Module 3 Week 11

Answer 1:

The article for week 11’s learning portfolio is all about performance load.            “Performance load is the degree of mental and physical activity required to achieve a goal” Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003).  If a task has a high performance load it will take longer to complete and there is a greater chance that more errors will be made. In contrast to that if the performance load is lower then the task will be complete faster and with fewer errors. Performance load is divided into two different types. They are cognitive and kinematic loads. Cognitive load is the mental part of completing a task.              “Cognitive load is the amount of mental activity required in accomplishing a goal…” N/A (2011). The other type of performance load is kinematic load. Kinematic load is the amount of physical activity that is required to complete a task. It is important in design to reduce the amount of performance load because it makes it easier for people to comprehend.

Answer 2:

The Chunking technique is what is referred to when chunks of information are placed together.  The study behind chunking is that the human mind can only remember a few pieces on information at any one time. The more information we are presented with the less likely we are to remember it. To help retain the information we view it is best to present the information into little ‘chunks’. By chunking information we are more likely to retain it. Chunking plays an important role in design and visual communication because it is about displaying information.  That is why when planning a design it is important to think about how it will display that information. For example, if you were to go onto a web site all about cars it would be to difficult to read through it all if all of the information about each car was just crammed on to the one web page. It would make it difficult to read and process that information, as well as remember any of it. In contrast to that if the website had different pages for each car and that the text was broken up into easy to read chunks it would make it easy to process the information that was being presented and it is more likely to be retained. Chunking plays such a big role in design because quite often it dictates it.


Answer 3:

Psychology is important when looking at design because design can have such a big impact on the mind. When we see a particular design it makes us feel a certain way.  Design is responsible for triggering emotions. Whether it be a visual design like a sculpture or a practical design like the layout of a computer key board these designs effect our mental well being in some way. A dark and rusty sculpture may make us feel depressed just by looking at it. The design of that sculpture has had a mental effect. If a key board was to be laid out with the keys on the opposite side of the board from where they would conventionally be it would create mental frustration.



Malamed, C. (2012) The elearning coach: Chunking information for instructional design. Retrieved from:

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Performance Load. In Universal Principles of Design (pp.

148‐149). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Towers, A. (2010, November 22) usablilty friction: cognitive load Retrieved from

N/A (2011, December 4) Principles of Design #36: Performance load. Retrieved from:






Module 3 Week 10

Answer 1:

The principle of consistency is that procedures and systems are easier to use and learn when their functions are expressed in familiar and similar ways to what we already know. If things are consistent the prior knowledge from another product means that things are more familiar and easy to do. There are four different types of consistency that we can see in design. They are Aesthetic, External, Functional, and Internal.

–       Aesthetic consistency is where something has the same appearance and style to it. This makes things instantly recognisable and draws people to understand it. For example the golden arches of the MacDonald’s logo are associated with fast food, in particular burgers and fries.

–       External Consistency refers to design elements that are common in all different environments. That way people are introduced to a different environment they can navigate their way around.

–       Functional consistency. This is all about actions and controls. Functional consistency is very important when we go to use things we may not be sure about. In a car all the pedals are kept in a certain order. Working left to right it is always, clutch, brake, accelerator. This means when people get into a new car the know how to use the pedals in it. Image in the pedals changed with each car?

–       Internal consistency refers to designs being the same in a particular area or system.

It is important to keep things consistent because they make peoples lives more complicated and generate confusion.

“inconsistencies force people to spend extra time trying to figure out how to navigate, or where to find the answers to questions they have.” Skaalid, B. (1999).

When things are designed it is important that there is consistency between the predecessor and the successor.  It makes for a smoother transition between the two. People should be more appreciative of consistency because we would be lost with out it.



Answer 2:

You can see the principles of consistency in everyday life. Here are three examples.

  1. The buttons on an MP3 Player: Whether you have an ipod or another portable MP3 player the symbols on the buttons do the same thing. The play symbol is the same, so are the pause, fast-forward, and rewind buttons as well. By keeping the buttons the same it means that people do not have to figure out how to use on portable music player form the next. This is a type of functional consistency.
  2. A Ferrari: It is one of the most recognised cars names on the planet, Ferrari. It also has a well know logo, the prancing horse. When people see the Ferrari logo they think of a high performance Italian sports car. Since that is all Ferrari has ever made the brand identiy has stayed consistent. This is a type of aesthetic consistency.
  3. Traffic lights: As the old children’s safety song goes, “stop says the red light, go says the green, wait says the orange light sitting in between”. People can instantly recognise them and know exactly what is means. If they had different coloured traffic lights in different countries it would create a lot of confusion amongst tourists.

This is a type of functional consistency.





Ulrich, K., Eppinger, S. (1995) Product Design and Development. New Yorok: McGraw Hill


Zuschlag, M. (2010, July 19) Achieving and Balancing Consistency in User Interface Design. Retrieved from:


Skaalid, B. (1999) Consistency. Retrieved from:


Cushman, W, (1991) Human Factors is Product Design. Amsterdam: Elsevier


Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of

Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Module 3 Week 8.

Answer 1:
The Aesthetic-usability effect is where people are influenced by the aesthetic design of a product such as a phone or car impacts of how people feel about being able to use it. The Aesthetic-usability effect is playing more of a role in  design as people realise the important role it plays. This effect is becoming particularly important in product design. A product that has a good aesthetics in its design is more like to be perceived as simple and user friendly by its users. This is because the users find the design more pleasing and are happy to use it. In turn a product that has poor aesthetics will more than likely be seen as difficult to use, even though it could actually be a superior product that its more aesthetically pleasing rival. The poor aesthetics create a negative feeling towards and users will not like the product.
The Aesthetic-usability is very similar to how people respond to some one of first impressions.         “first impressions of people influence attitude formation and measurably affect how people are perceived and treated.”  (Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003).
It has been in the last 15 years that have seen designers illustrate the importance that aesthetics have in design and how people react to them. Now when ever something is designed the aesthetics play a big part in it. Whether it be a car, phone or a website the aesthetics and how people respond to them are a big priority and influence in a products design.
It is interesting how the aesthetics of basic designs can have such an impact on people’s emotions and what they are doing.  These emotions can really affect peoples perception of what they are doing.
“Just as negative affect can make some simple tasks difficult, positive affect can make some difficult tasks easier.” Norman, D. A. (2002).

Answer 2:
The Aesthetic-usability effect can be seen in everyday products and how the fit in to a consumer world. Hear are three cases where the aesthetic design of a product makes it stand out from a rival product

•    ipod V other brand MP3 Player: The ipod is the dominant portabl music device in the world. Yet despite the immense popularity it performs the same function as any other portabl music device. That is you can plug you head phone into and list to music files that are stored on it while you are out and about. Where the ipod is different is in its design, more importantly the aesthetics in its design. The ipod has very few buttons and controls along with a good appearance. Some of the rival Mp3 players have more functions and their appearances vary. It is these differences that make people buy and ipod over their rivals.
•    Jaguar X-Type V Ford Mondeo: On the surface these two cars are very different. One is a sleek and prestigious luxury car (the Jaguar), while the other is a plain and humble family car for the middle classes (the Ford). Yet if most people had the choice of the two cars they would prefer to have the Jaguar. Despite the cars doing the same thing. That is they have four doors, carry five people, and have a boot for storage. What separates the two is how the look and are perceived. The Jaguar has a very stylish design and the interior is trimmed with luxuries like leather and a walnut dashboard. The Ford is a simple (and in someway boring design) with cloth seat and a plastic dashboard. It is these differences in the Aesthetics that make the Jaguar stand out over the Ford.
•    Facebook V Myspace: These are two very well know social networking websites. Despite doing the same thing facebook is used by more people than Myspace. Why? It is all down to the aesthetic design of their layout. Facebook uses just two colours (blue and white) and has the main information contained one page for people’s profile. Myspace’s layout is not as asethically pleasing as facebook and as a result more people use facebook.


Module 3 References

Week 8
Boulton, M. (2005, March 6) Aestgetic-usablity effect Retrieved from:

Norman, D. A. (2002). Emotion and design: Attractive things work better. Retrieved from:

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 18‐19). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Ulrich, K., Eppinger, S. (1995) Product Design and Development. New Yorok: McGraw Hill

Cushman, W, (1991) Human Factors is Product Design. Amsterdam: Elsevier