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UX Design Framework – Visual Design

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Previously I introduced a UX framework and wrote about the first element – content.  This post is about visual design, perhaps the most immediately emotive ingredient to user experience. Seeing is believing, and what our eyes see immediately tells us if we either like or dislike what they are receiving. It has a sway on the other 5 elements of the UX framework as it is something that is very tangible and creates instant feeling in a person. As UX designers we need to be aware of the importance of visual design as a doorway to incorporate the other equally important facets in our work. Visual design, like it or not, is still king when it comes to the first few seconds that a user interacts with a product or service.



3524670137_80dd4cfc58   Saul Bass, the legendary graphic designer and film maker, described design as ‘thinking made visual’. In many ways visual design should communicate the more complex considerations of a solution in an immediately accessible way.

Aesthetic usability
Think about a website that you like and there will probably be a good deal of visual design that helps you in understanding its content better, what it offers and how easy it is for you to use.

Aesthetic usability is a quality that arguably Apple have made very much part of their product offering. Consider their most successful devices, (iMac,iPod and iPhone) and there is an immediate attraction to getting to know the product, even before you really know what it can do.

As there is an emotive connection (one of delight or intrigue) it affords the product a level of forgiveness within the user when the product or system fails.