What Does Consistency Offer?

Week Two – Question One

For Lidwell, Holden and Butler consistency is when a system’s features are consistent and similar, the usability increases. Consistency is defined by the Random House Dictionary (2017) as “steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.” With the reoccurring choices in colour and text a design can have a long-lasting effect on the target audience. It can help them learn and understand the information and apply the knowledge to new situations.

Consistency enables the individual to transfer learning, learn faster and focus greater when completing a task. The authors break down consistency into four areas of understanding; aesthetic, functional, internal and external.

Aesthetic consistence refers to the simultaneous actions involved in the style and appearance of a design. Aesthetic consistence sets an emotional expectation with the audience. Lidwell, Holden , & Butler raises that if a design follows the reoccurring use of style, colour and font, users immediately recognise a design when they are aesthetically aspects are consistent.

Functional consistency is the reoccurrence of meaning or action. Functionality works as the existing action knowledge can be applied to the design.

Internal consistency refers to the further elements within the design. The internal consistency forms a boundary of trust for the audience, the ideals that a design has been created for a purpose rather than unintentionally. “They feel they can read you and are more likely to believe you when they see consistent content that maintains its integrity because consistency means you are voluntarily subjecting you and your brand to being held accountable” (Key Difference Media , 2017)

External consistency is the use of elements outside a single design, exceeding the purposes of internal consistency. However the article presents that this can be difficult as not all systems have the same elements and features. (Lidwell, Holden , & Butler, 2015)

Ole Thyssen (2010) states in his scientific book Aesthetic Communication (pg 10), “Only by introducing constancy to the fluid stream of consciousness or communication can we give it form and, thus, open ourselves to its variation.” This can be interpreted that when aesthetic consistency is applied to the visual concepts of the design, for the audience to understand and decode the encoded messages in the intentional way.

Consistency is a major influence on some designers, as its more efficient in time, learning and usability. “When we use standard conventions, users can use what they know as a point of reference and become oriented more quickly and effectively. If we apply conventions consistently, users need only orient themselves once” (Horton, 2006, p. 4) With the reusing of designs individuals can apply their prior knowledge more effectively.

consistency-850x309
This image of the cupcakes follows the ideals of consistency as each cake while differently designed still function as a cake and present well.  Alan Herbert (2015) 

 

References:

Lidwell, W., Holden , K., & Butler, J. (2015). Universal Principles of Design. Massachuestts: Rockport .

Ganoo, S. (2013, July 30th). Strategies for Aesthetic Consistency and Continuity. Retrieved from Behance: https://www.behance.net/gallery/10091387/Strategies-for-Aesthetic-Consistency-and-Continuity

Thyssen, O. (2010). Aesthetic Communication. Springer .

Horton, S. (2006). Apply a Consistent Design. Retrieved from Universal Usability: http://universalusability.com/access_by_design/page_layout/consistent.html

Key Difference Media . (2017, March 24). The Power Of Consistency Is Found In The Consistency of Powerful Content. Retrieved from http://www.keydifferencemedia.com/the-power-of-consistency-is-found-in-the-consistency-of-powerful-content/

 

Feature Image – Key Difference Media . (2017, March 24). The Power Of Consistency Is Found In The Consistency of Powerful Content. Retrieved from http://www.keydifferencemedia.com/the-power-of-consistency-is-found-in-the-consistency-of-powerful-content/

Alan Herbert (2015) http://wpgothemes.com/the-power-of-consistency/

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