Learning Portfolio 2 – Consistency

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading & Writing)

Consistency is a Design Principle that plays a very crucial role .Consistency can help to build an organisation through the design of a logo and their colour choices, it can help us to learn and comprehend instructions efficiently, and assists in navigation but it can also be a combination of all of these. Consistency can help people to efficiently transfers knowledge to new contexts, learn things quickly and focus their attention on relevant aspects of a task. Consistency in its simplest definition means conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness. These characteristics split consistency into four types:  aesthetic, functional, internal and external.

Aesthetic Consistency is the consistency of style and appearance. The article (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003) uses the example of a consistent font, colour and graphic in a company’s logo. Aesthetic consistency sets the emotional expectations of the system. Users will immediate recognise a company or system if they consistently use the same aesthetics in their designs.

Functional Consistency means the consistency of meaning and action. This article uses a traffic light as an example. Everyone knows that red means stop, orange means slow and green means go. Users of the system will apply the knowledge they already have to the function of the system.

Internal Consistency involves consistency within other elements in a system. It tells users that the system has been carefully designed, and that a whole bunch of different things haven’t been merely thrown together.

External Consistency means having a consistency with elements outside of the single system. It extends on the practise of internal consistency. The article states that external consistency is a little more difficult to achieve as multiple systems most likely will not use the same design features as one another.


Smiths Potato Chips

Smiths Potato Chips

Smith’s Potato Chips are a good example of aesthetic consistency. You always know that you are buying Smiths because they have had the same yellow diamond logo for a number of years now. They may have “jazzed” it up with a nicer shade of yellow on the logo and adding a colour gradient to the packet colour but it is primarily the same. They have also stayed consistent in relation to their colour representations, having a different coloured packet represent a different flavour of chips for example the pink packet is salt and vinegar and the blue packet is original.


Ipod Touch

Ipod Touch

The Ipod touch has a lot of new technology on it, but when it comes to playing your music and videos things will seem familiar because of the recognisable symbols such as play, stop, pause and fast-forward. So if you are upgrading from an ipod classic you shouldn’t have too much trouble because the playback buttons have stayed the same it’s just the technology that has changed. This demonstrates functional consistency.

Bathroom Signs

Bathroom Signs

The male and female toilet sign applies external consistency. They are a universally recognizable symbol and in an emergency everyone knows to look for these symbols to find the nearest restrooms.  These signs are usually accompanied by stick figure symbols representing men’s, women’s, baby, and disabled. These universally recognised signs are completely taken for granted when traveling in a foreign country, without them everyone would be very lost.






Gaines, K (2011) Branding and the importance of consistent design, from

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design, United States: Rockport Publishers Inc.

2_smiths_chips_la_rge_1.jpg (n.d.) [Digital Image] Retrieved June 4, 2014, from


itunesradio_siri_hear.jpg (n.d.) [Digital Image] Retrieved June 4, 2014, from
4T9ne6jTE.jpg (n.d.) [Digitial Image] Retrieved June 4, 2014, from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s