LP3/ Q1- Summary

An awareness of performance loading is one element needed to be considered for good design. According to Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2003), Performance Load is defined as ‘the degree of mental and physical activity required to achieve a goal’. There are two types of performance load: cognitive load and kinematic load.

Cognitive load is the amount of mental activity required to perform a task (Wilbert, 2007, p. 85). Cognitive load theory suggests when users are bombarded with information, due to a shortage of working memory, overall usability is decreased. This results in lower than desired user performance. (Sweller, 1988). Errey, Ginns and Pitts (2006, pp. 5-6) also explain that there are two types of cognitive load: intrinsic cognitive load and extraneous cognitive load. The former is determined by the intrinsic nature of the to be learned content, while the latter is due to the instructional materials used in the presentation of information. It is optimal to minimize visual noise for reducing the cognitive load, to chunk information, to use memory aids, and to automate computation and memory intensive tasks.

Kinematic load is the degree of physical activity for achievement goal (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003, p. 148). It is significant to decrease the degree of kinematic load by reducing steps needed for completion of tasks, minimizing motion and travel distances and automating repetitive tasks.

Errey, C., Gins, P., & Pitts, C. (2006). Cognitive load theory and user interface design: making software easy to use. Retrieved from http://www.ptgglobal.com/PDFArticles/Cognitive%20load%20theory%20and%20user%20interface%20design%20Part%201%20v1.0.pdf

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 148- 149). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Seller, J. (1988). Cognitive Load Theory. Retrieved from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/cognitive-load.html

Wilbert, O. G., (2007). The essential guide to user interface design: an introduction to GUI design principles and techniques. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com.au


LP2/ Q2 – Examples

Examples of consistency can be found everywhere around ordinary life. Here is the list of three examples of consistency.


One example of aesthetic consistency is seen in Virgin logos. These three logos are silar in color and style though they promote different goods. The company use these logos through all their products, so that they can explore new market providing recognition of the company’s reputation within the new business avenues. DiMirco (2010, p. 85) points out that ‘companies use the same color, fronts, and icons throughout their marketing materials to create a consistent experience for the customer through recognition and association ’.

power plug


Another example is functional consistency. This can be seen in remote control panels. A small circle button which represents ‘turn on/off’ can be seen on almost every electric devises, such as laptops, televisions and audio equipment. Also, upward/ downward triangles symbolize ‘up or down’, as used to control heating on air-conditioners or volume on audio devices. DiMirco (2010, p. 85) also explains that functional consistency has an effect on the placement of navigation buttons, and the ease of use of online forms. Their use enables people to use devices easily even if they have not used the particular machine before because of these familiar symbols. This functional consistency helps users to navigate new fields and products.


phone tenki

The last example is external consistency which can be seen on the layout of numbered keypads. The number line starts from the upper left corner on phones or remote control panels, whereas it starts from the lower right hand corner on calculators or computer keyboards. The function of the panel is the same but the way it is used is different. This shows a consistency with other elements in a different environment, and this expands the benefits of internal consistency (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003).

DiMarco, J. (2010). Digital design for print and web: an introduction to theory, principles, and techniques. Retrieved from http://www.eblub.com.au/

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.

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[Untitled photograph of control panel]. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from:

[Untitled photograph of control panel]. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from:

[Untitled photograph of laptop calculation]. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from:

[Untitled photograph of phone calculation]. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from:

LP2/ Q1 – Summary

Useful designs and systems are essential for all users, and consistency a significant factor towards achieving this. Consistency is defined as what helps people with transferring knowledge, learning new things quickly, and focusing on relevant aspects of a task (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). There are four kinds of consistency: aesthetic, functional, internal, and external.

Firstly, consistency is needed for good design, as is aesthetic consistency. This is composed of style and appearance, and helps users to recognize brands and their associated value, or enhance consumer’s perspective of purchase. Companies use the same color, fronts, and icons throughout their marketing materials so that customers can experience consistent recognition and association (DiMarco, 2010, p. 51). Thus, aesthetic consistency is significant for good design which can attract customers.

Secondly, aesthetic consistency helps achieve a good design through functional consistency. This refers to products of products of the same type used in similar ways and designs. The consistency of function enables user to learn the tips within a new environment. DiMarco (2010, p. 51) also explains this saying that functional consistency leads to creating implied meaning for users and they can be transparently guided by hierarchy.

Thirdly, consistency is used for a good system as internal consistency. This means consistency which can be seen with other elements in the system. According to Zuschlag (2010), users ‘can generally count on your products being regarded as its own cognitive context within the larger context of common metaphors, as well as other products and operating systems’. Also, functional consistency must be involved within any logical grouping elements.

Lastly, consistency that is important for good designs is external consistency. This explores the merit of internal consistency to outside, but it is hard to make. Cole (2012) claims that learning on external convention is useful nevertheless the difficulty of breaking away from what others are doing.

In conclusion, there are four elements of consistency: aesthetic, functional, internal and external. Each one of these elements are essential for a good, functional system.

Cole, D. Why Is Consistency Important in Design? Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2012/12/24/why_is_consistency_important_in_design.html

DiMarco, J. (2010). Digital design for print and web: an introduction to theory, principles, and techniques. Retrieved from http://www.eblub.com.au/

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Zushlag, M. (2010). Achieving and Balancing Consistency in User Interface Design. Retrieved from http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/07/achieving-and-balancing-consistency-in-user-interface-design.php#sthash.UE8AAD7x.dpuf

LP1/Q2 – Examples

Aesthetic usability can be found everywhere. Here are three examples which meet the principle of aesthetic – usability effect: Japanese chopsticks, iphone, and computer USB.



Firstly, Japanese chopsticks are one example of a product which design is considered well besides its usability. Even though that only it’s only a tool for food, people decorate them to look cute, so there are numbers of variations of chopsticks. Moreover, chopsticks functions as personal identity, according to their design, which is a common idea in Japan. It is a typical image that a father uses big – black chopsticks, a mother uses long – thin one and children use tiny- cute one at a Japanese dining table. Design of chopsticks was soothing to do with the character of each family: a father is strong, a mother is kind, and children are cheerful. Thus, people feel more attraction to their own chopsticks. Therefore, the design of chopsticks has great meaning for itself.


Secondly, the iPhone is another example of the aesthetic – usability effect principle. The iPhone is not the most technologically advanced, nor the cheapest smart phone available on the market, however, due to a design focused on aesthetics; it prevails as the most common phone all over the world. Even though all the iPhone series meets the function as a phone like sending email, catching a phone call, the innovative design attracts users, and this is why many people buy the latest type even though they already use previous type of the iPhones. Thus, it can be said that iPhone has a strong aesthetic usability effect.

USB characters virsion

The last example of aesthetic – usability effect principal is a computer USB. USB is used to store information inside and mobile it everywhere. Thus, a simple design – a long thin rectangle is most suitable for this product. However, various designs of USB, such as fruits, animals, characters are manufactured these days. This leads to the stress less situation even when there is something wrong with USB, because users feel strong attraction to their products compared to normal types. Therefore, the aesthetic usability effect is met with the design on USB.

[Untitled photograph of chopsticks]. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from:

[Untitled photograph of iphone6]. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from:

[Untitled photograph of USB]. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kore_wan/GALLERY/show_image_v2.html?id=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.c.yimg.jp%2Fres%2Fblog-1b-af%2Fkore_wan%2Ffolder%2F99316%2F82%2F59195482%2Fimg_0%3F1245911307&i=1

LP1 /Q1 – Summary

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.