It is vital for all designers think about the attractive design of the product, because it is as important for the usability of the product. The aesthetic usability effect is defined as ‘a phenomenon in which people perceive more- aesthetic designs as easier to use than less- aesthetic designs – whether they are or not’ (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). This means that appearance of a product has greater effect than the usability of the product with the use of the product. There are two types of aesthetic usability effect: positive first impression and effective problem solution.
First aesthetic usability effect is a positive first impression. People decide the usefulness of the product according to not the actual use, but the design. Good appearance of the product gives the impression of easy to use, and users tend to have a positive attitude toward it, even when they have to deal with some problems. On the contrary, bad looks of the product are hard to accept and users remain problems. Norman (2013, p. 51) also claims that appearance drives the response, and this is nothing related to the usability of the product. Also, users tend to be affected by aesthetic aspects of the interface even though they try to see the functionality of the interface (Kurosu & Kahimura, 1995). This suggests that aesthetic usability strongly effects on the user’s minds.
Second aesthetic usability effect is effective problem solving. Aesthetic design of product leads to positive feeling toward design and product itself, such as affection, loyalty, and patience. These emotions are effective when users have to deal with the problem of product because they help user’s creative thinking. Laura (2013) also points out those users tend to feel more sympathy to faults when a product is well designed. Moreover, this is remarkably important in the situation which users are stressed, because negative pressure on mental interferes critical analysis need for problem solution. Norman (2002) states that ‘the principles of good human-centered design are especially important in stressful situations’. Thus, aesthetic usability leads to smart problem solution.
In conclusion, the aesthetic usability effect is vital because of two main effects in terms of relationship with users. It gives a positive first impression and builds a long – term relationship with them. Also, it fosters a user’s attitude toward the product, and helps dealing with problems.
Laura, (2013, November 11). The Aesthetic Usability Effect – it’s design magic! Retrieved from
Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.
Norman, D. A. (2002). Emotion & Design: Attractive things work better. Retrieved from
Norman, D. (2013). The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition. Basic Books, USA.