Outcome (noun): something which matters, is measured and measurable. Examples: sabermetrics, code, sales.
Optics (noun): something which might matter, however is unmeasured and unmeasurable. Examples: appearance, attention, cultural expectations..
Things which are difficult to measure will be evaluated by optics. In these conditions it’s best to maximize optics.
Things which are easy to measure will be optimized on their measured quantities. In these conditions it’s best to optimize.