Q1 – Summary

04 Nov

The article Aesthetic-Usability and effect speaks about the relevance and importance of aesthetically and visually appealing technology and information. A simple definition of the Aesthetic-Usability effect is given by Mark Boulton in his article Aesthetic Usability effect: ‘The Aesthetic-Usability Effect is a condition whereby users perceive more aesthetically pleasing designs to be easier to use than less aesthetically pleasing designs.’ (Boulton. 2005) Items that are visually appealing are better received and sold than those that are not visually appealing, even if they are in fact more difficult to use. This article sheds light on the peculiar effect of visually appealing technologies and our acceptance of them, even if the technology is flawed – ‘Aesthetic designs are more effective at fostering positive attitudes than unaesthetic designs, and make people more tolerant of design problems.’ (Lidwell, W. 2003) The same principle applies to Web Pages, as stated by Yili Liu’s Webpage aesthetics, performance and usability. Web pages that are not cluttered with useless images and information are easier for the reader to scan for information, as according to Yili Liu’s article ‘users spend 46 s viewing each page’ (Liu, 2009. p. 631-643). With this small window of opportunity, web pages must be able to swiftly communicate important information that can be ‘scanned’ by the reader within this time frame. As a result if a webpage is cluttered with information, the reader is less likely to engage with the information presented. The more simple the layout of a form of technology or webpage, the more appealing it is to the consumer, and in David Lawrence’s book Balanced website design : optimising aesthetics, usability and purpose it is stated thatstructured, stepped, and iterative approaches and a sharp focus on defining and achieving the desired characteristics of purpose, usability and aesthetics – absolutely essential requirements for any website’ (Lawrence, 2007) By making technology and information aesthetically pleasing to the consumer there is a greater chance of positive reception and success.

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

18‐19). Massachusetts: Rockport 

Lawrence, David. (2007). Balanced website design: optimising aesthetics, usability and purpose. London:


Liu, Yili. (2009). Webpage aesthetics, performance and usability: design variables and their effects 

 Boulton, M. (2005). Aesthetic Usability Effect. Retrieved from Mark Boulton website:

 Towers, A. (2010). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. Retrieved from Usability Friction website:


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