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Question Two – Examples

1 Nov

As I mentioned the symbol for the pause button is an example of functional consistency. The two thick vertical lines side by side is a symbol that is used on all kinds of different devices. It is important to have these symbols as it would be messy and confusing if every remote, gaming consol, MP3 plays and radio had the function for each button written in words.

This warning symbol is attached to the cord of my hair straightening iron. This symbol is clearly informing the owner of the product not to get the item wet. This symbol can seen on many electrical devices, but more specifically ones used in bathrooms such as blow driers and curling irons, therefore making this symbol an example of externally consistent as it can be seen on a range of different devices and brands.  

Vera Wang is a fashion label and they use a specific style of font every time the brand name is printed on something. This is an example of a brand using aesthetic consistency in order to make the brand instantly recognizable. There are two main reasons that aesthetic consistency can help a brad sell a product. Firstly, a shopper will take comfort in the fact that they have seen this brand before and will be more likely to trust it. Secondly is that people wear certain brands with obvious aesthetically consistent designs because the brand is accepted by popular culture, or the brand is expensive and wearing it could make the buyer feel superior.

Question 1 – Summary

1 Nov

Consistency in design is about making elements uniform” (Spool, J. 2005)

Consistency is a factor in design or systems usability, when a design is used consistently it becomes something the viewer can recognise and use past experience to draw an understanding of the system. There are four types of consistency, functional, aesthetic, internal and external. (Lidwell, Holden, Butler, 2003).

Functional consistency is when certain symbols or codes are used on a range of different devices and over time becomes common knowledge for the users. For example, the symbol for a pause button, it is used on television remotes, gaming consoles, stereos and MP3 players. Generally when someone is trying to figure out how to pause something they look for the two vertical lines side by side.

Aesthetic consistency is referring to the consistency in the look of something. Certain brands will use the same style of something to give make it recognizable. The brand Louis Vuitton, a bag or fashion item from the brand can be associated to coming from that brand almost instantly. Consumers also will be more likely to trust a company brand they recognize, “consistency creates impressions of one well-managed image” (Schmitt., Simonson. 1997).

When elements are repeated throughout a design this is called internal consistency. A way to tell the difference between internal and external is that external consistency is “the degree to which a product is consistent with some reference other than a part of itself” (Zuschlag, M. 2010) and internal consistency is the degree in which a product is consistent within itself. (Zuschlag, M. 2010)

Works cited

Spool, J. (2005) Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach Retrieved from  http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2005/09/15/consistency-in-design-is-the-wrong-approach/

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

Schmitt, B., Simonson, A. (1997) Marketing aesthetics: the strategic management of brands, identity, and image New York: Free Press

Zuschlag, 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