All About the Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Design Crazy: S1 E2: The Crazy Design Blog by the humans @Devfasttt!


2 min read

All About the Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

Design Crazy: S1 E2: The Crazy Design Blog by the humans @ Devfasttt!

Hello again to another mind-numbing explanation of the Aesthetic-Usability Effect 🤩

Ok, flashback-story time📆: I once spent a total of 3 days obsessing over how difficult-to-use and not at all fitting into design principles my UI design and after a complete feeling of worthlessness and continued imposter syndrom, decided to send it to the client anyways, and when I asked them about their feedback, all my so, very, extremely, critical client, could talk about was how great my site's color scheme was!!

Ok back to the Aesthetic-Usability Effect:

A little backstory everybody: Human-computer interaction researchers first delved into the aesthetic-usability effect in 1995. 26 different revisions of an ATM user interface were examined by Masaaki Kurosu and Kaori Kashimura of the Hitachi Design Center. The 252 study participants were asked to evaluate each design's efficiency and aesthetic appeal. They revealed a stronger correlation between the participants' impressions of ease of use and visual appeal than between actual ease of use and those evaluations. Kurosu and Kashimura arrived at the conclusion that even though users attempt to assess the system's fundamental functionality, they are still significantly influenced by the aesthetic pleasantness of any given interface.

So coming back to our original question: What is the Aesthetic-Usability Effect? and why should I give a damn? According to the Aesthetic-Usability Effect, users almost always perceive aesthetically pleasing designs as those more superior, usability wise. Even if something isn't more productive or efficient, people often conclude that it will operate better if it looks better.

So the Key takeaways for you:

🥲 A design's attractiveness might successfully conceal usability concerns and keep them from coming to light during usability testing. (phew!)

👆 works because 👇

🎭 People's minds react positively to attractive💃 designs, which leads them to believe that the design truly functions😶‍🌫️ better.

🔭 As a rule of the (hidden) thumb: When a product or service has an appealing design, users generally, unconsciously put up with small usability flaws.

❤️ Interfaces that are aesthetically appealing are worth the investment. Appealing visual designs have the unintended consequence of making your site appear orderly, well-designed, and professional. Users are more likely to try a visually appealing site, and they are more forgiving of minor issues.