Learning Portfolio One Q1 Summery

This article discusses how the aesthetic-usability effect works in relation to particular products to help persuade people to purchase them. The aesthetic-usability effect describes the phenomenon where people are more inclined to believe that products with a more aesthetically pleasing design are easier to use than those with a less aesthetically pleasing design. This principle states that if a product looks appealing, and often very simple, the consumer with choose it over another model which looks more complicated even if it is untrue.  The use of aesthetically pleasing designs has increased in recent years because other companies are forced to adopt them in order to stay viable, without it they could lose customers and business and would be unable to stay in business. There are many reasons why this tactic is usefully when trying to sell products. the most common reason is that with the increase in our technological capabilities people are worried that some products many to too complicated to used if they have never owned/used one before(Reineche, Bernstein, 2011). By using a simple but appealing design the creator is showing that the product is easy to use and that anyone of any age can use it, even if that is not strictly the case. By combining factors such as colour combinations, text size and fonts and visual layout (Lee & Koubeka, 2011) designers are able to produce products which not only look good but also look functional and easy to use. This is the key to the aesthetic-usability effect, if a product looked good but not functional or too complicated a customer would be less likely to purchase it but by using this effect they are able to draw people in, they also use this to keep customers coming back to their products. Light colours such as white, silver and light blue are often used because they stimulate people to feel positive about something, they are also used because they give the feeling of something being ‘modern’ which is important to people especially if they are buying a phone or laptop computer. Many people believe that the ‘newer’ a product is the easier it will be to use (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). The way a product look and feels will always be a huge factor when designing a product because we as a consumer are driven, especially in society today, to make life easier and stress free. Tools such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets allow us to simplify our day to day lives and are the products which benefit the most from the aesthetic-usability effect because how they look and feel usually dictates how easy they are to use (Sonderegger, Sauer, 2010).  


Lee, Sangwon; Koubeka, Richard J. (2011). “The Impact of Cognitive Style on User Preference Based on Usability and Aesthetics for Computer-Based Systems”. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction. 27(11) pp. 1083-1114

Lidwell, William; Holden, Kritina; Butler, Jill (2003). Universal Principles of Design. Rockport.

Sonderegger, Andreas; Sauer, Juergen (2010). “The influence of design aesthetics in usability testing: Effects on user performance and perceived usability”. Applied Ergonomics. 4 (3): 403–410

Reineche, Katharina; Bernstein, Abraham (2011). “Improving Performance, Perceived Usability, and Aesthetics with Culturally Adaptive User Interface”. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction


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