The Aesthetic Advantage How Beauty Boosts Usability

Craig Barber
September 13, 2023
mins read

Today, we’re going to explore an intriguing concept known as the Aesthetic-Usability Effect.

We’ll uncover what it is, provide examples to illustrate its impact, and discover how we can apply this principle to UX design.

So, let’s dive in!

What is the Aesthetic-Usability Effect?

What is the Aesthetic-Usability Effect

The Aesthetic-Usability Effect is a psychological phenomenon that suggests users perceive aesthetically pleasing designs as more usable and efficient.

In other words, when a product or website looks visually appealing, users tend to believe it is more user-friendly and enjoyable to interact with.

This principle beautifully merges aesthetics with functionality to create a delightful user experience.

Aesthetic-Usability Effect explainer video:

Examples of the Aesthetic-Usability Effect

To better understand this effect, let’s consider a few examples from the digital world:

Apple's iPhone

Apple's iPhone​

Apple products have long been lauded for their sleek and visually pleasing designs.

The seamless integration of hardware and software, combined with elegant aesthetics, creates a positive user perception.

Users often attribute high usability and functionality to Apple devices, influenced in part by their pleasing appearance.



One of the reasons behind Instagram’s massive success is its visually appealing and intuitive interface.

The platform’s clean design, attention to detail, and beautiful visual elements have contributed to its exceptional user experience.

The aesthetic appeal of Instagram plays a crucial role in its usability and overall popularity.

4 Examples of How to Apply the Aesthetic-Usability Effect in UX Design

Now that we understand the Aesthetic-Usability Effect, let’s explore how we can apply this concept to UX and UI design:

1. Visual Consistency

Visual Consistency​

Consistency in design elements such as colors, typography, and layout contributes to a visually appealing experience.

Maintaining a cohesive visual language throughout the product or website fosters a sense of familiarity and helps users navigate and understand the interface more easily.

2. Minimalism and Simplicity

Minimalism and Simplicity​

Embracing minimalist design principles can go a long way in creating aesthetically pleasing interfaces.

Stripping away unnecessary clutter and focusing on essential elements not only enhances the visual appeal but also improves usability.

Clean and simple designs allow users to quickly find what they need and complete their tasks efficiently.

3. Delightful Microinteractions

Delighful microinteraction

Small but impactful interactions, known as microinteractions, can add a touch of delight to the user experience.

Whether it’s a subtle animation, a pleasant sound effect, or a delightful transition, these details create a sense of engagement and contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of the interface.

4. Visual Hierarchy and Readability

Visual Hierarchy and Readability​

Paying attention to the visual hierarchy ensures that users can easily understand the information presented.

Proper use of typography, font sizes, and contrast helps guide users’ attention, making content more scannable and readable.

A well-structured visual hierarchy enhances both aesthetics and usability.


The Aesthetic-Usability Effect presents an exciting opportunity for UX designers to create captivating experiences that are both visually pleasing and highly usable.

By understanding the psychological impact of aesthetics on user perception, we can design interfaces that are not only functional but also enjoyable to interact with.

Remember, a beautiful design can greatly influence how users perceive and engage with your product or website.

So, let your creativity flourish and leverage the power of aesthetics to craft exceptional user experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Happy designing!

Want more UX design laws, ideas and principles? Check out our post here.

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