Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Week One – Question One


The article Aesthetic-Usability Effect (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, Aesthetic‐Usability Effect, 2003) is an informational document that educates the reader on how a well presented and aesthetically pleasing designs are often more accepted by the individual.

The article addresses how an appealing design whether that be for a website, a product or a photograph, have an influence of the viewer. That if a design is well presented, an individual will appeal to it greater than a less-aesthetic design. “People tend to believe that things that look better will work better — even if they aren’t actually more effective or efficient.” (Meyers, 2017, para 2)

Designs that follow the aesthetic guideline are often perceived as being easier to use with greater information intake. Designs that are more creative and aesthetically pleasing it fosters a greater connection to the page, enforcing positive associations with the document. “… It would have also been conceivable that a highly appealing aesthetic design may increase user performance because the users are more highly motivated to complete a series of tasks … rather than an unappealing one.” (2017)

Often if the document does have some issues or problems, the audience will tend to forgive or tolerate it, if the format is constant. “Aesthetic things are more effective at fostering positive attitudes than ugly things, making people more tolerant when problems are encountered” (Lidwell, Holden , & Butler, 2015, pg 20

It is quite common for individuals to form a connection or relationship with the format of the document, when it is presented well. However, this statistic is much lower when the design evokes negative connotations. For those who have formed a connection often will become loyal and patient with the design, referring to them on multiple occasions.

Individuals will often make they’re opinions about a design prior to in depth examination, so first impression is essential, particular elements such as colour, contrast and balance are influential. Eichmann explains further “…users generally quickly scan websites, keeping their eyes above the fold, are attracted to and directed by areas of contrast, and prefer symmetry and alignment that reflect “the golden ratio” of divine proportions.” (Eichmann, 2013, para 5)



This new designed HomeHero Extinguisher is aesthetically pleasing, its compact and appealing design makes it accessible in emergency (Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J pg 20)


Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. Universal Principles of Design, 18‐20

. (2017) Value co-creation with Internet of things technology in the retail industry. Journal of Marketing Management 33:1-2, pages 7-31.

Meyers, K. (2017). The Aesthetic-Usability Effect. Nielsen Norman Group, paragraph 2

Eichmann, N. (2013). The Aesthetic Usability Effect. Indiana University Bloomington, paragraph 5




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