Aesthetics of design

Q1 Summary

According to this week reading, aesthetics of a product plays a big part on human appreciation. Aesthetics and usability have been extensively researched and confirmed.

The authors Lidwell, Holden and Butler of Aesthetic-Usability Effect article believes that items, which are aesthetically pleasing, are perceived as easy to use even if they do not. In fact, it is believed that well-designed objects transmit a positive attitude, which makes people overlook design deficiencies, also boost creative thinking by broadening the brain processing, which allows to accept the faults of an item and boost the learning process, whereas negative attitude create narrowing the brain processing creating anxious feeling, which tenses the muscles and stifles creativity (Norman, 2007). Taking look at studies and experiment that were investigating the relationship between aesthetics and usability of Masaaki Kurosu and Kaori Kashimura and Tractinsky it is proven that visual aesthetics of an ATM interface influence people to use it also creating easiness of its usability even if might be complex (Kurosu & Kashimura, 1995, Tractinsky, 2000).

Objects, which are aesthetically deigned make people feel good, which also leading to tolerate faults of an item that can come along the way and because of its aesthetics it makes it easier for people to find a solution. Its eye catching design direct the eye, showing a visual clue how to use the system (Norman, 1988, 2002).

The Lidwell, Holden and Butler explain that aesthetically looking design can also create a personal feeling. They explain that if the item is visually pleasing, we can develop emotional feeling such as giving names. We also take pride of our possessions, not only because they look niece, but also because they bring a meaning to our life (Norman, 2007).

Products, which are aesthetically designed appeal to customers. Things like customizing ring tones, attractive design can influence customer decision more than usability. But at the same time design is successful only when the item is adapted by people if they want to buy it, while less-aesthetic design might not be accepted by the customer and at the same time it is a failed design (Norman, 2013).

Q2 Examples


Mac Watch      Watch

Here we have two types of watches one is a new innovation of Apple, witch is aesthetically pleasing, you can customise it to your preference and on the other side a simple watch face, sad looking watch all you can do is to choose a strap. Having those two options I think the winner, in most cases, is Apple watch. The whole look of it shouts “I’m great, buy me”, not even knowing how to use it, we are attracted to its visual aspects and knowing that it contains so many different applications this item is a winner. As Kurosu & Kashimura and Tractinsky, proofed, people go for things that are aesthetically pleasing but at the same time unique and innovative, they are curious and want to learn new things.






Here we have two different laptops one is PC and the other MAC. Even though PC is easy to use, the system is well known we can customise its hard drive, change battery and so on, when we look at MAC it is no comparison. MACs aesthetics are simply beautiful the materials, keyboard, display, the weight its just so appealing that the problem of having completely different system to PC is not even in peoples’ mind. Aesthetics, not only in this case, take the front stage in our decision making. What is appealing to us works better and also improve our emotional feeling (Norman, 2002, 2007).


Caffeeteria                       Coffee machine


Two types of coffee machines, one is big shiny, with buttons to press, separate milk frother etc. and the other one, which is small and simple don’t do much. First picture show machine which is simple to use, make a fresh coffee taste, but its look is not as appealing, whereas, second machine shows a machine which is innovative full of options it looks as if taken from a café. My point is that even though the first coffee machine give the same coffee taste it’s more probable that people would go for the multifunctional one because of its visual aspects.


Tractinsky, N., Katz, A, S., Ikar, D. (2000). Oxford Journals, Interacting with Computers.     Retrieved from

Kurosu, M. & Kashimura, K. (1995). Apparent usability vs. inherent usability. Conference Companion On Human Factors In Computing Systems – CHI ’95. Retrieved from

Norman, D. A. (2002). Emotion and design: Attractive things work better. Interactions Magazine, ix (4), 36-42. Retrieved from

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Norman, D. (2013). Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition, Basic Books.

Norman, D, A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things, Basic Books.

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