Attractive Things Work Better
NOAM TRACTINSKY, AN ISRAELI SCIENTIST, WAS puzzled. Attractive things certainly should be preferred over ugly ones, but why would they work better? Yet in the early 1990s, two Japanese researchers, Masaaki Kurosu and Kaori Kashimura, claimed just that. They studied different layouts of controls for ATMs, automated teller machines that allow us to perform simple banking tasks any time of the day or night. All versions of the ATMs were identical in function, the number of buttons, and how they operated, but some had the buttons and screens arranged attractively, the others unattractively. Surprise! The Japanese found that the attractive ones were perceived to be easier to use.
Tractinsky was suspicious. ...