Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Web Design Online Trends

What makes rounded corners more attractive than sharp edges?

Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Web Design Online Trends

Rounded corners are more aesthetically appealing  than jagged edges to everyone, but these days most people don’t even think twice about why this might be so. Designers use rounded corners so often that they are more of an industry standard than a design trend. They’re not only being used on user interfaces, but hardware product designs as well. 

So why is it that they are so popular? They do look appealing and it’s no coincidence that the biggest brands in the world all use them in their logos. Just think about the Nike tick, Coca-Cola cursive lettering, Microsoft apple, Pepsi bottle-cap, Walt-Disney arch, Starbucks stamp and the Chanel double c. All use either circles or rounded edges in their design.  These are logos that would have been tried and tested thousands of times over with a lot of research put into them to look tasteful, memorable and most importantly stand-out. 

But there’s more to it than them just looking good. Everyone can appreciate the beauty of rounded corners but not everyone can explain where that beauty comes from. The answer is in your eyeball. 

According to some experts a rectangle with rounded corners is easier on the eyes than a rectangle with sharp edges because it takes less cognitive effort to visually process. The part of your eye which is responsible for sharp central vision (also called foveal vision), which is needed for reading, watching television or movies, driving, and any activity where visual detail is of primary importance is fastest at processing circles. This is because processing edges requires your brain to have to work harder as it involves more “neuronal image tools” being used. 

Barrow Neurological Institute conducted Scientific research on corners and found that the sharper that a corner was, the brighter it began to appear. And the brighter a corner appears, the longer it will take to process visually. 

Rounded corners are also more effective for maps and diagrams. They allow our eyes to easily follow the lines as  curves are better suited to the natural movement of the head and eyes. Sharp corners throw your eyes off the path of the line so when it changes direction you experience abrupt pauses. But, with rounded corners the line leads your eye around the path naturally and smoothly. 

Rounded corners also make effective content containers because they point inward towards the centre of the rectangle. Which means a person will be naturally drawn to look into the centre of the box where your content is, which is exactly what you want.