The aesthetics of the user experience

Casandra Baltazar | May 02, 2022

Users tend to believe that products that look better will work better, even if they're not more effective.
We refer to this as the Aesthetic-Usability effect. Users are able to overlook small usability flaws because of beautiful designs.

Due to this effect, a good user experience must go beyond merely being functional, it must reach the user on a deeper level.

Hitachi Design Center first studied this phenomenon in 1995. The researchers asked 252 study participants to rate 26 variations of ATM UIs based on their ease of use and aesthetic appeal. Based on their analysis of the results, they found a correlation between aesthetic appeal and real ease of use. The study concluded that the aesthetics of any interface have a powerful impact on users, even when they are trying to evaluate its functionality.

How does this affect business?

Companies that launch new products or improve well-known ones need to consider financial factors such as sales and revenue. Can beauty affect their business goals? Definitely. The right color scheme, text hierarchy, and visual design psychology not only make users happy, but businesses are happy as well because they reach out and connect to more users.

But we can't forget that the aesthetics of a product won't help us overlook a deeper usability problem.

How can we improve the user experience with UI?

The answer is simple: Consistency.

Consistency is as important as typography, layout, illustrations, and animations when it comes to aesthetics and usability.

According to Jacob Nielsen, "Consistency is one of the most powerful principles of usability: when things always behave the same, users do not have to worry about what will happen."

Consistent UI design will come from following best practices related to typography, spacing, etc.

In order to make it work, you must develop a system and rules, by deciding what can be done with the brand image and style guide as well as what cannot be done. What should the elements look like, how to build them, and why.

Aesthetics is a powerful tool.

Building the feeling of trust makes a brand stronger, and that is where aesthetics help make the user experience more solid and helpful.

The objective is to help users avoid getting distracted by design discrepancies or wasting time figuring out a product.

However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that one of the crucial conditions of a positive user experience is Desirability. Users are full of intuition, emotion, and memories. That’s what designers have to keep in mind aiming at user-friendly products.

We are not just designing products we are designing human experiences.

About Encora

Fast-growing tech companies partner with Encora to outsource product development and drive growth. Contact us to learn more about our software engineering capabilities.


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