Week 8

Week Eight – Activity

Aesthetic Usability Effect Examples

Apple is a company that has always valued aesthetics and has even cultivated an aesthetic of its own, creating a fiercely loyal and dedicated user base (Isaacson, 2011).  The appearance of the MacBook Pro is an example of typical Apple aesthetics and it utilises the sleek, contemporary and minimalist design typical of its predecessors. The MacBook Pro is thin resulting in it appearing visually light and efficient, it utilises light, bright colours which contrast with its dark keyboard and screen boarder and in the majority of ads it is open to display a bright, high definition background. These factors serve to make it look clean, efficient and professional.




Often perceived as Apple’s major competitor Samsung has also long favoured simplistic, minimalist designs. Samsung prioritises elegance and modernity in its products and the Samsung Galaxy S8 is an example of this. Much of Samsung’s advertising for this product focused on its infinity screen, which extended to the edge of the phone and wrapped around the sides. Fittingly this gave the phone a more limitless appearance while the lack of physical buttons made it appear more futuristic. Likewise camera quality has played a key role in Samsung’s advertisements, which often show the phone as having the capability to photograph important moments both easily and well. As a result the Galaxy S8’s aesthetic is one of fluidity, blending into the backgrounds used in order to demonstrate how seamlessly a moment may be captured by the phone.




Cars are often referenced in discussion of the aesthetic usability effect as they are one of the products that consumers often form a close relationship with, often going as far as to name them. Cars from companies such as Ferrari represent a status symbol as much as a means of travel and Ferrari has developed its own distinctive style to enhance its brand recognition. The Ferrari F430 is brightly coloured, sleek and low to the ground, designed for speed and aesthetic appeal, all of which are attractive features for customers looking for a car which they can admire, enjoy and build a personal attachment to.



Works Cited

Isaacson, W. (2011, September). How Steve Jobs’ Love of Simplicity Fueled A Design Revolution. Retrieved from Smithsonian.com: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-steve-jobs-love-of-simplicity-fueled-a-design-revolution-23868877/

Week 8

Week Eight – Item One

Aesthetic Usability Effect


The aesthetic usability effect is the tendency of more aesthetically pleasing objects to be seen not only as more attractive but more reliable and functional by potential users. These users are also understood to be more trusting of aesthetically pleasing technology and more tolerant of errors should they occur (Middleditch & Hand, 2014). Users are significantly more likely to form a personal attachment to aesthetically pleasing objects, creating positive relationships with them and even at times naming or talking to them. This article examines the aesthetic usability effect as it pertains to design, encouraging readers to prioritise more aesthetically pleasing designs as this will lead to consumers creating positive relationships with products and making any flaws in said technology appear more tolerable.


There is a great deal of evidence to support the theory that users are in fact drawn to and sympathetic towards aesthetically pleasing objects and several studies have proven that users are more likely to rate an attractive product higher in usability even if it was a flawed product in other ways (Quinn & Tran, 2010). Attractive products create the emotional reaction of pleasure which can then transform into the more behavioural action of enjoyment. Feeling pleasure upon using a product suggests to the user that all of their needs are being met. This pleasure can come from personal response and opinion (for example perceiving a product as fun, unique or reflective of personal taste) or from socially motivated desires (for example viewing the product as streamlined, professional and sleek) this feeling of pleasure encourages the user to continue to use that product (Verhulsdonck & Limbu, 2013).


Brand stigma in opposition to brand loyalty is also a factor to consider, as a negative aesthetic experience may leave a user with a poor opinion of not only the product but the brand as a whole. In contrast to this good aesthetics can create brand loyalty, creating a more faithful customer base (Cyr, Head, & Ivanov, 2005).  A positive relationship with a design is not only beneficial from a sales perspective however, as the article also examines the effect that it may have on a user, such as enhancing creative thinking and problem solving. As a result of all of these aspects the aesthetic usability effect is both valid and useful.


Works Cited

Cyr, D., Head, M., & Ivanov, A. (2005). Design aesthetics leading to m-loyalty in mobile commerce. Elsevier, 950 – 963.

Middleditch, S., & Hand, D. (2014). Design for Media: A Handbook for Students and Professionals in Journalism, PR, and Advertising. Routledge.

Quinn, J. M., & Tran, T. Q. (2010). Attractive Phones Don’t Have To Work Better: Independent Effects of Attractiveness, Effectiveness, and Efficiency on Perceived Usability. CHI 2010, (pp. 353 – 362). Atlanta.

Verhulsdonck, G., & Limbu, M. (2013). Digital Rhetoric and Global Literacies: Communication Modes and Digital Practices in the Networked World: Communication Modes and Digital Practices in the Networked World. IGI Global.