Products that meet the Aesthetic – Usability Effect


Products that meet the Aesthetic Usability Effect

Week 8 – Learning Portfolio items 1 & 2 – Q2

Figure 1. iMac 27" - (Eshark, 2009)

iMac

In the modern age, owning a computer has become an assumption as well as a necessity. These machines are designed to look just as good as they function. With the use of flowing curves and tempting colours, computers are designed to catch the eye. Apple seems to be experts on crafting their products to attract customers. Apple has become famous for their designs. Their attention to detail and care in making sure the hardware is elegant and the software is second to none. Their products are sleek and modernistic. The two main design features needed to attract the modern day customer.

The iMac is simply stunning to look at. It catches your eye the moment you look at it, and the moment you look away, you can’t help but turn for another peek. This is the main factor which Apple thrives off. People want to use the iMac because it is nice to look at. Therefore it has a higher chance of being used. The convenience of an iMac is a conventional factor. The iMac is a singular base unit. A single wire powers the iMac, instead of the cluster created by Window’s complication of monitor and desktop wires being huddled together. The curves on an iMac lead the eye around the computer and you can’t help but love them. Elegant curves are attractive and fit with the modernistic design of “today’s” tech. Many people want to keep up with the latest technology, but also have an eye for what looks nice. If they enjoy the look of it then they will use it more often.  The perfect contrast of metallic gray and black also works amazingly well. The black is evenly balanced and is used in turn as a contrast for the screen colours. The singular black apple logo, surrounded by the metallic gray instantly stands out and appeals to you and shouts Use me! Use me! We all love a massive screen, with crisp 1080p HD (How can your resist? Honestly) . 21″ or 27″ people always want bigger and better, regardless if it’s actually a quality product.

Figure 2. Hyundai i30 –  (Jeremy, 2010)

Hyundai i-30

As mankind has evolved, so has our form of movement. From cavemen in the ice caps, walking vast areas to capture a lonely mammoth, to popping down Woolworths for a pint of milk. Movement has been vital to our survival. Cars have made travelling further distances in less time possible, like the Hyundai i-30. However, cars have become the technological equivalent of fashion models. Cars are beautifully designed in every way from colour to the inclusion of iPod connectivity. Every feature has been purposely considered to attract the buyer.

The psychology accommodated of colour is a powerful tool. We all had a favourite colour when growing up. The Hyundai – i30 is red but car manufacturers produce the same model  in different colours because different colours appeal to different people. A peacock uses its colours as an act of expression, this is the same for car owners. These cars have a higher chance of being used because people want to show them off, to express themselves. Size is also important. Some people prefer bigger cars, others littler cars. However, what remains the same is the effect that these sizes have on people. It relates to their personal preference, what they feel looks right, what they like and what they don’t like. This often conjures a bond between the car and the owner, because they enjoy driving it or simply enjoy looking at it.

The Hyundai – i30 is a five seater. Nicely accommodated I feel. However, it is the layout and amount of gadgets in the dashboard that creates the appeal. Once the driver enters the car, they are greeted with a neat interface. All options are clearly pointed out and accessible. The inclusion of iPod Connectivity in the compartment is convenient. It allows for the wires to be stored whilst travelling.

Figure 3. HotPoint washing Machine - (Malyon, H. 2009)

Figure.3 – Washing Machine

Washing Machine

The humble washing machine, a mundane tool used in our everyday lives. We can pop a bit of dirty washing in, sit down, have a cup of coffee, watch TV and not worry. It may not be as an exciting as a 42″ Plasma TV but just as much care has been put into designing it so people will use it and because the washing machine is such a common tool in households, this has to be top priority.

Firstly, people need simplicity. The machine has to be easy to function. The control layout has to be precise and lack complication. The washing options are governed by a single, rotating knob. This knob makes the user believe that it is much more easier to use as all the washing options are formatted with a single rotation. This is more conventional and ensures that the machine will influence a positive attitude in the user and therefore a greater amount of usage. Singular buttons on the machine are also used for other options such as heat control and time. This interface includes the use of LED lights for indications which is convenient for both day and night use. The moment the machine turns on the options change colour  to let you know which options are available. The three screens in the middle of the interface, time and temperature are also indicated in amber. When an option has been selected the LED will turn green. This is a clear and easy to use indicator for washing options.

The opening door and entire unit has curved lines. These are elegant and continuously flowing around the center of the design. This instantly attracts you to the overall bulk of the machine. The size of the machine is also a factor that creates attraction. In the modern age, our technology is gradually becoming smaller and more favourable. This washing machine fits perfectly underneath the washing bench or into a small space. Its size has been designed to limit the amount of space it takes up within the area.

Reference List

iMac 27″ (2009). In The New iMac comes Wider. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 1, 2011 from http://esharkdesign.com/index.php/archive/2009/11/

Hyundai i-30 (2010). In 2010 Hyundai i30. [Digital Image] Retrieved from June 1, 2011 from http://www.carplanet.com.au/2010-hyundai-i30

HotPoint Washing Machine (2009). In Hotpoint Black Appliance Collection. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 5, 2011 from http://www.unbeatable.co.uk/news/Hotpoint-Black-Appliance-Collection/282366.html

To be or not to be……..Aesthetic Usability Effect

Aesthetic Usability Effect

 Week 8 – Learning Portfolio Item 1- Q1

When we go to buy a product we are often attracted by it’s design because we imagine ourselves using it, debating what looks nice and what doesn’t.  However, Lidwell explains in Lidwell, W. Holden, K. Butler, J. (2010) Universal Principles of Design (2nd Edition) Aesthetic Usability Effect (pp 20- 22) that design is used to influence use psychologically. We perceive designs that we like easier as to use because we enjoy looking at them. If we like a product then we tend to create a positive attitude towards it i.e mobile phones . The Aesthetic Usability Effect purely influences the users own personal preferences.

As customers and potential users, design appeals to use specifically. Some of us may prefer a specific design over others. This is mainly due to difference in user preferences i.e colour, size etc. This is because “Advances in our understanding of emotion affect, have implications for the science of design.” ( Norman, D. A. 2002) Our emotions such as happiness, love, hate, drive us to these products because they influence how we feel. However, as technology advances so does new trends. We always want the “New” thing and design attracts us to it. However, it means that ”  Aesthetic Design can be a more important influence on user’s preference than traditional usability” (Jacko, A. J. 2009 ) Products are being produced with less quality only to be substituted with a better design. As a result, people will like the design and perceive the product as easier to use when the quality of the product is quite low.

We develop positive attitudes towards these products. But we assume  that Usable products must be simple to use, Dillon, A. (2003. pp.18 – 29)  If the product has many buttons and looks complicated to use then we will not use it. Regardless of if the complicated design is a easier product to use. Manufacturers take advantage of  the users preferences because industries are  “More focused towards the user, usability is becoming somewhat of a given” ( Boulton, M. 2005) We are primarily influenced by what we want.

 

Reference List

Lidwell, W. Holden, K. Butler, J. (2010) Universal Principles of Design (2nd Edition) Aesthetic Usability Effect (pp 20 – 22) Rockport: Massachutess

Jacko, A. J (2009) Human-Computer Interaction: New Trends. Berlin , Germany: Springer Verlag

Dillon, A.(2003) Designing usable electronic text. New York, United States: Taylor and Francis inc.

Norman, D.A. (2002). Emotion and design: Attractive things work better. Interactions Magazine, ix (4), 36 – 42. Retrieved from http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/emotion_design_attractive_things_work_better.html

Boulton, M. (2005) Aesthetic – Usability Effect. Retrieved from http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/aesthetic-usability-effect