Consistency: Week 2.

Q1. This article summarises that the usability of a design is easier when similar parts or elements are used, this is called Consistency. There are four types of consistency:

  1. Aesthetic Consistency:
    Aesthetic Consistency is the consistency of the appearance of a design ‘enhances recognition, communicates membership and sets emotional expectation.’ (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). This is the most common use of consistency in design, because it allows design easier usability and easier to learn for people in everyday life. The most common use of aesthetic consistency is logos and labels of specific brands. This makes product and brands easier to acknowledge for example when you see the Mac apple symbol you automatically know who designed it and how it is going to work based around other Mac products.
  2. Functional Consistency:
    Functional Consistency is the consistency of the meaning and action of a design ‘improves usability and learnability’ (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003) by using people knowledge of previous formats that are similar e.g. universal symbols (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). Functional consistency is used mostly in technology design where one symbol means one action, these symbol are then applied to a universal scale design where you know what symbol conducts which action.
  3. Internal Consistency:
    Internal Consistency is the consistency of other designs within the system e.g. signs within a park consistent with one another (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). This is the consistency that comes with bigger companies that implement simple yet identifying design elements in every store you may come across.
  4. External Consistency:
    External Consistency is the consistency of other elements in the environment. This means basically that universally if you have a company for example McDonalds that implements external consistency you are going to receive the same in store service and design elements regardless of what store you are going into, e.g. ‘The Golden Arches’.

Q2. Three Examples of Consistency in everyday life:

  1. Traffic Light: This demonstrates the elements of design because this design is used throughout the world and if recognisable to most people you will meet in the 21st They are consistent with colour, placing and how you read the symbols. Traffic lights works in a simple way that people of all mental capacities can understand – Red = STOP Orange = SLOW DOWN and Green = GO. These are just not used on the roads anymore they are used in trainings in companies, memes etc..
  2. Bunning’s Brand: This is not so world widely known since it is a Australian company but if you ask any Australian whether they are 10 or 70 they will know what you mean by: ‘let’s get a sausage sizzle on the weekend while we take a visit to Bunning’s.’ This is a great demonstration of external and internal consistency, these warehouses are nation wide known by their colour scheme (Red and Green) and there trademark symbol (Hammer) and also the service they bring to every store is similar nation wide. They implemented consistency to make there stores easily identified and successful in their field.
  3. Nike Brand: This clothing brand is so universally known because of its consistency. You will find on every piece of Nike merchandise the ‘Nike Tick’ this has been used as a consistent thread to identify Nike from other brands. It has a solid brand logo and also a solid brand catch phrase ‘Just Do It’ this means that it’s not just a clothing branch they are making Nike a lifestyle instead – if you where our clothes you will be able to just do it! The stores also follow similar colours and products to create an easier design for people to work around, plus using consistent styles of sneakers make them definable when someone is working along the streets in them, you know when someone is wearing Nike sneakers you don’t have to look three times you know what brand they are wearing.


Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Universal principles of design. Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport.


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