Aesthetic-Usability Effect; Q1

The use of aesthetics is critical when producing a product that is for customers and retail use and value. The better looking a product is the more accessible it will be to people.  There are technical ways for aesthetics can be analysed; Fishwick indicates that ‘The features identified, typically called aesthetic criteria, are used to form measures of readability and have codified as a form of formal aesthetics’. The quality helps increase the usability and encourages the audience to continue to use the same sources in the future. The Aesthetic- Usability effect describes a phenomenon in which people think an object is easier to use if it is more visually pleasing, although it might not.

The understanding people have with the way the design is published also influences how successful it is at reaching the audience. Sears & Jacko (2007) states that ‘aesthetics should be considered as a design criterion for all applications, since poor appearance and interaction design may provoke adverse reaction’. The growing understanding of computers has allowed for the designs to become more creative.

Webcredible (2007) presents that ‘if you haven’t considered a demographic analysis to this point, now’s the time to get started. Product selection, tone of screen text, motifs, marketing strategies, links – virtually everything about an online business must be targeted with laser precision on a known demographic’. They should be encouraged to interpret what is used and to initiate problematic thinking and problem solving. To add appeal to a product such as a website, Heuristic Evaluation of Website Attractiveness and Usability (2001) points out that ‘the three phase model for a website evaluation is proposed, based on initial attractiveness, exploration/navigation and transaction’.

This has become more evident over time in all different worlds of technologies that we all use every day. Products like computers, mobile phones, personal music players and tablets all contribute to the aesthetic-usability effect.

Reference List

Fishwick, P. A. (2006). Aesthetic Computing. United States of America: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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

Sears, A., Jacko, J. A. (2007). The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook. United States of America: Taylor and Francis.

Sutcliffe, A. (2001). Heuristic Evaluation of Website Attractiveness and Usability. Retrieved May 2010, from the Web site:

Townes, F. (2007). Webcredible. Retrieved May 2010, from the Web site: