Week 12

Week Twelve – Activity

Examples of Web Credibility


Presumed Web Credibility

Amnesty International is an example of a non-profit organisation with a dot org web address, two factors that can contribute to presumed web credibility. The front page of the website is well designed and shows the clear prioritisation of social justice and human rights. The link labelled ‘countries’ demonstrates the international reach of the website. All of these factors make the website appear trustworthy and credible.


Amnesty International

Reputed Web Credibility

One of the most well-known websites and brand names in the world Google is understood almost universally to be a trustworthy and credible search engine. The site has won awards, including a Webby in Best Technological Achievement, further reinforcing it as a well received and trustworthy source. Not only recommended by others Google is often assumed to form a key component of the average person’s internet use.



Surface Web Credibility

The Airbnb website utilises a minimalist look that appears subtle and well designed. All of the information is clearly available at first glance, along with the logo and an option to either log in or create an account. The homepage doesn’t have any distracting advertisements and allows the user to immediately understand and make use of all of the features on the page.



Earned Web Credibility

Since its inception in 1998 Pay Pal has grown in popularity and has gained the trust of a wide range of users worldwide. The majority of trusted retail websites will allow you to pay with Pay Pal, something which aids in cementing it as a trustworthy source as links to and from other websites are seen as a factor of web credibility. The homepage doesn’t display any distracting adverts. Pay Pal has continuously provided trustworthy service to its users in recent years with no major complaints, making it a trustworthy source.



Week 12

Week Twelve – Item One


 This week’s article examined credibility, specifically in relation to websites and how users may perceive them. A combination of trustworthiness and expertise should be utilised in order to convince a user of a website’s credibility, factors such as links to other credible sites and easily verified information will enhance credibility while pop-up ads and typographical errors often have a negative impact on a user’s trust of a website. Trust of a website must also be built on both a personable and professional level. The vast majority of websites aim, whether directly or indirectly, to convince a user to change opinion, attitude or behaviour and a website which is viewed as less credible will have greater difficulty gaining enough user trust to convince a reader of anything. The article also explores the four types of web credibility: presumed, reputed, surface and earned. As both the amount of information available on the internet and number of people regularly using the internet for information and research grows an increasing number of people are viewing the internet as a reliable source, in some cases more reliable than print media. Even those who do not view the internet as a reliable source often still use it frequently for information (Shah, Ravana , Hamid, & Ismail, 2015). Ease of use may be considered a factor when judging the credibility of a website, as the simpler and less cluttered a website is to use and the more appealing it is aesthetically the more a user will instinctively be willing to trust it (Sears & Jacko, 2007). Likewise assurances of privacy protection will establish a relationship of trust (Folk & Apostel, 2016). Misinformation is an undeniable aspect of the internet and, due to excess of information and lack of most regulations, it will likely remain that way for some time (Flanagin & Metzger, 2000) as a result highlighting the credibility of a website remains a crucial part of visual design.


Wikipedia as an Unreliable Source

Wikipedia is considered an unreliable source by most in part because of its unlimited, unrestricted editing. Anyone with an account is able to add or change information on a Wikipedia article without any sort of guarantee that said information is accurate and, as a result of this, much of the information on Wikipedia cannot be guaranteed to be true. The information may be outdated, poorly researched or blatantly false depending on whom decided to edit it. In fact as a result of this Wikipedia itself warns readers to check information before using it in academic writing. There is also no record of who has edited the information, meaning that a reader cannot account so easily for the writer’s personal opinions and biases or assess any more of their work to judge long term credibility. What must also be considered is the potential for some users to purposefully edit articles to include misleading information due to the lack of consequences for doing so (Moran, 2011). Although Wikipedia can serve as a starting point for research, especially due to the listed citations that appear at the end of some of the longer articles which can lead to more reliable sources, as a result of these factors it cannot be considered a reliable or credible source to be used in academic research or writing.


Web Credibility in the Future


  • It is likely that there will continue to be a steady increase of information on the internet in the future meaning in general perceptions of the internet will likely eventually shift to seeing it as a credible source.
  • With the growing ease of finding a great range of information on the internet in a short span of time it is possible that in the future the average reader will not be content to settle for any one source and may instead look for the facts that are repeated the most across a range of sources.
  • Speed of information and updates, while already an important component of trust with regards to websites, will likely become more and more vital as current news becomes easier to access online. Twitter which, while unreliable, provides many instantaneous and on-location updates is already putting pressure on professional news sites to update quickly and will likely continue to do so.
  • Concise news is also likely to become a desirable factor as the internet provides access to an unprecedentedly large amount of both local and international news, more than the average person has the time to read. Quickly summarising the crucial facts will likely become increasingly important as the internet continues to grow.


Works Cited

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2000). Perceptions of Internet Information Credibility. Jornalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.

Folk, M., & Apostel, S. (2016). Establishing and Evaluating Digital Ethos and Online Credibility. IGI Global.

Moran, M. E. (2011, October 27). The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia. Retrieved from Finding Dulcinea: http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/education/2010/march/The-Top-10-Reasons-Students-Cannot-Cite-or-Rely-on-Wikipedia.html

Sears, A., & Jacko, J. A. (2007). The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications, Second Edition. CRC Press.

Shah, A. A., Ravana , S., Hamid, S., & Ismail, M. (2015). Web credibility assessment: affecting factors and assessment techniques. Information Research.

Week 11

Week Eleven – Activity

Examples of Performance Load

The invention of Pay Pass reduced the number of physical steps that were required to use a credit card (needing to key in several separate pieces of information) along with the amount of information that needed to be recalled in order to use it. Paying for an item became something that could be accomplished in one easy step.



The average smartphone combines a number of different features into one simple device. Rather than having to physically switch between devices to text a friend, take a picture, use a calculator, check the internet and play a game a user is now able to do all of these things simply by switching between applications. The picture based nature of most smartphones also reduces necessary reading time for a user to understand how to use a new application.



An electric toothbrush is an object frequently taken for granted in modern society but it does serve its purpose in accordance to principles of performance load. It reduces the physical effort required for a person to correctly and thoroughly clean their teeth and doesn’t require knowledge of brushing techniques in order to use. The timer that is present on many of these toothbrushes also allows a user to make sure they clean their teeth for long enough without needing to keep track of time themselves.

Week 11

Week Eleven – Item One

Performance Load  

This week’s article discusses performance load, the amount of mental and physical effort that will be necessary in order to complete a task. Performance load may be split into two categories: cognitive, which is the degree of mental activity required and kinematic, which is the amount of physical effort required to complete a task. Cognitive load encompasses more than simply the sheer amount of mental work required for a task; it also covers other psychological factors such as demand for said task (Plass, Moreno, & Brünken, 2010).  The article states that the greater the performance load the higher chance of errors there will be. Perceived ease of use can greatly influence both user’s behaviour and acceptance of technology (Venkatesh, 2000) and it is understood that a user’s initial relationship with a device may be determined by perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use (Gefen & Straub, 2000). Reducing effort required to operate devices serves a major purpose in technological advancement (Haftor, 2010) and should be considered when designing user friendly products.



 This article discusses chunking, specifically the chunking of information in order to reduce cognitive load and appeal more to users. Chunking is the act of splitting up information into smaller, more specific parts in order to make it easier to process and remember, for example reading out a phone number in groups of three or four numbers rather than reciting the whole number at once (Meyer, 2016). It may also be utilised in the form of breaking up information which a user is required to fill out, such as separating out the lines required to fill in an address into road number, road name, state and postcode. Chunking is understood to be effective across a variety of mediums such as audio, video and visual images and, as a result, it serves a valuable purpose in visual design. Research has shown that the human short-term memory is limited to approximately four separate pieces of information but grouping information into several ‘chunks’ of four or fewer items can serve to assist in recalling more information. Chunking information in a visual design context can involve splitting up a large topic into many separate sub topics, creating shorter paragraphs and splitting up long numbers, all of which will help a reader understand the information more clearly and prevent them from becoming overwhelmed or easily bored. Chunking in visual design or web design may entail utilising a minimalist look in order to separate unrelated information, utilising bold titles for sub headings to make each topic clearer and grouping similar links together on menus (Meyer, 2016) all of this things will serve to clarify information. Chunking is a useful technique to utilise to both retrieve and convey information to a user more quickly and effectively.


Psychology in Design

I personally believe that psychology must always be considered an important aspect of design simply because in order to design a system that is useful and appealing to a user the user’s needs and desires must be understood. Psychology may also be helpful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the average user and can then be further used in order to design systems that promote and encourage a user to utilise their strengths while accounting for their weaknesses. As the concept of usability becomes a greater factor in design a psychological approach becomes increasingly necessary in order to create simple methods to achieve more complex goals in technology use (Carroll, 1997). As a result of the human factors inherently involved in use of technology it is my belief that psychology must be considered when designing a product.


Works Cited

Carroll, J. M. (1997). Human-Computer Interaction: Psychology as a Science of Design. Annual Reviews Psychology , 61 – 83.

Gefen, D., & Straub, D. (2000). The Relative Importance of Perceived Ease of Use in IS Adoption: A Study of E-Commerce Adoption. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 1 – 28.

Haftor, D. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies, Society and Human Beings: Theory and Framework. Idea Group Inc.

Meyer, K. (2016, March 20). How Chunking Helps Content Processing. Retrieved from Nielsen Norman Group: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/chunking/

Plass, J. L., Moreno, R., & Brünken, R. (2010). Cognitive Load Theory. Cambridge University Press.

Venkatesh, V. (2000). Determinants of Perceived Ease of Use: Integrating Control, Intrinsic Motivation, and Emotion into the Technology Acceptance Model. Information Systems Research , 342 – 365.

Week 9

Week Nine – Activity

Examples of Consistency Within Design


Although they have fallen out of regular use pictures of floppy discs are still used across a variety of systems and products to represent the option to save a document. Those who grew up using floppy discs instantly make the symbolic connection between saving a document to a disc and saving it to a USB or hard drive while younger users interpret the meaning of the symbol through consistent experience without needing to understand its origins. This is an example of both internal and external consistency as a floppy disc is understood to be a save symbol across a range of products, as well as functional consistency by allowing those who grew up with floppy discs to transpose their knowledge.



Road signs are an example of both internal and external consistency. Although there are small differences between countries many of the standards are universally accepted, for example a large number on a sign can be reasonably expected to be the speed limit for that road. Likewise a silhouette on a brightly coloured sign can be interpreted as a warning. This consistency makes it considerably safer for people to drive in countries other than their own as so many of the symbols are standard and therefore much more immediately understood. Without this consistency it would be unlikely that even a skilled driver could be expected to safely navigate the roads of a foreign country without learning an entirely new set of rules, making driving much more inaccessible.



McDonalds is an example of a company which has gained nearly unprecedented brand recognition through its consistency. Its logo, a golden letter m, has become something of an icon, instantly recognisable almost globally and is present at every restaurant along with on the packaging of every product sold. As a result of this the logo has become almost synonymous with fast food. This logo is both aesthetically and internally consistent, utilising the same font, shape and colour and being used so frequently and, as a result has become easily recognisable and iconic.

Week 9

Week Nine – Item One


 This article discusses consistency with relation to usability and learnability. The author hypothesises that systems are both easier to use and easier to learn when the four different standards of consistency (aesthetic, functional, internal and external) are met. Aesthetic consistency is the consistency of style, creating membership groups and brand recognition, functional consistency is consistency of meaning which assists people in applying old skills to new products, internal consistency refers to consistency within the product and suggests well planned design and external consistency is consistency across multiple systems. These methods of consistency can be used to establish recognisable identity which can then be simplified in order to make products as easy to learn and use as possible.

In a world of rapidly advancing technology and social media making it easier for companies to gain recognition and expand overseas universal consistency can be useful in helping users to master new products. Global media has resulted in brand recognition, the associations customers may have with a brand, becoming increasingly important and it is understood that consistency within brands and logos incites trust in a consumer while inconsistency may result in discomfort (Bengtsson, Bardhi, & Venkatraman, 2008). Consistency in both branding (aesthetic consistency) and function (functional consistency) is crucial to building trust with a consumer, creating a relationship with them and potentially encouraging brand loyalty (Aggarwal, 2008).

Consistency, particularly internal consistency, may be achieved by a factor as subtle as positioning buttons in the same place and ensuring that they are consistently labelled (Anderson, McRee, & Wilson , 2010). Small consistencies such as that can help a user to feel more confident which will in turn ensure they have a more positive relationship with the product.

Although usability is difficult to truly define or measure consistency can increase both user performance and user satisfaction (Choong, Lin, & Salvendy , 1997) and it is very important for consistency of all varieties to be considered when designing or advertising a product.

Works Cited

Aggarwal, S. (2008). Brand Management: A Theoretical and Practical Approach. Global India Publications.

Anderson, J., McRee, J., & Wilson , R. (2010). Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software. O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Bengtsson, A., Bardhi, F., & Venkatraman, M. (2008). How global brands travel with consumers. Emerald Insight, 519 – 540.

Choong, Y.-Y., Lin, H. X., & Salvendy , G. (1997). A proposed index of usability: a method for comparing the relative usability of different software systems. Behaviour and Information Technology, 267 – 278.

Week 8

Week Eight – Activity

Aesthetic Usability Effect Examples

Apple is a company that has always valued aesthetics and has even cultivated an aesthetic of its own, creating a fiercely loyal and dedicated user base (Isaacson, 2011).  The appearance of the MacBook Pro is an example of typical Apple aesthetics and it utilises the sleek, contemporary and minimalist design typical of its predecessors. The MacBook Pro is thin resulting in it appearing visually light and efficient, it utilises light, bright colours which contrast with its dark keyboard and screen boarder and in the majority of ads it is open to display a bright, high definition background. These factors serve to make it look clean, efficient and professional.




Often perceived as Apple’s major competitor Samsung has also long favoured simplistic, minimalist designs. Samsung prioritises elegance and modernity in its products and the Samsung Galaxy S8 is an example of this. Much of Samsung’s advertising for this product focused on its infinity screen, which extended to the edge of the phone and wrapped around the sides. Fittingly this gave the phone a more limitless appearance while the lack of physical buttons made it appear more futuristic. Likewise camera quality has played a key role in Samsung’s advertisements, which often show the phone as having the capability to photograph important moments both easily and well. As a result the Galaxy S8’s aesthetic is one of fluidity, blending into the backgrounds used in order to demonstrate how seamlessly a moment may be captured by the phone.




Cars are often referenced in discussion of the aesthetic usability effect as they are one of the products that consumers often form a close relationship with, often going as far as to name them. Cars from companies such as Ferrari represent a status symbol as much as a means of travel and Ferrari has developed its own distinctive style to enhance its brand recognition. The Ferrari F430 is brightly coloured, sleek and low to the ground, designed for speed and aesthetic appeal, all of which are attractive features for customers looking for a car which they can admire, enjoy and build a personal attachment to.



Works Cited

Isaacson, W. (2011, September). How Steve Jobs’ Love of Simplicity Fueled A Design Revolution. Retrieved from Smithsonian.com: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-steve-jobs-love-of-simplicity-fueled-a-design-revolution-23868877/