This article analyses the importance of consistency in designs and usability in modern day technology. Consistency is an important part of how we function in day to day life as we become conditioned to expect certain consistencies in certain situations or technologies. For example we expect, when driving, that all warning signs and stop signs will be displayed in red as it draws our attention and we are conditioned to view red as a warning colour. However consistency can stretch across several areas and this is most commonly seen in technology, ‘for example, videocassette recorder control symbols, such as for rewind, play, forward, are now used on devices ranging from slide projectors to MP3 music players’ (Lidwell, W. (2003) pp. 46). If someone were to release an MP3 player that was not consistent with the controls of previous models, forcing people to relearn how to use them, this model would sell very poorly. Also touched upon in this article is the use of Aesthetic consistency, when consistent style and appearance are important. This can be seen in many Apple products, as many of their MP3 players have very similar physical qualities and controls and every Apple product is stamped with the Apple symbol. Consistency is also commonly seen in website design to enable the user to more easily and fluently navigate the website and obtain information. Should certain features of a website be constantly shifted around the page, the user will often have to pause and search for the features needed which can create difficulty and frustration, ‘For example, a user who encounters the “Search” at the top right on one page will have problems if it’s arbitrarily moved to different locations on other pages of the site.’ (Gaffney, G. (2005).
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Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport
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Gaffney, G. (2005). Why Consistency is Critical. Retrieved from Site Point website: http://www.sitepoint.com/why-consistency-is-critical/