CMM1108-Learning Portfolio assignment

Learning Portfolio- Week 10 (Q. 1)


The article revolves around the concept or rather concepts of consistency in relation primarily to how they are intertwined within, of fundamental importance to any discipline or form of design. Consistency is essentially defined as the process of developing programs, designing systems along similar paths which share certain premises.

The article goes on to declare that there are four kinds of consistency- aesthetic, functional, internal and external. (Lidwell et al, 2003).

Aesthetic consistency referring to the use of consistent style and appearance. Mercedes-Benz is provided as a prime specimen of this and upon seeing such a vehicle emotional expectations, a sense of membership etc are perceived by those exposed.

Functional consistency referring to the consistency of meaning and action e.g. traffic light goes from one colour to the next.

Internal consistency according to the article refers to the building of trust among a people, a community e.g. signage in parks are consistent with one another.

Whereas external consistency according to the text refers to consistency with other elements within the environment. Alarms are used as a prime example of this.


Normans argument that attractive things work better applies very well to the concept of consistency. For instance in the case of Aesthetic consistency a Mercedes-Benz or a Porsche is perceived as being attractive objects. Merely viewing the logo of such a vehicle immediately creates an emotional reaction based upon previous conditioning, mass media etc.

This thus coincides very well with Normans viewpoint upon emotional design whereby he demonstrates how evolutionarily advanced animals are more emotional than primitive ones, the human being the most emotional of all. (Norman. D, 2003).

Repetition which is closely related if not intrinsically attached to consistency most of its forms, is vitally important towards creating an overall sense of order and law within a society as a whole.

What if Stop signs came in pink squares, yellow circles, or green triangles, depending on the changing whims of a town and a few of its residents? Imagine the ensuing traffic jams and accidents”. (“Consistency and Repetition”, n.d.)


It is important for designers to not get to adhere to the knowledge that they have at present, current knowledge when approaching potential design problems that could result in severe in-consistency in particular areas of design. “Current knowledge is the knowledge the user has when they approach the design. It’s the sum of all their previous experiences with relevant products and designs”. (“Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach”, 2005).



Reference List


Consistency and Repetition [n.d]. Retrieved October 20 2011,


Consistency and Repetition [n.d]. Retrieved October 20 2011,


Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach. (2005). Retrieved October 20 2011,


Norman. D. (2003). Attractive Things Work Better. Online Journal,


Lidwell, W et al. (2003). Consistency. In Universal Principles of Design. (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.


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