Aesthetic Designs

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Q1) Aesthetic designs are often something we take for granted in the 21st Century. We almost automatically expect a product to be comfortable, easy to use and user friendly and have an “artistically beautiful or pleasing experience” (Bradley, 2010) in my opinion I feel aesthetical elements in design have been over-processed and exaggerated to the point where objects are no longer comfortable to use. “To attempt to unpack the complexity of cultural objects” (Hill, 1999) has been misinterpreted even with simple objects such as the Apple Wireless Mouse which I find uncomfortable and does not fit comfortably into my hand which hinders everyday computer use. Other products such as the handles on a ceramic tea mug are not often comfortable for the fingers and this should be aesthetically important in an everyday object. “Although poor design is never excusable, when people are in a relaxed situation, the pleasant, pleasurable aspects of a design will make them more tolerant of dificulties and problems in the interface” (Norman, 2002) explains that in leisure activities we tend to forgo the uncomfortable aesthetics in place of the overall pleasure from such activity. On the other hand, some aesthetic designs work well into everyday life such as Computer Tablets. When compared with Desktop computers or Laptops,  tablets are user-friendly, lightweight, easy to use and have instant touch response technology. “The most streamlined aesthetics […] a little black slab that fits in your hand, with a glossy IPS screen” (Plastiras, 2014) which is revolutionary when compared to the original bulky desktops and heavy laptops which now seem inconvenient and obsolete. “Aesthetics has lost its character as a special discipline relating solely to art, it has become a more general medium” (Welsch, 1997) which supports my thesis that aesthetics has lost its touch as an appreciative form of design. More products are trying to be hyper-real and almost cartoonify their use which makes them seem overly designed for everyday use.

 

Bradley, S. (2010) Designing Meaningful Aesthetics Vanseo Design Retreived from http://www.vanseodesign.com/web-design/meaningful-design-aesthetics/

Hill, R. (1999) Designs and Their Consequences: Architecture and Aesthetic Retreived from http://books.google.com.au/books?id=-ooprFiVHV8C&dq=aesthetic+design+meaning&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Norman, D (2002) Emotion & Design: Attractive things work better Interactions Magazine Retreived from http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/emotion_design_at.html

Plastiras, E. (2014) Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 tablet PC World Business Centre Retreived from http://www.pcworld.co.nz/review/dell/venue_8_pro/538694/

Welsch, W. (1997) Undoing Aesthetics Retreived from http://books.google.com.au/books?id=J-fRmDJjLiYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=aesthetics&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PVtkU5vOE8WolAWu64DQDA&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=aesthetics&f=false

Q2)

travel-neck-pillow-car-450

Memory Foam Neck Pillow

Tablet Computer.

Finger Grip Hammer

These three items, a memory foam pillow, tablet computer and hammer are all aesthetically usable with their design. They are all ergonomically designed, meaning they fit the human body in some form to be comfortable and usable. The Neck pillow is ideal for travelling, when sleeping on long journeys the neck will experience some aching and the head is not supported. Therefore the neck pillow is favoured over a normal pillow “aesthetic designs look easier to use and have a higher probability of being used” (Solomon, 1946) the pillow fits the body and supports the neck when sleeping which makes it more comfortable and favourable when travelling. The Tablet computer is aesthetically pleasing as it is small, lightweight and touch screen which means it does not need any additional accessories such as mouse, keyboard etc. The quick-response touch screen means it fits into today’s lifestyle of efficiency and modernity. People who use computer tablets are perceived to be sophisticated, modern, technology-savvy and image-conscious   “first impressions of people who influence attitude formation and measurably affect how people are perceived and treated” (Solomon, 1946) the aesthetic and ergonomic design of the Hammer looks easy and comfortable to use with its finger grip design. This can make mundane un-enjoyable tasks such as hammering screws and nails a more enjoyable task. when comparing it to an original wooden hammer, this hammer will stay gripped in the hand and give the user more confidence “people perceive more-aesthetic designs are easier to use than less aesthetic designs” (Kurosu, Kashimura, 1995) More aesthetically pleasing objects tend to be personalised as we have a more positive attitude towards them we feel  somewhat ‘connected’ to them. Stickers, colours, covers and personalisation occurs more in aesthetically pleasing designs “Such personal and positive relationships with a design evoke feelings of affection, loyalty and patience” (Norman, 2002)

 

Kashimura, K. Kurosu, M. (1995) Apparent Usablity vs. Inherent Usablity: Experimental Analysis on the Determinants of the Apparent Usablity Concference Companion Retrieved from http://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3078334-dt-content-rid-2730220_1/courses/CCA1108.2014.1.OFFCAMPUS/LP1.pdf

Norman, D. (2002) Emotion & Design: Attractive Things Work Better Retrieved from http://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3078334-dt-content-rid-2730220_1/courses/CCA1108.2014.1.OFFCAMPUS/LP1.pdf

Solomon, E. (1946) Forming Impressions of Personality Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology Retrieved from http://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3078334-dt-content-rid-2730220_1/courses/CCA1108.2014.1.OFFCAMPUS/LP1.pdf

Images:

Stubbly Claw Hammer [image] (n.d) retrieved from http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61lVFOofgeL._SL1500_.jpg

Sunshine Neck Pillow [image] (n.d) retrieved from http://sunshine-pillows.com/travel-neck-pillow-images/travel-neck-pillow-car-450.jpg

Tablet Computers [image] (2012) retrieved from http://www.firsttabletpc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/tablet-computers.jpg

 

 

 

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