traffic light. The traffic light is an example for the functional consistency principle, as we are aware of the meaning behind what the traffic light is there for. The traffic light is an object in which it indicates to vehicles whilst on the road when to stop, go or slow-down when approaching joint roads that clash. How the traffic lights are controlled, as explained from the Brisbane City Council’s (2008) ‘Roads & Traffic Fact Sheet’; “Traffic lights are controlled by a local computer at each intersection and is networked for remote access by traffic engineers or officers […]”.

Figure 2: The Prisoners & The Light Switch Riddle (Source:, 2012)

The second (2nd) example is that of the light switch. The light switch is a little switch within a room that turns on the light, it is associated with the aesthetic-consistency principle. Reason being is because when we know of the appearance of a light switch and the placement within a room. The Fun Times Guide (2012) states the placement of a light switch “You should place all light switches on the latch side of a door, not the hinge side. This makes it easier to access the lights as you walk in or out of a room.” When we enter a dark room, we tend to feel around the side of a doorway for a light switch, we know aesthetically what the light switch would ‘feel’ like, ‘look’ like and what its purpose is.

Figure 3: Lost Lake Park Signs (Source: Whistler – Xmas, 2001)

The final example is extracted from Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s (2003) ‘Universal Principles in Design’, and the example highlighted is the internal-consistent ‘Signs within a park’. Signs within a park are consistent with each other as they show the same purpose, to indicate to the visitor where a certain place is, what to look out for, where to go and so on. All of the information is confined within the same area, thus they’re connected with each other. Same can be said about signs within a ‘zoo’ or a ‘golf course’, each have the same criteria and purpose, delivering the same information only in a new setting.

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Brisbane City Council. (2008). Roads & Traffic Fact Sheet. Traffic Lights. (pp. 1-4).

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design. (p. 46).

The Fun Times Guide. (2012). Where Should You Put Your Light Switches?. Retrieved from


Consistency Analysis (Item 1 / Q1 Summary)

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Lidwell, Holden & Butler (2003) briefly explain the meaning behind the systems of consistency and how they’re connected with each other in similar ways. The four (4) systems or principles of consistency are; aesthetic, functional, internal and external.

Figure 1: Yellow Light: Knowing When to Go and When to Stop (Source: Cimarron Claims Service, Inc., 2012)

Each of the principles are defined, starting with aesthetic-consistency; it’s the appearance and style that delivers an emotional attachment with an individual’s product, for example, hood ornaments on a vehicle to identify if it’s popular or not (e.g., Mercedes-Benz). Same can be said about company logos. Functional-consistency is the “meaning and action” behind consistency, an example Lidwell, Holden & Butler use, is traffic lights, how the colour ‘yellow’ indicates to a vehicle to slow-down before the traffic light shows red, meaning to ‘stop’. Internal-consistency is consistency within a system, an example the authors use is signs within a park that a consistent with each other; same with golf-course signs, guiding the individual to each hole. Finally, external-consistency is the consistent with other element in the environment, for example, alarms bring warning but for each alarm, it has a different meaning, there’s a significant difference between the alarm sound from an ‘ambulance’ than a ‘police car’.

For a better demonstration of consistency, Simon (2010) uses the example of a feature film. Aesthetic consistency is used within the feature film project; the production costs and what brand of equipment/software will better suit making the project look fantastic. Simon goes on to explain “Having such a high grade product for the narrative driver is a blessing and a curse.” He continues to weigh the pros and cons. Pro: when having a successful budget to produce the film, it will show how good the quality of the brand the director is using is. Con: Using such brand may produce obstacles for the other platforms. Another fine example is from the Australian Government (2011) and their demonstration of consistent work habits; “Consistency regarding appropriate attitude, commitment, and performance at work is important in any workplace.” One (1) example of consistency within work is using a pin-up or whiteboard in the work area for all relevant work information.

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Commonwealth of Australia. (2011). Demonstrating consistent work habits. Retrieved from

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design. (p. 46).

Rossi, F., Villa-Vialaneix, N. (2011). Pattern Recognition Letters. Consistency of functional learning methods based on derivatives. (pp. 1197-1209).

Simon, J. (2010). Transmythology. Aesthetic Consistency Across Platforms. Retrieved from