Bicycles and Curb Appeal
One aspect of a bicycle that usually gets omitted from reviews, but I feel is nonetheless important, is "curb appeal" - how noticeable or attractive it is to passers-by (who are not usually bicycle aficionados) at first glance. I've had bicycles in my possession that, while considered excellent and gorgeous by those who know about bikes, are virtually invisible to "normal" people. And then there are bicycles that barely allow me to make it down the street without strangers asking about them.
While it may seem like a superficial thing to care about, the "curb appeal" factor can be important from several perspectives. From the manufacturer's and retailer's point of view, bicycles that are appealing even to those who are not into bikes have the potential to draw in new customers - who may then grow to become serious cycling enthusiasts as a result of the initial lure. From the customer's point a view, a bicycle that is admired by others in their community can enhance their feelings of satisfaction with the purchase and can even result in their riding more often. Even from the point of view of cycling activists, bicycles that are attractive enough to draw in non-cyclists are good news for the obvious reason that they will get more people cycling, or at least thinking about cycling.
On the other hand, some may specifically not want a bicycle with the so-called "curb appeal." Getting constantly approached and asked about one's bike by strangers is a negative thing for those who don't like to attract attention. There may also be a heightened concern of theft to worry about.
Either way, I feel that the extent to which a bicycle is appealing to and noticed by the general public is meaningful and worth mentioning when discussing bicycle design. Have you noticed the "curb appeal" of your bicycle?