Don’t Judge a book by its cover: it’s an important proverb that we must keep in mind! However, in the graphic design world (and the visual world in general), the “cover” often allows us to read into the book.
“We’ve all seen arguments in the design community that dismiss the role of beauty in visual interfaces, insisting that good designers base their choices strictly on matters of branding or basic design principles. Lost in these discussions is an understanding of the powerful role aesthetics play in shaping how we come to know, feel, and respond.”
This is the lead of Stephen P. Anderson’s article “In Defense of Eye Candy.” Anderson gives insight in to the importance of look and beauty in the psychological responses of people. The article mainly underlines the significance of aesthetics in websites, the trigger of the senses. I found it interesting the way he compares the number of interactions and kinds of responses given to two different interfaces, one visually appealing and the other bland, with the responses we would have to an old gas station rather than a brand new, clean, and well-designed one. Although the article mainly refers to aesthetics in websites, the argument can be broadened to everything that surrounds us. We might be drawn to a colorful and more mind-engaging rice box than a plain, unlabeled one.
It is really interesting to learn more about the game played with our psyche and how to use them to our advantage in design.