Tag Archives: aesthetics

many snow white dolls

The Uncanny Valley

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In my visual design course last semester a student brought up the concept of the uncanny valley. The idea is that there is a U-shaped curve to the relationship between how human-like a non-human entity can be and still be accepted. If something is fully human (at the extreme right of the curve), then it is fine. If it is fully un-human (at the extreme left of the curve) then it is fine also. But at the point of the curve where it is eerily “almost human” it is rejected. At this point, it gets associated with a zombie, with disease, or with sociopathy. So it was fun to read the article contrasting R2D2 and C3PO in the May issue of Smithsonian…

an old voting booth

Aesthetic Affiliation: Could it Really Be That Easy?

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Previous research has found that after participants choose an aesthetically pleasing design, they become more open to uncertainty. The hypothesis is that high aesthetic products have an innate value that gives you the same positive feeling that self-affirmation does. But, this is not practical in the field. So this study wanted to find a more practical way to do it. They wanted to know if highlighting the participant’s connection to an aesthetically pleasing design could do it. This could be done in the field (i.e the real world)…

Ergonomic Design: Buzzword or Key Differentiator?

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Is this really an ergonomic improvement? Or is it just aesthetics fooling our body into thinking it will feel good? “Home Depot’s new Big Gripper all-purpose bucket is a handy improvement on the old school, five-gallon contractor pail. An ergonomic handle and patent pending “pocket grip” on the underside sets the product apart on the shelf, but more importantly, the design is a showpiece for a new approach to big box merchandising.”…