Consistency is essential when producing a product for a company. The similarity of a system is improved when similar parts are expressed in almost the same way through and through. Discovering consistency means learning of four different functions, those include aesthetics, functional, internal and external. A higher level of consistency allows for the audience to find an increase in the usability of what is being demonstrated. The audience is able to absorb information and general content with greater ease when there is clear consistency.
The aesthetic consistency focuses purely on appearance and how that impacts on the audience. Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2003) recommended to avoid confusion amongst the audience, ‘Use recognisable objects and distance cues to provide size and shape references for unfamiliar objects’. The presentation of content is focused on in this type of consistency, that is needed to make information clear and concise. The major factors that contribute to this are the font ypes used and the colouring that is produced.
The use of functional consistency impacts on the action and meaning that is evoked to the audience, at this point in time some prior knowledge is expected from the audience. This relates to the usage that the audience is comfortable with when using the product. The relationship that is somewhat physical is developed here. The examples of this would be what the audience understands in what to do to navigate through a website. The University of Minnestota, n.d. highlights that ‘Navigation bars are often the first thing a visitor encounters on a Web page. Each time a page loads, screen-reader users may have to listen to all of the navigational controls before hearing the main content of the page.’ This is important to consider because it proves that the navigation consistency is just as relevant to the consistency in the information and the direction that is needed.
Internal consistency refers to faith within people. It’s the consistency of acknowledging elements and being familiar with them in more than one place at any certain time. Such as a road works sign may be seen in more than one area but initially our minds will be familiar with this aesthetic sign, therefore making us aware of what it means, this can be acknowledge nearly anywhere in the world as all stop signs do mean to stop, no matter where you are. External consistency relates to environmental elements such as alarms and emergency lights which inform us about their purpose which is primarily remembered because of the design
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Kidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Universal Principles Of Design. United States: Rockport Publishers.
Spool, J. (2005, September). Consistency in Design is (part of) the right approach . Retrieved from Details of global brain: http://wrede.interfacedesign.org/archives/1056.html