The Power of Aesthetics

Abi and I just came back from the LA Festival of Books, where I remembered a few things and learned a few more. I attended UCLA as an undergrad, and I had forgotten just how pretty the campus was (this balanced out how vividly I remembered just how hot LA could get, ah-hem). The beautiful architecture and stunning landscape made me think how this beauty had always nurtured and encouraged an important message: that this lushly cushioned space offered a wonderful opportunity to learn about esoteric things like the Hundred Years’ War, color wheel theory… anything that captured my imagination.

We were at UCLA promoting Wax and the stickers, and basically just meeting authors. So it was natural that I should connect my collegiate remembrances to what I do now. Beauty housing a message makes for an easier and more pleasing acceptance of message. Take the leap with me to websites: A crappy website we can all agree is just crappy. We can be there because we have to be, but we would like to get away as soon as possible. Sites that are passable don’t feel inviting. And chances are the experience won’t stay with you. But the beautiful site invites us in, offering a natural encouragement to stay and hear the message.

Much like a beautiful campus encourages learning.

For more reading on how beautiful sites are simply better, please click over to Human-to-Human Design by Sharon Lee, an insightful article originally posted on the always sapient A List Apart.

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