According to Butler, Holden and Lidwell “Consistency enables people to efficiently transfer knowledge to new contexts, learn new things quickly and focus attention on the relevant aspects of a task” (2003, p. 46). The following are examples of this principle.
Emergency exit signs, such as the ones seen in public spaces, are always green with white text, independent of location. This makes them aesthetically and externally consistent. They are aesthetically consistent because they green backing and white text is familiar and recognisable as an exit sign. They are externally consistent because these signs exist in more than one system and have the same design throughout the country and some international countries. Designs that involve serious repercussions, such as fire hazard signs or traffic designs, are more externally consistent as there is a greater need for understanding. These signs can also feature an androgynous stick figure heading towards a door, making it easier for foreigners to determine an exit.
McDonalds Golden Arches
The McDonalds golden arches are a worldwide logo for the company and are instantly recognisable. They are aesthetically consistent as the logo features the same or similar font, colour and graphic in every interpretation. The arches are internally consistent as it is a brand that manipulates and enforces the logo and it remains the same throughout the company internationally. This consistency is used as a advertising strategy as the company is immediately recognised by one image or sign, no matter where in the world you may be.
Chair Adjustment Controls
Chair adjustment controls, the levers and cranks that are pulled in order to manipulate chair height and angle, are located in the same area on almost all office chairs. This is convenient for the user as they are not forced to search around for the controls and make adjusting the chair to their individual needs smoother and more efficient. The height adjustment controls are located under the seat on the right hand side, right in the reachable area. This is because it is the most common adjustment made. The back height is always at the rear of the seat and incline is found on the right hand side next to the height controls. It is functionally consistent, as the action remains the same for most office chairs and externally consistent as most companies operate this way.
Butler, J., Holden, K., & Lidwell, W. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.
Figure 1 Exit Sign. (n.d) In First Safety Signs [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 30, from http://www.firstsafetysigns.co.uk/WebRoot/BT2/Shops/Store2_002E_Shop1848/45F5/4CA A/50BE/B6A6/CDCB/AC10/3D2A/0034/300mmx150mm-exit-left.gif
Figure 2 McDonalds Arches. (n.d) In Red Angle Spanish – WordPress [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 30, from https://redanglespanish.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/mcdonalds.png
Figure 3 Chair. (n.d) In Washington CI [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 30, from http://www.washingtonci.com/skin/frontend/WACI/primary/images/content/products- services/furniture/seating/chair-adjustments.png