Credibility Activity

There are 4 types of credibility when it comes to website credibility. These are the 4 types with an example for each.


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(Dept of Education,2016)

A great example of presumed credibility ( when you assume it’s a credible website due to how well known it is) with websites, is a government website such as the Department of Education. As shown above, this website is assumed to be credible as it is kept up to date, there are no ads or viruses, it has a clean and effective design, it features contact information and is usable.


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Reputed credibility, which is when its a third party reference ( you know someone who uses it so you feel more inclined to use it yourself), can be shown through a popular website such as Twitter, pictured above. This has a simple yet effective design and since people hear so much about it everywhere, they are more likely to use it and assume its credible since it caters to many people all over the world.


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(Ohana Swim,2016)

Surface credibility basically means what you come to find on a quick simple look at a website. An example of this would be a Bikini store called Ohana Swim. From first glance it ticks all the right boxes with a contact link, a search link, about us page and secure payment services.


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Earned credibility is when you have personally had a great (or bad ) experience with a website and therefore judge its credibility based on that. Personally the CommBank website has been very trustworthy and usable since the day I first started using it and have never had any problems. Therefore I view it as a credible website.


CommBank,. (2016). CommBank. Retrieved from

Dept. of Education,. (2016). Dept of Education. Retrieved from

Laja, P. (2012). 39 Factors: Website Credibility Checklist. ConversionXL. Retrieved 29 May 2016, from

Ohana Swim,. (2016). Ohana Swim. Retrieved from

Twitter,. (2016). Twitter. Retrieved from

Credibility Q3 – Week 4

The study identified by (Fogg,2003), on page 154, figure 7.3, shows results of a survey which asked what items on a website make it seem more credible and what makes it less so. The following is my understanding of what makes a website less credible to a user.

  • Spelling or grammatical errors will significantly reduce a websites credibility
  • The site is difficult to navigate,
  • Privacy and Security Policies need to be easy to find and understand
  • The site is rarely updated with new information
  • Scams; Many more people have become aware of what makes a website not credible, scammers will go to greater lengths to make their websites look and behave in a credible manner.
  • Language; while the generation -Y will understand the “tech” shorthand or slang, older users might see this as a reason to deem a website not credible
  • If a websites URL and Organisation name don’t match it can be seen as a reason to view a website as being unprofessional and therefor not credible.
  • If there are no references cited to their information, that is another issue that will probably leave the user questioning its credibility
  • Error 404 ( orphan links) will automatically make me and many other users, assume a website is not credible nor professional


Fogg, B. (2003). Persuasive technology. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.


Credibility Q2

Wikipedia is a widely used website, but the problem is that it is not a very trustworthy website. According to the actual Wikipedia website, “While some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. … use Wikipedia with an informed understanding of what it is and what it isn’t” (Moran,2011).

One of the main reasons this is true, is because you cant trust something when you dont even know who wrote it. Although there is a WIkipedia group which edits unreliable information, often the consensus is won by the contributor with the strongest agenda, not the one with the soundest, and most real information. (Moran,2011).

According to a survey there isnt much diversity among the editors, with about 87% of editors being male,thus the site falls short of “the sum of all human knowledge” (Moran, 2011), without the diversity pool it should have.

People also edit wikipedia pages with vicious style which can go undetected for months. This means you could be reading something that has no truth to it whatsoever, which is why Universities will not accept Wikipedia as a source for papers or assignments.

Finally  Wikipedia says itself says not to trust them, so its better to steer clear of it as a primary source.



Moran, M. (2011). The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Retrieved 27 May 2016, from

Evaluating Credibility Q1

Simply put, credibility can be defined as believability. Credible people are believable people; credible information is believable information.(Stanford, Makovsky, 2002)

As discussed by B.J Fogg in ‘Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do’, credibility plays a big role in a websites ability to persuade readers.(Fogg, 2003) If it wasnt for credibility how would a website convince the user to change their views or ways? Writer Karl Morgan states, “Knowing how to evaluate online sources is crucial to gathering the most current, relevant information for your research and establishing credibility in your writing.” (Morgan,2014)

When evaluating credibility a person will make an assessment on both trustworthiness and enterprise. The trustworthiness part of credibility is the supposed goodness or morality of a source. While the enterprise side of credibility is the supposed knowledge and skill of the source. The web has become the most ‘go to’ source for information, we rely on it and most of the time we really trust what it says,  and therefore it is imperative that we know how credible a source is. So from knowing this information it is safe to say that the most credible sources are those that are most trustworthy and have a high level of enterprise.

From my academic perspective, its very important when writing academic papers for university that the sources and information you use is credible. If the information is credible a student, like myself, will have a higher chance. For this reason it is important that students asses where they are getting information from and whether it is trustworthy. Getting sources off the universities inline library is a great start for receiving quality information.



Fogg, B. (2003). Chapter 7: Credibility and the World Wide Web | Engineering360. Retrieved 27 May 2016, from

Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computes  to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 122‐181). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann  Publishers.

Morgan, K. (2014). Why Is Credibility of Online Sources Important in Education?. Our Everyday Life. Retrieved 27 May 2016, from

Stanford, & Makovsky,. (2002). Retrieved 27 May 2016, from

Activity 1 Aesthetic Usability Principle – Q1

The article of this week’s reading is about Aesthetic usability effect principle. It is discussing on how aesthetic designs play an important role today on usability products to affect people’s buying habits. There are few points can be analysed for the article, if something is more aesthetic, the consumer is more likely to purchase and use it; secondly, the aesthetic products seems easier to handle than the less-aesthetic designs; thirdly, aesthetic products are more connecting on an emotional level and therefore a consumer is more likely to purchase the aesthetic design even if the non-aesthetic one is the same price. Aesthetic responses are primarily emotional or feeling responses, and as such they are very personal.Some points about how enhancing aesthetically pleasing objects are raised by (Malamed, 2015) are the following; it enhances perceived value as consumers are quick to judge on appearance; secondly they increase motivation, much like a clean desk and work space motivates you, with an aesthetic device, tasks are perceived as less difficult; and finally it avoids negative emotions which come from frustration at poorly designed products. Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2003) discuss the influence over Aesthetic-Usability Effect in the article as “positive relationships with a design result in an interaction that helps catalyze creative thinking and problem solving”.

“Some objects evoke strong, positive emotions: love, attachment and happiness. Whatever one may think of the Mini Cooper’s dynamic attributes, which range from very good to marginal, it is fair to say that almost no new vehicle in recent memory has provoked more smiles.The car is so much fun to look at and drive that the reviewer suggests you overlook its faults” (Norman, 2004)

Humans love beautiful things, nothing to be ashamed of its in our nature. We feel a connection and it evokes emotions of happiness in us. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, which is associated with art and beauty  and is concerned with how individuals perceive objects or make judgments based upon information received from five human sensors. Aesthetics is also associated with affect, or mood, emotion, and feeling.. Aesthetics essentially act as the bridge between a product and the user’s emotion and feeling. ( David and Glore, n.d)

The aesthetic usability design gives designers a big issue to be more creativity and in market place.


David, A. & Glore, P. (2010). The Impact of Design and Aesthetics on Usability, Credibility, and Learning in an Online Environment. Online Journal Of Distance Learning Administration, 13(4). Retrieved from
Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design.
Malamed, C. (2015). Why Aesthetics Matter to Learning. Retrieved 10 May 2016, from
Norman, D. (2004). Emotional design. New York: Basic Books.

Performance load Q3

Psychology plays a huge role in visual design, this is because when you look at something you have an immediate reaction to it, and feeling toward it. The look of a particular design, like we saw in week 1 with Aesthetics, can have an impact of how you feel towards the design, whether you will keep paying attention to it and if you feel comfortable enough to use it, whatever it may be. For this reason how the visual design is formatted and then perceived is very important to the designer and viewer, and therefor psychology has a bigger role than one might expect.

The psychological theory of design, as explained by German psychologists in 1920’s, states that people tend to organise visual elements into groups and their application takes advantage of the fact that the brain self organises information into an ‘orderly, regular, simple and symmetrical way’ (Taylor,2016). For example if you use this theory for designing a logo, it will be more memorable, and “visually arresting” (Taylor, 2016).

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Figure 1: Waitrose Honey (Taylor,2016)

A great example of this theory at use is the Waitrose honey jar logo. Designed by Turner Duckworth, using the Gestalt theory spoken about above, it uses implied shape in three difference ways: to indicate the letter ‘E’, the shape of a bee and finally a honey dipper. This intriguing use of shape and lines, draws the viewer in and makes it interesting for them to look at. This is very memorable for the buyer. ( Taylor,2016)

Examples of Performance load in everyday life

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Figure 2: GPS (45degreeslatitude,2012)


GPS systems are an everyday example of how performance load works, and how designers reduce it. Designers have reduced it by eliminating the need for people to remember routes, addresses and directions because its stored in the GPS. This efficiently deducts huge amounts of mental strain required when planning a journey or just going from place to place. When you use a GPS it has a list of regular address you go to, and routes planned as well, all this is to reduce the amount of cognitive and kinematic load when using the GPS.

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Figure 3: Window winder (jalopnick, 2015)

Who remembers having to go through all that trouble to physically wind down their car window?! Some of you may still do this, like me, but its good to know that car designs have significantly improved and now the kinematic load has been greatly reduced. Now days we have an electronic button that we simply hold down a button which makes the window go up or down and even stop half way. Some cars you only have to press the button once and it does it for you. This is a great example of how designers have reduced the performance load thus making it easier for people to put their car windows up or down simply by pressing a button.

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Figure 4: Air balloon pumps (,2013)

Gone are the days where you have to physically use your own breath to blow up a balloon. Though you are still doing some physical movement to perform this task, it is no where near as tiresome nor tedious as blowing it up using your mouth. Designers have significantly reduced kinematic load by inventing this tool, and its something that comes in hand, especially when blowing up balloons for a party! The reduction in the effort needed to do this task, means people are more willing to do it, it reduces frustration and increases overall satisfaction for the person. This is another prime example of designers reducing performance load for those tiring task no one really likes to do.



Figure 2: 45 degrees latitude. (2012). GPS. Retrieved from
Figure 4: Air balloon pump. (2013). Retrieved from
Figure 3: Jalopnik. (2015). Window winder. Retrieved from
Taylor, A. (2016). The psychology of design explained – Features. Digital Arts. Retrieved 20 May 2016, from

Performance Load Q2 – Chunking technique

When it comes to our working memory, less is more!

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Chunking information refers to the process of breaking down information into smaller for easily digested pieces ( so our brains can handle it efficiently!). Our brains need this extra help because the working memory can only hold limited amounts of information at any given time. (Malamed, n.d)

George A Miller invented the chunking method in 1956, because he realised that the working memory has limited capacity. Because we live in an age where we are bombarded by visual stimulation and information all day long, how could we possibly retain it all? By grouping this information into non random categories we could understand all of the information by better. Long strings of information is much harder to comprehend and remember than small chunks of information fed to us. As stated by Lidwell, Holden and Butler, “chunking seeks to accommodate short-term memory limits by formatting information into a small number of units” (Universal Principles of Design, 2003)

For example with regards to design and visual communication, if you were to give a presentation, the audience is more likely to pay attention and hopefully remember the information if it is presented in such a way that there are small chunks of information rather than long paragraphs and boring layout. This makes sense, who would be bothered to read all of that! If it looks hard and boring to read, you can almost be sure that most of the audience will not bother reading it or taking it in if they do. A presentation power point is far more attractive if there are nicely designed bullet points of small amounts of information, its short, sharp and to the point, exactly what our brains like to read! Simplicity goes a long way with visual communication.


Chunking Principle | Style Guide | Technical Writing | Software Engineering. (2016) Retrieved 19 May 2016, from

Lidwell, Holden, & Butler,. (2003). Aesthetic Usability effect.

Malamed, C. (2009). Chunking Information for Instructional Design. Retrieved 19 May 2016, from


Consistency q2

Examples of consistency in everyday life

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Foxtel Remote

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Samsung Remote

The tv remote control is a design that has been kept almost identical since the day it was born and this has allowed users to project knowledge of prior remotes to the latest designs. As you can see between two different brands of the same thing, they both have consistent designs. For example the universal on/off button ( a circle with a line through it) and the volume and channel buttons. These are kept consistent as it allows users to apply knowledge on how to use the remote. This is a good example of functional consistency in everyday life. An upgraded Foxtel or samsung remote will have internal, external and aesthetic consistency too, this is because when people are familiar with a product they are happier and more comfortable using it

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Harry Potter novels

Book series covers are an important aesthetic aspect to be very aware of as a writer. The cover of the book not only draws the reader in but also projects familiarity towards readers of a series for example Harry Potter. This series was widely loved and the original book covers were kept very consistent within their style. Note the consistent font and title placement as well as author font and placement. This is aesthetic consistency, and the fact that it creates emotional connection and recognition is important as we see this cover and expect a certain feel and standard for the book. This establishes its Harry Potter identity.

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Tumblr blog

Web design consistency is very important for usability and familiarity for viewers. When a website is faithful to consistent design principles, it makes it easier for people to find their way around the website and feel comfortable doing so. For example Tumblr’s consistent blue and white theme, and the font of the websites name not only sparks familiarity for the viewer but also makes navigation easier to do even for a first time user. The horizontal strip at the top which you navigate from remains consistent throughout the website therefore increasing usability and making it more comfortable for viewers.


Foxtel remote. (2016). Retrieved from

Harry Potter Novels,. (2012). Harry Potter Novels. Retrieved from

Lidwell, Holden, & Butler,. (2003). Aesthetic usability effect.

Samsung remote. (2016). Retrieved from

Tumblr image. (2016). Retrieved from


Consistency Q1


“Great design is invisible because it is consistent and familiar” (Toscano,2016)

This weeks topic post is on consistency.“Consistency in design is about making elements uniform – having them look and behave the same way.” (Spool, J. 2005). By making a design consistent, you are making it easier for the consumer/user to navigate the object or technology. That way we can easily transfer knowledge we have acquired from one design to another.”We are socialised to understand our experiences. Any intuitive design is simply a combination of signifiers and affordances we’ve come to understand from previous experiences.”(Toscano,2016).

There are four kinds of consistency, which are the following; Functional, internal, external and aesthetic.

“Functional consistency refers to consistency of meaning and action” ( Lidwell, et al. 2003) By leveraging peoples existing knowledge, functional consistency enables people to grasp quite quickly and efficiently, how to use the particular object or technology, otherwise known as learnability and usability. For example the consistent use of symbols on technology makes new devices easier to use!

Internal consistency refers to the consistency with other elements in the particular system. “internal consistency cultivates trust with people” ( Lidwell, et all. 2003) An example of this is park signs, we all know them and know what they mean! This is internal consistency in every day life.

External consistency refers to the degree in which something is consistent with regards to something other than itself,such as security are consistent across a floor, building, or residence. External consistency will increases the benefits of internal consistency across many independent systems (Lidwell, et all. 2003).  It should be noted that this is much more difficult to achieve as different systems rarely have the same design standards.

Basically internal is consistency within the product whilst external is with relation to another product. Jared Spool states that you must ask yourself, “Will the user’s current knowledge help them understand how to use what I’m designing?” (2005). This is an aspect that if considered and used correctly and efficiently can make a huge difference in your design and how people effectively use it.

Last but not least aesthetic consistency refers to consistency in appearance and style ( Lidwell, et all. 2003). A well known example of this would be a companies consistent colour and logo such as the Nike tick. Aesthetic consistency increases recognition, communicates membership between followers, and sets expectations with the brand or company. This means that you are familiar with a brand, you see that Nike tick and automatically assume and expect high quality and up to date style trend, or even a trend setting style! Once you expect these things from a brand you are more likely to carry on using it because you are comfortable with it.

Simply put, a designer should consider and include all four principals of consistency as it establishes an identity, makes us feel comfortable, makes recognition easier and simplify the process of learning to use or using the devices/system.


Levinson, D. & Schlatter, T. (2013). Visual usability. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers is an imprint of Elsevier.

Lidwell, Holden, & Butler,. (2003). Aesthetic Usability effect.

Spool,. (2005). Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach » UIE Brain Sparks. Retrieved 16 May 2016, from

Toscano, J. (2016). The value of consistent design – InVision Blog. InVision Blog. Retrieved 16 May 2016, from

Performance Load Q1

This week we explored the path of least resistance, that is Performance load.

Lidwell, Holden and Butler, explain Performance load as  “the degree of mental and physical activity required to achieve a task” (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2003). Not only that the probability of successfully completing a goal depends upon the size of the performance load. Performance load is mad up of two types; Cognitive and kinematic load. Cognitive load is the amount of mental activity needed to complete an activity. More importantly it proposes that working memory is limited, making unmanaged and complex information result in cognitive overload (Chandler & Sweller) There is a limit to the amount of information that can be used, processed and stored by the working memory, and overloading that limit undermines the learning process ( Chaudhry,2010)

The reduction of cognitive load reduces the mental strain when using computers. They did this by ” minimizing visual noise, chunking information that must be remembered, using memory aids to assist in recall and problem solving and automating computation – and memory intensive tasks” (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003).The success of computers is largely because of the reduction of cognitive load. Kinematic load is the physical effort needed to complete a task. General ways that they reduced the Kinematic load was by “reducing the number of steps required to complete tasks, minimizing range of motion and travel distances, and automating repetitive tasks” (Lidwell, Holden & Butler,2003). When the telegraph was invented and communication was carried out by mechanical tapping out each letter. The number of taps needed to carry out this tedious exercise was the kinematic load, as you can imagine it wasn’t very efficient. But effort was made such as the common letters being ‘e’ was a single tap, whilst letters like ‘q’ were much longer and drawn out. This was an effort to reduce loading, ( Doctor Disruption,2011).

Reducing the performance load means tasks become easier therefor less time wasted and the likelihood of completion increases.



Chandler, P. & Sweller, J. (1991). Cognitive Load Theory and the Format of Instruction. Cognition And Instruction, 8(4), 293-332.

Doctor Disruption. (2011). Retrieved 18 May 2016, from

Lidwell, Holden, & Butler,. (2003). Aesthetic Usability effect.

M. Chaudhry. What is Cognitive Load Theory? Retrieved 05 15, 2014, from HubPages: /hub/What-is-Cognitive-Load-Theory. 2010.