Examples of Consistency Within Design
Although they have fallen out of regular use pictures of floppy discs are still used across a variety of systems and products to represent the option to save a document. Those who grew up using floppy discs instantly make the symbolic connection between saving a document to a disc and saving it to a USB or hard drive while younger users interpret the meaning of the symbol through consistent experience without needing to understand its origins. This is an example of both internal and external consistency as a floppy disc is understood to be a save symbol across a range of products, as well as functional consistency by allowing those who grew up with floppy discs to transpose their knowledge.
Road signs are an example of both internal and external consistency. Although there are small differences between countries many of the standards are universally accepted, for example a large number on a sign can be reasonably expected to be the speed limit for that road. Likewise a silhouette on a brightly coloured sign can be interpreted as a warning. This consistency makes it considerably safer for people to drive in countries other than their own as so many of the symbols are standard and therefore much more immediately understood. Without this consistency it would be unlikely that even a skilled driver could be expected to safely navigate the roads of a foreign country without learning an entirely new set of rules, making driving much more inaccessible.
McDonalds is an example of a company which has gained nearly unprecedented brand recognition through its consistency. Its logo, a golden letter m, has become something of an icon, instantly recognisable almost globally and is present at every restaurant along with on the packaging of every product sold. As a result of this the logo has become almost synonymous with fast food. This logo is both aesthetically and internally consistent, utilising the same font, shape and colour and being used so frequently and, as a result has become easily recognisable and iconic.