Do business documents need to be visually appealing?

We observe the influence of aesthetic design on consumer behavior involving financial products—an area where financial decision-makers say they do not take aesthetics into account. In a series of three studies we find that the look of a document in hypothetical investment decisions impacts stock valuation and behavior in some but not all situations. Specifically, our results show that calling attention to the influence of design on behavior moderates the effect, including the paradoxical finding that the effect of design is attenuated when investments involve entities for which aesthetics is of intrinsic value.

Source: “When and how aesthetics influences financial decisions” from Journal of Consumer Psychology

As I’ve said before, most business books are awful. I do recommend these: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco and Den of Thieves.

I don’t know if this is really a business book or not but it can help you in business and in life. One reason I’m hesistant to call it a business book is because it is well-written.

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