In the Aesthetic-Usability Effect (2003) the primary idea is that if a person perceives a design to be aesthetic they inherently believe it to be easier to use. This also effects the users mood when interacting with the design; the more aesthetic, the greater the acceptance or attitude towards the object or user interface.
One example of this is Myspace, which in 2006 “..winning market share from other social networks – in June, it captured 80% of social networking traffic, up from 76% in April. Facebook is second with 7.6%.” (Cashmore, 2006) due to its original social media ideas Myspace thrived, but its biggest problem was that the user had trouble navigating the site; its ease of use was terrible. Knowing that a persons perception of aesthetic design to relate to a person want to use that an object over its competition, Facebook destroyed Myspace by creating a user interface that was incomparable to the cluttered nature and poor design that was Myspace. Myspace failed to identify a users need it was their death, they were more interested in creating new features which in the end made Myspace even more hard to use and exacerbated the issue for every user.
Another factor that relates to the reason why we use media that is easier to use is due to anxiety. According to Raafat George Saadé, we use certain computer related mediums more that others because we receive anxiety from them if they are poorly designed “Past research has shown that computer experience is a strong predictor of whether or not a user will suffer anxiety symptoms while using a computer. Moreover, a substantial amount of work has been done to study the effect of previous computer experience on anxiety and on ease of use of information technologies using the technology acceptance model. However, few, if any, have investigated the role of anxiety in mediating technology usage experience on perceived ease of use…..anxiety was shown to present some moderating influence on perceived ease of use.” (Saadé, 2007)
Saadé, R. (2007). Mediating the impact of technology usage on perceived ease of use by anxiety. Computers & Education, 49(4), 1189-1204. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2006.01.009
Cashmore, P. (2006). Myspace, Americas Number One. http://mashable.com/2006/07/11/myspace-americas-number-one/#i37V1lHva5qz