Learning Portfolio 4 – Credibility

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading & Writing)

Question 1

Out of the millions of websites that are available on the internet it can sometimes be difficult to decipher which ones are trustworthy and credible. Trust is a large factory when determining what is credible. When it comes to credibility researchers have found that people evaluate trustworthiness and expertise and then combine them to develop an overall assessment of credibility (Fogg, 2003). When a website conveys both qualities,the user will find it credible. When a website lacks either trustworthiness or expertise, credibility will suffer. Because the internet is so easily accessible nearly anyone can create a website and because of this a website’s credibility can sometimes be difficult to determine.

After reading this it would be fair to say that the most credible sources would be those that are both trustworthy and have a high level of expertise.

To ascertain if a website is credible or not, further research must be conducted within that website. For example, research the credentials of the article to see if the article you are reading is credible or not. There are some websites out there that are created with the intent of committing fraudulent acts.


Question 2

Wikipedia is not a reliable because its information is not always guaranteed to be from a reliable source. Wikipedia is similar to an online encyclopaedia, it allows any user to edit or create an entry about any topic. Users that submit content or edit articles are not 100% guaranteed to be an accurate or credible source. There are some users that are known to vandalise the site and post biased opinions. Some users also post what they think is factual information, with the intent of contributing but sometimes they their information can be wrong.

A corporation could edit a profile to make themselves look better, therefore publishing a biased and possibly untrue article. Wikipedia can be a useful source to get small, basic information on a certain topic. Wikipedia can be used as a starting point, but it shouldn’t really be used as a credible source to gain important information from. And it’s because of all these reasons that it’s too unreliable trust with academic learning and referencing.


Question 3 

As it was shown in this week’s reading (Fogg, 2003), the internet has grown drastically between the years 1999 and 2002. As more people welcomed the internet into their lives more people started to use it for scams. With the ever expanding growth of the internet more and more users are becoming warier of the internet and the sites they visit and their credibility. It can be difficult to determine which sites are trustworthy in today’s technical society.

People should be wary of .org website because of:

  • People have become hesitant to use credit cards online as the internet has evolved there have been countless scams that have made people feel unsafe declaring their credit card information.
  • Users now feel more secure when sites have visual proof of being a physical reliable company. In today’s day and age as more and more companies are based online people are sceptical as to if they are legitimate or not.




Reputed Credibility

Westac Online Banking

The Westpac Online Banking website has reputed credibility because it is one of Australia first banks as well as having good reputation nationwide.  It deals with online banking and transfers, because it is dealing with such sensitive content you need a website to be secured. Normally if there is a little padlock in the URL bar it is a trustworthy site and it’s safe to enter your personal information.


Presumed Credibility



Central Tafe website has presumed credibility because of the .edu address. Websites of education institutes are presumed credible by users because they appear to be trustworthy and are needed to be trustworthy also.


Earned Credibility


Hoyts website has earned credibility because it looks enticing and it’s professionally designed.  It is a trusted cinema in Australia and has earned its reputation. The site is relatively easy to navigate and it is updated daily. The content is unbiased and provides information on screening times.


Surface Credibility


Ninemsn has surface credibility it appears like a trustworthy news site. It always has current affairs news, but it doesn’t always go in depth on the important stories. But it also focusses heavily on celebrity gossip and reality TV stars and television.




Fogg, B. J., Marshall, J., Laraki, O., Osipovich, A., Varma, C., Fang, N., . . . Treinen, M. (2001). What makes web sites credible? A report on a large quantitative study. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Persuasive Technology Lab


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








Learning Portfolio 3 – Performance Load

Question 1

Performance load is the degree of mental and physical activity required for completing a task. If you have a high performance load, performance time and errors are bound to increase and the likelihood of successfully completing the task decreases. If your performance load is low your performance time and errors diminish, and the chance of successfully accomplishing your goal increases.

There are two types of performance loads: Cognitive and Kinematic.

Cognitive load, as the name suggests is the amount of brain power, perception, memory and problem solving required for solving a problem or completing a task.“Cognitive load theory is a comprehensive and proven instructional theory that illustrates ways to reduce unproductive forms of cognitive load and at the same time maximize productive sources of cognitive load that lead to efficient learning environments.” (Clark, R., Nguyen, F., & Sweller, J., 2011).

Kinematic load is the amount of physical activity that is required to complete a task. Lidwell, Holden, & Butler use the telegram as an example and explained it as “The number of taps to communicate a message was the kinematic load for that task” (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2010). The kinematic load can be minimised by eliminating steps that are not essential to complete a task.

When I was learning how to write HTML and CSS we were not allowed to use Dreamweaver we had to use Notepad, so we had to remember all the different commands and tags needed to create a working HTML page. That was the cognitive load for that task trying to remember what came next and if I had used the right sequence and trying to figure out where you made a mistake if the code doesn’t work. The use of Dreamweaver cut down my work load and cognitive load significantly with short cuts and code hints.




Question 2

Chunking is a technique that can be used to make remembering relatively lengthy strings of information a little bit easier. It is particularly useful when we only need to remember something for a short period of time. Chunking involves taking long strings of information and grouping (chunking) them into smaller more manageable bits of information.

“The reason the brain needs assistance is because of the working memory, which is where we manipulate information, holds a limited amount of information at one time” (Malamed, 2009).

Chunking when in relation to design should be applied to information users will need to recall and or commit to memory. Chunking can help users hold onto the information they need when confronted by other competing stimuli.

Chunking can help to improve cognitive load in design and visual communications as users will not have to analyse or remember a number of different pieces of information. They will instead be directed to one “chunk” of material which gives them adequate information.

Here is a good example of chunking in visual design from the Nike website.


Example of chunking

Example of chunking


Chunking works on the premise that the average human’s working memory can be quite easily overloaded by excessive detail. The ultimate way to avoid this dilemma of being overwhelmed by indigestible information is to arrange it in small, meaningful units that can be strung together to appear much less daunting.


Question 3

Psychology is an important part of visual design. People often have psychological reactions upon seeing certain designs. As we saw in learning portfolio 1, aesthetics play a major role in population’s response to a design. Aesthetics can either produce positive or negative emotional responses to specific designs.

Designers often use Gestalt Theories (developed by German psychologists in the 1920s, Gestalt theories explain how people tend to organise visual elements into groups, and how the whole is often greater than its parts (Taylor 2013)).Used Gestalt principles in a logo can make it more interesting, more visually engaging and therefore it makes the message more memorable.

And of course colour symbolism plays a huge role in visual design. Different colours are said to evoke different emotions, and in turn that plays a major role in psychology of design. You wouldn’t want to do the branding and logos for a depression website in black and dark colours because that’s not the first thing someone wants to see when seeking help.




Malamed, C. (2009, Semptember 30) The Learning Coach. [Blog Post].
Retrieved from http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning_design/chunking-information/

Taylor, A. (2013, January 18)  Digital Arts. [Website].
Retrieved from http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/graphic-design/psychology-of-design-explained/

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design (ed.). : Rockport Publishers.

FAQ_Link_on_Nike.jpg (n.d.) [Digital Image] Retrieved June, 4 2014 from

htmldreamweaver.png (n.d.) [Digital Image] Retrieved June, 4 2014 from



Learning Portfolio 2 – Consistency

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading & Writing)

Consistency is a Design Principle that plays a very crucial role .Consistency can help to build an organisation through the design of a logo and their colour choices, it can help us to learn and comprehend instructions efficiently, and assists in navigation but it can also be a combination of all of these. Consistency can help people to efficiently transfers knowledge to new contexts, learn things quickly and focus their attention on relevant aspects of a task. Consistency in its simplest definition means conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness. These characteristics split consistency into four types:  aesthetic, functional, internal and external.

Aesthetic Consistency is the consistency of style and appearance. The article (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003) uses the example of a consistent font, colour and graphic in a company’s logo. Aesthetic consistency sets the emotional expectations of the system. Users will immediate recognise a company or system if they consistently use the same aesthetics in their designs.

Functional Consistency means the consistency of meaning and action. This article uses a traffic light as an example. Everyone knows that red means stop, orange means slow and green means go. Users of the system will apply the knowledge they already have to the function of the system.

Internal Consistency involves consistency within other elements in a system. It tells users that the system has been carefully designed, and that a whole bunch of different things haven’t been merely thrown together.

External Consistency means having a consistency with elements outside of the single system. It extends on the practise of internal consistency. The article states that external consistency is a little more difficult to achieve as multiple systems most likely will not use the same design features as one another.


Smiths Potato Chips

Smiths Potato Chips

Smith’s Potato Chips are a good example of aesthetic consistency. You always know that you are buying Smiths because they have had the same yellow diamond logo for a number of years now. They may have “jazzed” it up with a nicer shade of yellow on the logo and adding a colour gradient to the packet colour but it is primarily the same. They have also stayed consistent in relation to their colour representations, having a different coloured packet represent a different flavour of chips for example the pink packet is salt and vinegar and the blue packet is original.


Ipod Touch

Ipod Touch

The Ipod touch has a lot of new technology on it, but when it comes to playing your music and videos things will seem familiar because of the recognisable symbols such as play, stop, pause and fast-forward. So if you are upgrading from an ipod classic you shouldn’t have too much trouble because the playback buttons have stayed the same it’s just the technology that has changed. This demonstrates functional consistency.

Bathroom Signs

Bathroom Signs

The male and female toilet sign applies external consistency. They are a universally recognizable symbol and in an emergency everyone knows to look for these symbols to find the nearest restrooms.  These signs are usually accompanied by stick figure symbols representing men’s, women’s, baby, and disabled. These universally recognised signs are completely taken for granted when traveling in a foreign country, without them everyone would be very lost.






Gaines, K (2011) Branding and the importance of consistent design, from

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design, United States: Rockport Publishers Inc.

2_smiths_chips_la_rge_1.jpg (n.d.) [Digital Image] Retrieved June 4, 2014, from


itunesradio_siri_hear.jpg (n.d.) [Digital Image] Retrieved June 4, 2014, from
4T9ne6jTE.jpg (n.d.) [Digitial Image] Retrieved June 4, 2014, from


Learning Portfolio 1 – Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading & Writing)

Question 1

The Aesthetic-Usability Effect is the phenomenon that describes how time and time again users identify with more aesthetically pleasing designs to be easier to use than less aesthetically pleasing designs. What this means is that users are more tolerant of faults and failures if a design is aesthetically pleasing, leading them to believe that the better looking option is the better option overall. It doesn’t matter if they are easier to use or not they are perceived that way so users will make subconscious decisions and overlook many difficulties that the product/design may have.

The authors (Lidwell, Holden and Butler) make several points about the aesthetic-usability effect in their book the Universal-Usability Effect
Their points are as followers:

  1. If a product appears aesthetically pleasing to the user it is more likely to be used.
  2. If a product is aesthetically pleasing faults in the product are more likely to be over looked or ignored.
  3. If an object is beautiful it is likely that people will develop a positive relationship with it which helps create creativity.

For example if a 40 year old woman is looking at buying an Mac book pro and the sales assistant suggests an Alienware laptop which has astoundingly better specs, the customer will very often still choose the Ipad because it is the more familiar product and it is easier to navigate. In most cases consumers will choose brand, design and familiarity over usability and practicality.

“Positive relationships with a design result in an interaction that helps catalyse creative thinking and problem solving. Negative relationships result in an interaction that narrows thinking and stifles creativity” (Lidwell, 2010).

Take the Website Reddit for example; many people who visit the website are deterred by the design and layout of the website because it is “ugly” and confusing to navigate. Some users stick to the app because it is easier to navigate and nicer to look but by using the app they miss out on major amounts of content. Many people who visit the website are bound to leave it straight away and go to prettier and easier to navigate page such as Buzzfeed.

The aesthetic-usability effect concludes that more aesthetic designs appear easier to use regardless of whether they are or not.


Learning Portfolio Item 2 (Activity)



Nike Free Run Sneakers


Nike Free Run Sneakers are a perfect example for the aesthetic-usability effect principal. They have quickly become must haves among fitness freaks for sneakers and the general public as a fashion statement.  Because they have become so popular a huge of colours are now available so the choices are never ending. The special and unique design of their sneakers makes them desirable to every demographic. They may not have as much support as other sneakers but that is the style of the sneaker, they can also be a bit pricey but of course you are paying for the brand when it comes to Nike.


Macbook Pro


Apple devices are world renowned products, with both simplicity and consistency in their products. They are known for being lightweight, aesthetically pleasing and for their sharp looks. Macbooks have been extremely successful over the past 10 years because of their high quality and high, technical advances and their sleek appearance.  Macs have become so popular people are willing to fork over $1600 just to have this pretty piece of technology. I’m sure everyone knows at least one person who has bought a Mac purely because of its look and the status it holds in today’s society, when they know nothing about them. It can take a while to become accustom to Apples operating system so Apple lets the amazing looks of the laptop carry the slack.




The 2DS was made few years after the 3DS as a cheaper and more affordable option primarily marketed at kids. My little cousin has been saving for a 3DS for a while, he had enough money for a 2DS and when I aksed him “why not get the 2DS?
His answer was “It’s Ugly”.
And that’s fair enough it is not nearly as good looking as its predecessor.
The 3DS is far more convenient as you can put it in you pocket and it feel much nicer in your hand than the 2DS. The 2DS also feel “cheap” and not nearly as sturdy and heavy duty as the 3DS.
Even though they can do exactly the same things, people are still willing to pay that little bit more for the better looking option.



Boulton, M. (2005). Aesthetic-Usability Effect Retrieved from http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/aesthetic-usability-effect

Towers, A (2010, March 30). Aesthetic Usability Effect. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from


Laura. (2013, November 11). The Aesthetic Usability Effect – It’s Design Magic. [Blog Post]

Retrieved from http://usabilityfriction.com/2010/03/30/aesthetic-usability-effect/

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design (ed.). : Rockport Publishers.


Nike-Free-Run-2-Sneakers-01.jpg (n.d) [Digital Image] Retrieved 26 May, 2014,
From http://www.highsnobiety.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Nike-Free-Run-2-Sneakers-01.jpg


131030_macbookpro_15_01.jpg (n.d) [Digital Image] Retrieved 26 May, 2014
From http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/gadgetlab/2014/01/131030_macbookpro_15_01.jpg


3ds-family111.jpg (n.d) [Digital Image] Retrieved 26 May, 2014
From http://twinstickgaming.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/3ds-family111.png