A List Apart: Articles: In Defense of Eye Candy
Great article about how good design really works
We’ve all seen arguments in the design community that dismiss the role of beauty in visual interfaces, insisting that good designers base their choices strictly on matters of branding or basic design principles. Lost in these discussions is an understanding of the powerful role aesthetics play in shaping how we come to know, feel, and respond.Eye Candy IS A Critical Business Requirement
Visual design is more than styling. It is function.
Importance of aestheticsPresentation Zen: 7 Japanese aesthetic principles to change your thinking
Kanso - Simplicity or elimination of clutter. Enso Fukinsei - Asymmetry or irregularity. Shibui - Beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon. Shizen - Naturalness. Absence of pretense or artificiality. Yugen - Suggestion, rather than revelation. Datsuzoku - Freedom from habit or formula. Seijaku - Tranquility. An energized calm, stillness, solitude.Design for Startups: The Aesthetics of Web Apps in 6 Questions - ReadWriteStart
Evil Rich has some helpful tips.An Aesthetics Reading List for Programmers - Ideas For Dozens
So, as an aide to programmers looking to improve their ability to produce and critique aesthetic arguments, I've put together a short reading list of items I find both accessible and helpful. These texts vary from actual art criticism to art history and theory. They also vary in vintage — from the very recent to more than 100 years old — and in format — from serious book-length essays to short art criticism and reportage.