Today’s article is on “Good design is aesthetic”.

Design needs to have form considered as well as function. It is this form that creates the aesthetic appearance of a product. Our values of beauty and desire can help create fascination in the product increasing sales. Aesthetics can also influence the product usage, a desirable, good looking product will gain more usage then a product of same functionality that hasn’t had aesthetics considered.

Aesthetics should be considered in increasing a products ease of use, making them instinctual. Products where the aesthetics go against the functionality become frustrating and confusing for the majority of users and should be avoided. There is however some argument to this as some believe that in making products massively instinctual we take away the interaction factors, blending the product into the background and taking away the users thought processes that helps develop exploration and understanding of the full scope of an item.

Aesthetics help create psychological bonds between the user and the product. These vary upon the user as it is a very contextual subject due to everyone’s views being different. However some factors used in design are common among many users. These relate to surface form and the view the designer wishes to convey. For example if a designer wants a product to appear fun and give the impression of freedom they give the items childlike forms. i.e. they use large rounded surfaces. This can be seen in most modern small cars.

Conversely, if they wish a product to appear highly functional they include close fitting casings, hard angles and complex surfaces. All these aspects give the impression of reliability.

As mentioned previously this is a purely contextual topic as views can be based on many factors such as cultural background. For example in Europe we consider smooth sleek lines to convey speed in vehicles, whereas in India they consider angular surfaces to mean the same. All things in aesthetics are therefore dependant upon the target audience and as such the audience always need to be considered during the design process.

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