Consistency and Standards

Consistency and Standards is the idea that products should be 1.) consistent with industry standards and 2.) with other versions of the product (on different platforms, for example). Sometimes these two different types of consistency can come in conflict and designers will have to choose whether to prioritize consistency with the industry or consistency with other version of the product. 

Consistency and Standards helps to reduce learning and confusion in user design. Consistency helps to limit the number of actions or operations that are represented across designs; thus, users, do not have to learn new representations or are already familiar with them when performing a task. 

An example of inconsistent design includes two types of bathroom. The first has two levers which control hot and cold, while the second has two levers which control volume and temperature. Another example of inconsistent design can be seen in the Google Plus platform. As a social media platform, you expect it to be consistent with apps like Facebook or Twitter which feature an account settings toggle on the top left corner. However, for Google Plus, the button lies on the lower right circle. 

Contributed by Samuel Lam, Matthew Li, and Michael Bervell

About the author: Karen Su

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