The article explains why the use of consistency in design can help humans interact with the designs in many ways. The use of consistency across designs and systems ensures that people using the design may transfer any applicable knowledge that they may have already acquired, which is useful due to the consistency of usable systems. The article goes on to define four distinct types of consistency found in design: Aesthetic, Functional, Internal and External.
Aesthetic Consistency is that of appearance, and design aspects that might not be considered strictly functional. A good example of this type of consistency in design is the use of the four rounded tail lights found on the back of a Nissan Skyline. These four circular tail lights have featured on Skylines for many consecutive models and eras and are a sure fire way for an admirer of the model to recognise the car and be familiar with it.
Functional Consistency is that of design aspects that have functional value. An example of this type of consistency in design is that of the Xbox controller. The Xbox controller has gone through three models, that do have differences in design and features, but the main features have been kept very consistent in their design. The D-Pad is always featured in the same spot, as is the two joy sticks, the triggers and the coloured buttons. This allows players to transfer the skills that they have acquired on previous consoles to the latest one.
Internal Consistency is that of features that are consistent within a closed system. An example of this is the buttons and functions of the Apple Mac running software. The consistency of the design aspects will not translate to running software developed by Microsoft. External Consistency is different in that the consistency is universal, and often found in nature.
1. Cole, D., Why Is Consistency Important In Design?, Quora, (2012). Accessed on the 23rd of May 2016 from https://www.quora.com/Why-is-consistency-important-in-design
2. Toscano, J., The Value Of Consistent Design. Accessed on the 23rd of May 2016 from http://blog.invisionapp.com/consistent-design/