Mental Models: Aesthetic-Usability Effect

AESTHETICALLY PLEASING DESIGNS ARE OFTEN PERCEIVED AS BEING EASIER TO USE.

53.jpg

How might this apply to great teams and cultures?

In organizations, we can be forgive of personality flaws if someone is unusually talented. This aesthetic-usability effect can mask leadership problems and can prevent confrontation of a toxic climate if the lived values of the organization favor results above all else.

How might this apply to great products?

Attractive things work better—or at least we perceive them as being easier to use. Have you evaluated how attractive your application (or site) is to your users? We are more forgiving of attractive designs and assume they are (or should be) easier to use. The curious part? A well-designed site is often a more usable site.

Consider

Identify instances of the aesthetic-usability effect in your organization by watching how managers confront or don't confront bad behavior, we well as listening to what they say.

See Also

Affect Heuristic, Visual Imagery, Sensory Appeal

###

In the whirl of our day-to-day interactions, it’s all too easy to forget the nuances that distinguish great teams, great cultures, and great products/services.

Mental Model Flash Cards bring together insights from psychology into an easy reference and brainstorming tool. Each card describes one insight into human behavior and suggests ways to apply this to your teams as well as the design of your products and services.