Chapter: Deepen Your Aesthetic Awareness
Leonardo da Vinci combined art and science and aesthetics and engineering; that kind of unity is needed once again.
-Ben Shneiderman, Professor of Computer Human Interaction
The word aesthetics is one that is seldom used in the context of business. We usually talk about the bottom line, profits, or business models, but let me convince you that aesthetics is just as important. Aesthetics is the primary means for evaluating creations. Although it may be assumed to be restricted to the judgment of works of art, don’t be fooled; every consumer is evaluating your product or service based on aesthetic measures. Failure to recognize this insight can lead to economic peril for your organization.
Furthermore, the knowledge that results from the information that comes to us through our senses is just as important as knowledge that arises from logico-rational analysis. Indeed the ability to perceive and make aesthetic judgments is a strength just as important as one of your multiple-intelligences, and as important as learning how to design or improvise.
In this chapter I explain what aesthetics is and how we make aesthetic judgments. We then apply this skill to evaluating products, services, and other experiences by conducting sensory experiments.