Reading 4 Item 2

The following 4 websites exemplify the types of credibility.


Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology domain name and government iconography are examples of presumed credibility.



EatingWA is an example of Reputed credibility. The website displays 3rd party endorsement and reviews as well as affiliation with other reputable West Australian organisations.


AlifeNYC’s website looks professionally designed and immediately gives off good first impressions. This is an example of surface credibilty. Alife’s brand logo is shown down the bottom, as well on the webpages main image.

EarnedPick Your Shoes

Pick Your Shoes is an example of Earned credibility due to the following reasons; for over a year I have been shopping on Pick Your Shoes and have never encounted any problems. The website was recommended to me by friends and Sneaker Freaker, a universal sneaker publication.


Reading 4 Q3

Perceived web credibility is constantly changing, due to advancements in technology and it’s continued mainstream acceptance.

  • The wide range induction of internet access on hand-held devices will see changes in the perception of web credibility. Web designers have begun tailoring websites for hand held devices taking into consideration smaller screens. Mobile webpage’s see a reduction in graphics and animations due to the high amount of bandwidth required, which is often not accessible on hand held devices. Judging the overall credibility of a website based purely on aesthetic design becomes much harder on a webpage modified for hand held devices.
  • As online shopping continues to grow so too will the availability and range of products purchasable over the internet. In future years it will be considered common place to have groceries ordered online and delivered. This brings with it the possibility of fraudulent websites.
  • We see a wider range of users accessing the internet, including a younger generation. Younger generations are particularly susceptible to fraudulent websites and uncreditable information.

Reading 4

Credibility is an important and essential component of any web based product or information. Fogg defines “credibility as believability”. (Fogg, 2003) Without credibility, information presented on the Internet is rendered null. The publication of information on the Internet is becoming increasingly easy and is readily accessible by a broad user base. (Malik, 2008). As information is publishable by anyone, and not strictly limited to credible sources, factual accuracy cannot always been proven.

Online credibility also pertains to fraudulent websites that attempt to deduce people’s private information. Websites use bogus URL addresses similar to renowned companies such as, in an effort to trick users into believing they are accessing a genuine paypal website. (Fogg, 2003).

Fogg suggests comparing websites and information to that of trusted, credible sources, as a means of avoiding hoax websites. (Fogg, 2003). Other means of proving a websites credibility include observing the domain name, a credible author and whether citations and references are included. (College, S. V, n.d.).

Web credibility is important to the integrity of the information used. It is imperative that information comes from a credible source, as proof of its authenticity. If an argument or point is to be made, it is vital credible information is used, for without proven information, the argument is rendered useless.

As a student, web credibility is of the utmost importance. When referencing web information, it is essential the information is correct and credible. If referencing an online essay or journal, the sources used by the original author must be checked for authenticity, as offering falsified referencing could potentially lead to copyright infringement, would could cost marks. Mis-leading and unsupported information can be dangerous in a high level academic institution such as university where papers are sometimes viewable online.

Question 2

Due to several considerations, information on the online encyclopedia “wikipedia” is not accepted as credible. Wikipedia allows users to regularly update and modify information within encyclopedia entries.As wikipedia allows multiple users input on one article, insightful information is often presented, albeit occasionally bias. There are no requirements for persons modifying documents, besides a computer with an internet connection. During 2005 false information was entered under the wikipedia article John Seigenthaler Senior by an anonymous user. This information remained on wikipedia for 132 days, going unnoticed. (Seigenthaler, 2005)  However, wikipedia utilises a referencing system, which allows readers to determine the authenticity of the information presented within a wikipedia article, through the option to include in-text and end-text citation. (Tech Savvy Teachers, 2007) Although references are encouraged, their overall credibility is not perceivable through the wikipedia article. Therefore information on wikipedia may not originate from credible sources, thus rendering it unprovable and ultimately invalid.

Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology:            Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 123).     Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

Seigenthaler, J. (2005). a False Wikipedia ‘biography’. from

Malik, O. (2008). Gigaom. Big Grown for the Internet Ahead, Cisco Says. from

College, S. V. How to Determine a Credible Website (p. 1). Southern Vermont: Southern Vermont College.

Tech Savvy Teachers.Wikipedia – Is it credible and can we use it? (2007). from

Reading 3 Item 2

Below are three modern examples of products or artifacts that satisfy the design principle of performance load.

Example 1:  Online Library Services

Example 2:  Online Banking

Example 3: Smart Phones

ECU LibraryThe use of an online catalogue (made possible through the use of barcodes and the internet) is an example of decreasing both Kinematic and Cognitive load.  Students have the ability to search the database from home or any device with an internet connection. We see a reduction in Cognitive load through a graphically sound user interface. Kinematic load is greatly reduced as there is no longer a need to personally visit the library to determine whether or not a book is available.NetbankThe ability to complete banking online greatly decreases performance load. Users are able to check account balances, transfer money within their own accounts and to others and pay bills online. The obvious reduction in Cognitive load is the ability to access your accounts in one location, without having to process lengthy forms previously used to transfer money. As users are no longer required to visit a bank branch as regularly, kinematic load is also greatly reduced.

iPhone device

The combining of many hand held services into one device, the smart phone, has had seen the reduction of performance load. The phones ability to access online banking, emails and address books without the need to carry separate devices has reduced kinematic load greatly. As users are no longer required to learn how to use several devices, such as a camera and mobile phone in two separate products, there is a reduction of cognitive load.

iphone-camera-app-1 [Image]. (2011). Retrieved from http://

Reading 3

Question 1

This weeks reading discusses the theory of  “Performance Load”, the “degree of mental and physical activity required to achieve a goal”. The reading states Performance Load consists of 2 types of loads: Kinematic Load and Cognitive Load.

Cognitive load theory suggests when users are bombarded with information, due to a shortage of working memory, overall usability is decreased thus resulting in lower than desired user performance. (Sweller, 1988).

According to David Lewis “Cognitive load theorists distinguish between three types of load: intrinsic, extraneous and germane cognitive load.” (Lewis, 2010).  Intrinsic cognitive load is defined by the characteristics of the information, instead of the way in which it is presented. (Lewis, 2010).  Extraneous cognitive load is in which way the information is presented. (Chandler & Sweller, 1991; Chandler & Sweller, 1992).The presentation of information is vital and must not detract from the underlying information. Germane (or Relevant) load is any free thinking capacity that can be used to deal with any irrelevant information. (Sweller, 1988)

Kinematic load is the measurement of physical actions, which must be undertaken to accomplish a task. (Lidwell, Holden, Butler, 2003). A reduction in Kinematic load results in easier fulfillment of tasks and outcomes.  Decreasing unnecessary steps within a task reduces the expenditure of Kinematic load, thus aiding in an easier completion.

Question 2

Chunking is listed as a strategy of reducing cognitive load, resulting in increased performance time and a decreased chance of error.  Chunking is the process of grouping together similar ideas, to decrease information bombardment and overall randomness of a design. When similar initiatives are grouped together, it eliminates the chance of the user spending a considerable amount of time searching for relating ideas.

Chunking is of considerable use when users are required to remember long strands or massive amounts of information.  If information is grouped, the recalling of one particular idea can provoke the recollection of another. (Cherry, n.d.).

When a visual design utilizes the chunking method, communication can be increased. Instead of communication several related ideas separately, chunking can communicate them as one, similar idea. This increases user comprehensibility and decreases the time needed to communicate large amounts of information.

In 2003, Lidwell, Holden and Butler stated that ‘The term chunking seeks to accommodate short-term memory limits by formatting information into a small number of units’.  This is exemplified within visual communication, predominantly in hierarchical design, which suggests grouping similar ideas to reduce userssearch time.

The utilization of chunking is important in reducing both cognitive and kinematic load. Less time needs to be spent memorizing information, thus performance and user satisfaction can be increased.

Question 3

Due to the intrinsic nature the cognitive thought process plays on the digestion and learning of information, the study of psychology is essential to further understand just how cognition is achieved.

Lidwell, Holden and Butler stated that information reception is increased by a decrease in cognitive and kinematic load. (2003). As visual design is a method of projecting information to an audience, the study of Performance load, and how to ensure it can be as minimal as possible is necessary. Without psychological insight into performance load, and by extension, information processing, understanding the methods behind increased user performance would not be possible.

Sweller, J. (1988). Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on   learning. Cognitive Science, 12(2), 257-285.

Lewis, D. (2010). Cognitive Load Theory.KNOL(9).

Chandler, P. & Sweller, J. (1991). Cognitive load theory and the format of instruction.Cognition and Instruction.8(4), 293-332.

Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1992). The split-attention effect as a factor in the design of instruction.British Journal of Educational Psychology, 62, 233-246.

Cherry, K. About.Com. Physchology. What is Chunking?, from

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Performance Load. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 148‐149). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Reading 2 Item 2

Below are three modern designs that meet the principle of consistency.

Example 1:  Street Signs

Example 2:  Pause/Play buttons

Example 3: Green and Red Lights

Street signs exemplify all 4 forms of consistency. Their design is consistent with all street signs within an area, such as a city or town. As street signs are viewed from 2 different speeds, either walking or moving past quickly in a vehicle, their design must be simple and easy to read. If a sign is hard to notice, particularly at high speeds, due to an inconsistent design, the street sign becomes useless. (sign)

The pause and play buttons also conform to a set of standards. As everyday use of these symbols continues, they because a consistent part of our life. We can easily recognise and understand them, no matter what product or system design they are applied toStop and Go.

Throughout the modern world it is a universal acceptance that green and red lights mean go and stop respectively. Similarly these same colours have been used to signify everything is running smoothly, or an error (such as a car dashboard and xbox gaming console). The external consistency of these elements contributes to their wide spread use. Continuing use of easily recognisable consistencies ensures easier learning across a range of products and designs.
Button001 [Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.

traffic-lights-2a [Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.

new-ipod-nano-orange [Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://     orange.jpg

Reading 2

According to the reading, when similar aspects of a designed system are displayed in a consistent and uniform way, they are more useable and learnable.  A consistent design requires a system to be taught only once, allows for new things to be learnt quickly, thus attention can be focused on relevant aspects of the task.

There are 4 ways in which we recognise consistency. They are aesthetic, functional, internal and external. The 4 forms of consistency often work together, every day, in systems we take for granted. For example, the consistency within road signs; their placement, colour, size, font and graphics.(Lidwell, Holden, Butler, 2003).

Aesthetic Consistency refers to the uniform repetition of style and appearance.(Pullman, 2010) It establishes recognisable quality within a brand through identifiable branding, such as the Apple Logo. (Pullman, 2010).  The logo is consistent across all apple products, which creates consistent repetition. All that’s needed for someone to recognise an apple product is the small logo printed somewhere upon its surface.

Functional consistency refers to an action within a design and it’s implied meaning. (Lidwell, Holden, Butler, 2003). It relies on the assumption that the user has previously learnt the functional consistency required to use a system. For example, a red glowing light symbolises a problem that needs attending, if the user knows this, the need to educate them further becomes obsolete. This saves time and in turn allows cognitive exertion to be spent using the design as intended, instead of learning a new user orientated system.

Internal consistency is uniformity within an internal system. (Lidwell, Holden, Butler, 2003). It encompasses shape, size and colour of elements and in this sense is similar to aesthetic consistency. However, while aesthetic consistency applies directly to elements containing graphic aspects of design, internal consistency also includes the placement of elements taking into consideration the overall role.

External Consistency is similar to the internal consistency used within a design, however it is implemented across a range of systems, under the same affiliation.  (Spool, 2005) Users who are new to a certain company, however have been using a similar product all their life can skip the learning process as they are familiar with a consistent external design. As a general rule, the symbol of a triangle on a small button is internationally regarded as the play button. This play button is used over many different products and systems, such as an iPod, remote control video capturing device.

Some consistencies within design are considered commonplace and to do otherwise would be confusing or shunned. However, others are there for safety reasons, or to comply with laws and standards.

Consistency within design enables a more user centred approach, with easier learning abilities, thus allowing less time learning a system, and more time spent using it for it’s intended purpose. Without consistency in design we would see a lessening in the use of 3rd party and non-mainstream systems, due to the time required to learn them.


Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic Usability Effect. In   Universal Principles of Design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Pulman, S. (2010). Aesthetic Consistency Across Platforms. Retrieved from

Spool, J. (2005). Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach. from