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The Power of Good Design

Great design is two fold: it looks good and is good for you too.

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: May 6, 2013

It’s a simple fact that good design is visually appealing. And it’s commonly known that good design is functional. But what might surprise is that the two combined can be good for us too…

Image Source: Todd McLellan, Co.Design

Studies have shown that many of the benefits of good design come from its beauty. Here are the facts:

  • Color affects our moods: Just glancing at shades of green can boost feelings of motivation and productivity.
  • Shapes affect our ability to digest information: The human eye scans fastest when written text is in the optimal shape of a “golden rectangle”. This simple shape improves our ability to read and retain information.
  • Patterns have universal appeal: Patterns of “optimal fractal density” can reduce stress by as much as 60%, just by being in the line of vision.
  • Bad design hurts: Even seemingly subtle differences in design can have negative effects over time, like neck aches as a result of a poorly shaped pillow, or eye strain due to overly bright lighting.

The research behind this info was detailed in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

We think these findings hold lessons for financial products too: Cluttered design overwhelms, and a complex user experience overwhelms and creates inertia. In other words, beauty is better for your bank balance.

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