What is beauty?

What is beauty?

Those who deal with design should understand how much cognition and emotion band together within the aesthetic experience. Everyone agrees that the ideal “formula” for the development of an interface project requires balanced amounts of knowledge and aesthetics. Along with elements such as information architecture, usability, navigation performance and substantial content – highly important for such projects, we are aware that aesthetics – the graphic treatment – plays a role of utmost significance. Evolutionary biology tells us that the “ideals of beauty” have been somehow programmed into our gene pools In fact, the issue concerning what is beautiful or what is not so directly influences many aspects of our lives. In his book “O que é belo?” (“What is beautiful?”, free translation of title), Gábor Paál attempts to situate the concept within the realm of aesthetics and knowledge. While philosophers associate it mainly to art and psychologists see it as a sheer sensation of pleasure, to the layman aesthetics is simply a matter of taste. Evolutionary biology tells us that the “ideals of beauty”, because of the selective advantage they provide, have been somehow programmed into our gene pools. It is a proven fact that people find waterscapes and places of lush green vegetation more pleasing than deserts and steep mountains. To our ancestors, living in those areas gave them an advantage because food and water were easier to obtain, and they also found better protection against their enemies. On its turn, experimental psychology also gave rise to the so-called field of informational aesthetics. Researchers have demonstrated that graphic patterns are responsible for stimulating the observer’s investigative potential, that...