There are four Types of Web Credibility which help us to decide as a user if the website that we are visiting is “believable” or not.

In “Credibility and the World Wide Web”, Fogg, 2003 states the four main types of credibility as  Presumed, Reputed, Surface & Earned.

Below, I have listed an example of each:


These websites are “based on general assumptions in the user’s mind”. (Fogg, 2003) They usually end with “.org”.

For Example: “” This is a not for profit organisation specializing in domestic violence. The site is “dedicated to shedding light on the realities of domestic violence and the grievous harm it visits on it’s direct victims.”(Whiteribbon, 2015) The organisation is highly recognized for it’s charitable work and it’s site is regularly updated with new information. The website states who it’s owner is and their background. It also states it’s terms of service and privacy laws. The site informs you that it is run by volunteers, it’s honesty and informative nature helps to nurture it’s credibility.


Figure 1. Presumed Website example (Source: whiteribbon, 2015)


Reputed Credibility: Websites which have been referred to by a reputable third party source such as PC Magazine or other reports and endorsements.

For Example: “” was on PC Magazines top 100 list for sites to go to in 2014. Using “Next Generation Technology”(Techchurch, 2014). Even Vox’s rival is admiring of it’s content management system in combing Journalism and technology to for an online media source. The site is created by a reputable journalist by the name of Ezra Klein only increasing it’s credibility.


Firgure 2. Reputed website example (Source: Vox Media, 2015)


Surface Credibility refers to a website that looks professional based on first impressions. ‘Westpac’ is a great example of this, as a reputable Bank around Australia, it is important that they maintain professional conduct even online. The site is presented professionally. It is easy to navigate and has security notices visible the moment you enter the site. All information about the bank is easily found through the sites navigation system including contacts and citations helping to enforce it’s credibility.


Figure 3. Surface website example. (Source: Westpac Bank, 2015)


According to Fogg, Earned Credibility is based on first-hand experience that extends over time. A site which has consistently provided accurate information. ‘Google’ is a great example of this. It is a very popular search engine website, if not the most popular. With easy navigation including links placed upfront within the homepage.


Figure 4. Earned website example. (Source: Google, 2015)


Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 163). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.


WIKIPEDIA – Is this a credible Source?


, ,



According to the Wikipedia site itself..

Wikipedia is not considered a credible source. Wikipedia is increasingly used by people in the academic community, from freshman students to professors, as an easily accessible tertiary source for information about anything and everything. However, citation of Wikipedia in research papers may be considered unacceptable, because Wikipedia is not considered a credible or authoritative source.

In other words, If you are looking for an answer to a universal question such as: What is that actors name who plays Harry Potter? or What year did Britney Spears release her first album? Then Wikipedia is most likely able to answer your question correctly for you.

If, however, you are conducting some serious research for an assessment or if you are looking to ensure that your own work is reliable. Wikipedia is not considered a credible source.


“Researching with Wikipedia points out that few articles are of encyclopedic quality when they first appear—they may be unbalanced, biased, and incomplete, and it takes time for contributors to find consensus.” (Ghajar, 2014)

Wikipedia is an open forum, anyone can post just about anything on this website which means there is no way of knowing that each and every piece of information presented on the site in credible. You would need to back the information up with another credible source and therefore you might as well have done that in the first place.


Ghajar, L. A. (2014). “Wikipedia: Credible Research Source or Not?”. Retrieved October 31, 2015, from

Harvard (2015). “What’s Wrong With Wikipedia?”. October 31, 2015, from

CREDIBILITY-The importance of evaluating credibility within a website


, ,



“Credibility is a perceived quality that has two dimensions: trustworthiness and expertise.” (Fogg, 2003)

For a website to be trustworthy, it is to be truthful, fair and unbiased. It is our job as the user to check facts from websites and to ensure that this is the case.

The Expertise of a website is the perceived knowledge, skill and experience of the source. Who is posting this information?  Why are they posting the information? What is this person’s background? Are they educated in this field? Do they work for someone who is? These are all questions that we need to ensure that we can answer before believing what we have found on a web site.


If, as a student, I have chosen to believe something that I have read from a “non-credible” source and it turns out that the information is wrong. I have then studied information that is wrong and therefore in turn will become a non-credible source. It is important to be reading information that is true and correct in order to learn properly and to be able to pass on new found knowledge in the future.


Alsudani, F. and M. Casey (2009). The effect of aesthetics on web credibility. Proceedings of the 23rd British HCI Group Annual Conference on People and Computers: Celebrating People and Technology, British Computer Society.

Danielson, D. R. (2005). “Web credibility.” Encyclopedia of human-computer interaction: 713-721.

Fogg, B. J. (2003) Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 122-125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

Fogg, B. J. (2003) Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 147-181). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.



, ,


As creating non-profit organisation websites becomes easier and more popular. Our perception is slowly changing as to what we believe to be true when visiting them. We are also becoming more desensitized to what we are seeing and reading on the internet with so much information being flashed in front of us.

There are a number of issues which influence how we perceive web credibility:

  • Is the site a representation of a site you are previously aware and respectful of?
  • Does is look professional?
  • Does the site list legitimate contacts including a physical address and contact number?
  • If transactions are made, do you receive legitimate conformations?
  • Are there any ratings or reviews to be found relating to this particular site?
  • Does the site link to other credible sites?
  • Does the site show any photographs or information about members of the organisation?
  • Does the sites domain name match the organisations name?
  • Is this site advertised anywhere else? eg. Radio, television, billboards
  • Is the site presented well? Including simple navigation and orientation?
  • Does the site state it’s policy and/or content?

After answering all of these questions, we will be able to make a more informed decision as to whether the site we are on is credible or not.


Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 153-154). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.


psychology in design

“The influence of color is by no means limited to the Psychological realm.” (Birren, 1961)

Designing an interface relies heavily on the interaction of the user, it is important to have an understanding of behavioral science to estimate how a user will react when using your design. This means that we must consider the usability of our target audience. For example, if we are designing an interface for a group of children, we may use bright colours and animations to hold their attention.

“If your website were a person, who would it be? Is it serious, buttoned up, all business, yet trustworthy and capable? Is it a wise-cracking buddy that makes even mundane tasks fun?” (Walter, 2011)

Understanding the psychology of our audience will ultimately determine how Effective our visual design will become.


Birren, F. (19611950). Color psychology and color therapy: a factual study of the influence of color on human life. Secaucus, N. J.: The Citadel Press.

Walter, A. (2011). Designing for Emotion. New York, A Book Apart.


chunkingWhat is The Chunking Technique?

Chunking is when we take large amounts of information such as numbers or letters and group them (chunk them) into groups which are smaller in size in order to make the information easier to remember.

For example:

mobile number

Figure 1. Chunking Example. (Source: How Design, 2015)

We automatically use the chunking technique to remember our mobile phone numbers. If your number is 0424923165, when someone asks you for it, you tend to relay it in this form.  “0424 923 165”. By breaking the 10 digits up into smaller groups, this allows us to remember the number with ease. This is an approach we should attempt to take when trying to remember any large amounts of information.


The chunking concept was formulated in 1956 by Mr George. A. Miller. He found that working memory is limited in it’s capacity to hold large amount of information. He also found that the human brain could hold seven (plus or minus two) chunks of information at once. More recent research has found that this may actually be closer to four or five bits of information instead.


“Working memory, which is where we manipulate information, holds a limited amount of information at one time.” (Malamed, 2015)

By chunking together information into smaller groups, we are more likely to learn and to hold onto the information we have taken in. This is why it is important when designing a product, that we consider this to ensure ultimate usability and productivity.


Clause, C. (2015). “Chunking Method: Definition & Examples.” Retrieved October 30, 2015, from

Malamed, C. (2015). “Chunking Information for Instructional Design.” Retrieved October 30, 2015, from

Miller, G. (1956). The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information. Harvard University: Psychological Review, 63, 81-97.



, ,

There are both Physical and mental actions needed to achieve any goal. This is referred to as the Performance Load. What this means is that if the load in a performance is high in demand, both time and errors increase and so goal accomplishment chances decrease. If the load is low, time and errors decrease, in turn increasing the likelihood of accomplishing goals.



The Cognitive load theory “suggests that learning happens best under conditions that are aligned with human cognitive architecture.” (Sweller, 1988)

This refers to the level of mental activity needed to reach accomplishment in a goal and is measured through perception, memory and problem solving.

There are many strategies used to reduce Kinematic load including:

  • Minimizing visual noise
  • Chunking information that is to be remembered
  • Using memory aids to assist in recalling and problem solving
  • Automating computation and memory intensive tasks

To me, this is the difference between describing an image and showing someone an image. The simple act of seeing what somebody is describing makes it so much easier to understand what someone is talking about. When applying this to design, simply including images which link to a subject could make a huge difference in someones learnability of your product. For example, using instruction manuals to put together a piece form Ikea makes all the difference and can save us a lot of time.


Figure 1. Cognitive Load Example. (Source: Ikea, 2015)


Referring to the level of Physical activity which is needed to reach accomplishment in a goal. This is measured through the amount of steps or movements and the force required.

  • Steps needed to finish a task
  • As little range of motion as possible
  • As little travel distance as possible
  • Automating repetitive tasks

“Design should minimize performance load to the greatest degree possible.” (Lamble, Holden, Butler, 2003)

Take Automatic cars for example:

When switching to an automatic from a manual vehicle, we have reduced the amount of steps needed to drive the vehicle, in fact we don’t even need to move our hands from the steering wheel. This shift in Cognitive load allows us to focus on other factors we come across while driving, obstacles on the road, weather conditions and people in the backseat.

Applying this to design, by reducing the amount of physical steps needed to complete a task, we are able to focus more intently on the necessary steps remaining in order to get us closer to attaining that goal.

auto car

Figure 2. Kinematic Load Example. (Source: Want Driving Lessons Driving School, 2015)


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

Paas, F. G. and J. J. Van Merriënboer (1994). “Instructional control of cognitive load in the training of complex cognitive tasks.” Educational psychology review 6(4): 351-371.

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

The Principle of Consistency


, ,

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, (1841)

Referring to the ability of a system to be easier to use and learn, when parts which are similar are also used similarly. In doing this, users are able to apply what they have learned to other contexts quickly.



Referring to the style and appearance of a design using colour, font and graphic. This allows people to recognize designs such as company logos and form a particular emotion or thought about a brand.

Take Mercedes Benz for example:


Figure 1. Consistency Principle Example. (Source: Mercedes Benz, 2015)

The logo is consistent in that is is featured on each and every vehicle the company creates which helps to maintain it’s prestige association in the motor industry. The logo has remained the same since production began and is in clear view of any person passing a Mercedes on the road embedding the image into people’s minds without even realizing it.


Helping to improve usability and learnability, Functional Consistency refers to the consistent meaning and action of a design. Take a traffic light for example:

traffic light

Firgure 2. Consistency Principle Example. (Source: Wow! Japan, 2015)

Green always means go, Yellow always means slow down and Red always means stop. This allows users to grasp prior understanding and to pass it on to new devices. For example, a more modern device such as an ipod uses the same system.


Figure 3. Consistency Principle Example. (Source: Bugmenot, 2015)

The “pause”, “Stop”, “Play”, “Forward” and “Back” buttons are universal in their meaning and will never change which makes the product super easy to interpret no matter what the device is used for. This creates consistency in our understanding of what these buttons mean on a product.


Referring to consistency with other elements within a system. Internal Consistency pursues a trust within the user due to the appearance that a product has been well thought about in it’s design process. Both Aesthetically and Functionally with existing elements within its group.

“Consistent representation of these objects means the user recognizes them for what they are when encountered..Without consistent representation, a user will struggle to understand what they are looking at.” (Cole, 2012)

Park Signs for example:

park signs

Figure 4. Consistency Principle Example. (Source: Ebisu Park, 2015)

A person within the park is well aware that a sign belonging to this group means that it is placed by the park to inform them of something. If the sign was of a different design, the patron may not be aware that the sign is even related to the park itself and may not pay any attention. Each of these signs are designed logically and consistently.


emergency alarms

Firgure 5. Consistency Principle Example. (Source: JP Fire Protection Systems, 2015)

Notice that most of the above emergency alarms are colored red. This is an intentional consistency to trigger a user to understand that the alarm is in place.

“External consistency refers to consistency with other elements in a system” (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003)

Similar to the internal consistency yet spread among multiple, independent systems. This is not as easy to achieve because different design standards are harder to perceive among customary design standards.

“Without consistent representation, a user will struggle to understand what they are looking at.” (Cole, 2012)

It is important that we remain consistent within a design to ensure that a user develops the same representation each time. If we do not, this can confuse the user and leave them unsure as to what the product is trying to demonstrate.

When considering consistency,  it is important to not just think visually but also about the interactions and behavior patterns that exist within your designs. We must consider how the user will interact with our product, how animations and different items may react to the users input. When changing these patterns drastically from page to page, we are more likely to confuse the user.


Cole, D. (2012). “Why is Consistency important in Design?”. Retrieved October 30th, 2015, from

Hertz, R. (1948). Chance and symbol: a study in aesthetic and ethical consistency, Univ. of Chicago Press.

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

Shillcock, R. (2013). “Building Consistency and Relationships into Your Designs.” Retrieved October 29, 2015, from–webdesign-14849.)



, ,

What is the definition of Aesthetic & Usability?

Aesthetic: To be concerned with beauty or the appreciation of Beauty.

UsabilityThe ease of use and learnability of a human-made object.

How can we measure Usability?:

  • Ease of Learning?
  • Efficiency of Use?
  • Memorability?
  • Error fréquence & Severity?
  • Subjective Satisfaction?

We are entering into a world where the aesthetic design of a product will ultimately measure it’s success. So, will Aesthetics and usability define the design process of any product? Regardless of it’s beauty through intelligence..

It is important to consider what market your product is entering into. If existing products within this same market are all visually appealing then your product may not be noticed. It is easy to perceive that the more attractive product is easier to use.

Here are some examples.



Figure 1. Aesthetic Usability Example (Source: Nokia, 2015)

“One of the first companies to realize that adoption of cellular phones required more than just basic communication features” (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003)

All mobile devices come with a price including battery life issues, storage, signal loss and/ or interference. Bringing colors into the design, this product allows us to tolerate troubleshoots by creating a positive relationship between us and the product.


Figure 2. Aethetic Usability Example. (Source: BMW & Kia, 2015)

BMW X5 Vs Kia Sorrento

“Aesthetics and Car Design have been fused for many years. It’s what defines a car, it’s what gives a car it’s personality and importantly for the manufacturers, it’s what gives the car it’s competitive edge in the market place.” (Boulton, 2005)

All vehicles on the market will get us from A to B, are reasonably comfortable and require approximately the same amount of maintenance. Why choose a particular brand over another?

Take the BMW X5 for example. It’s “prettier” than the Kia Sorrento. It’s computer system is more complex & navigation around the dashboard system requires a lot more time and instruction than the Sorrento, which won “Best SUV” 2015. Kia is currently more reliable and cheaper than the BMW. So why does the BMW X5 sell better? It appears that we would prefer aesthetic over reliability and usability.


mac hp

Figure 3. Aesthetic Usability Example. (Source: MAC & HP, 2015)

Another example is: MAC and HP. According to CRN, HP was rated “best selling” computer on the market 2014 yet MAC is plastered all over our television and film screens. It does look pretty but does it cater to all the needs of your typical office worker? I myself find the MAC much easier to use for media projects and HP for business projects.


Barry, L. (2013). “The top 5 best selling desktops by brand.” Retrieved October 29, 2015, from

Boulton, M. (2005). “Aesthetic-usability effect.” Retrieved October 25, 2015, from

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp.18-19). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Kundu, A. (2013). “Functionality vs. Aesthetics in design.” Social Technology Quarterly(08).



, ,

Does Beauty in design perceive us to think that a product is easier to use?

question mark

“Aesthetic designs look easier to use and have a higher probability of being used, whether or not they actually are easier to use” (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler (2003)

We live in a society where first impressions play a large part in our long-term attitude to a product. As researchers Masaaki Kurosu and Kaori Kashimura found during a study of how people use computers at the Design Centre, Hitachi in Tokyo 1995. Designers should Make an effort not only to improve the inherent usability of a product but to also ensure that the the aesthetic aspect of the interface is appealing.

This is why Aesthetics are so important to consider when designing a subject.

Creativity block

According to Lidwell, Holden and Butler, unaesthetic designs create a more negative attitude as people tend to be less tolerant of design problems.

This negative relationship has been found to limit thinking and suppress creativity. While The positive relationship between a design and it’s user was found to promote creative thinking and problem solving.

“Such personal and positive relationships with a design evoke feelings of affection, loyalty, and patience.” (Lidwell, Holden & Butler 2003)

creativity freedon

Most of us use the internet on a daily basis, if not multiple times in a day, design aesthetics are largely responsible for how we navigate through a website. This is centered around having a Balanced Website Design (BWD). “There are three components that need to be considered carefully and comprehensively – aesthetics, usability and purpose” (Lawrence & Tavakol, 2007)

These are all elements which play a very important role in the long-term usability and success of any design. It is essential that we strive to achieve this positive relationship between our design and it’s user to help alleviate further fatigue and reduction in cognitive performance, already apparent through stress caused in our everyday lives.


Kurosu,M., & Kashimura, K. (1995). “Apparent Usability vs. Inherent Usability.” Conference Companion: 292-293.

Lawrence, D., & Tavakol, S. (2007). Balanced website design: Optimising aesthetics, usability and purpose. London: Springer.

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp.18-19). Massachusetts: Rockport.