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Aesthetic and clean things work better

на русском · in english

Or why people sometimes choose a clean and beautiful product instead of a functional one.

The human brain is a complex thing, millions of researchers are looking for answers to questions every day. How does the human brain perceive information? Is there any system or formalization there? Don Norman offers a simplified model, which I really like. The model consists of three levels and answers all questions.

1. Visceral level

This level is the very first, it happens very quickly and COMPLETELY unconsciously. We cannot control this process. We like aesthetics and cleanliness, we don’t like something dirty and scary. This effect has nothing to do with how clear, effective, or simple the product is. This level is only about attractiveness or rejection.

2. Behavioral level

This level mostly happens unconsciously too. We expect something from every action. How does it work? We receive information. We evaluate it. Next, we confirm or reject at the level of expectations. As a result, we are happy or sad.

3. Analytical level

It is at this level that there is understanding and decision-making. This is the longest stage, it is conscious. And it seems to us that only he exists. It is reasoning at this level that makes us recommend the product, advise, use or avoid.


The designer must work with all three levels. All levels are important. When the first level, for example, is positive, and we have difficulties on the behavioral level, then we may have a feeling that this product is good. And we can choose it instead of a more functional one. That’s why sometimes beautiful things work better than functional ones. But not always...

 276   2021   checklist
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