This article addresses the advantages of aesthetic designs in comparison to the drawbacks of less-appealing designs. It fosters the integral, positive outcomes such as problem solving and creativity when engaging with aesthetic designs. Most importantly, it draws a close link between the usability and the aesthetic appeal of products, which creates an assuring relationship.
The importance of visual stimuli in product design is crucial given that innovative designs in the modern age aspire to create products that can be experienced both aesthetically and emotionally. The terms aesthetic and usability are used to describe and define the designer’s intentions and the user’s response.
Attractive designs opposed to unattractive designs ‘have a higher probability of being used’ (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2010, p. 18). By implementing novel design characteristics to enhance a product’s overall performance, the user is accustomed to an ergonomic relationship with the design. This gives rise to the product’s usability through the user’s favorability and preference. On the other hand, Shin argues that aesthetic and usability are two conflicting principles of design in which the designers ‘underestimate usability in favor of aesthetics’ (2012, p. 566). He argues that the effectiveness of the product’s design features should outweigh the tendency for irrelevant and engaging enhancements that attract our attention.
In contrast to Shin’s perspective, Jacobs asserts that a successful design can be classified in the way it deals simultaneously with ‘beauty’ and applicability ‘to accomplish the goals of the user in an efficient, healthy, easy and pleasant way’ (2013, p. 96). This way, by creating this balance, the product is likely to be used consistently while generating positive feelings of exchange and loyalty. The minor glitches in the product’s usability expectations are immensely acceptable if the appearance and aesthetic components are positively enticing.
In addition, usability testing is a method that showcases how a user responds to or perceives a particular product. Attractiveness plays a big role in our lives where ‘physical beauty’ is the dominant characteristic ‘in the interaction between humans’ (Sonderegger & Sauer, 2010, p. 404). Furthermore, our initial impressions of a product are positively influenced by the aesthetic design, which enables us to engage and respond creatively to it. This demonstrates the strong association users have with appealing and manageable compositions.
Jacobs, D. (2013). The cultural side of innovation: Adding values. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Universal principles of design. Massachusetts, MA: Rockport.
Shin, D. (2012). Cross-analysis of usability and aesthetic in smart devices: what influences users’ preferences? Cross Cultural Management, 19(4), 563 – 587.
Sonderegger, A., & Sauer, J. (2010). The influence of design aesthetics in usability testing: Effects on user performance and perceived usability. Applied Ergonomics, 41(3), 403-410.