Author: tpengell

Credibility: Q4 Examples


Department of Transport –

Department of Transport

The Department of Transport website is presumed credible as it is a Government run website. We would assume that it is up to date, has no viruses or advertisements, features contact information and is usable.



Facebook –


Facebook is reputably credible due to the high amount of users. One would assume that a website that features such a high number of daily users would be credible and functional. You are likely to know a user of Facebook, who will more than likely urge you to join.



Boohoo Clothing –

Boohoo 1

Boohoo 2



Boohoo clothing appears credible due to the design of the website and the contents. It features contact details and assistance links. There are links to various parts of the website and you are not led to any orphaned pages. The website also caters for multiple countries and features logos from other companies and social media sites.



Paypal –


Paypal has earned credibility as I have personal history with the website and have never had any issues. It features a contact number that connects to a call center who were very helpful with my inquiry. The design is sleek and simple to use and there are many  users, adding to its credibility.

Credibility: Q3 Anticipated Issues

The following are issues that may affect the credibility of a website, or at least the perceived credibility from users, in the future:


  • Scams

Users are more aware of scammers and viruses. As this occurs, users are more likely to be wary of a website that does not appear credible, whether it is or isn’t. As more people 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.


  • Design Features

Design features and controls on free websites or blogs, such as WordPress of Tumblr, are becoming easier and more aesthetically pleasing. This makes it easier to create a credible looking website, and users will be aware of this.


  • Social Networks

If a website or company is not listed on multiple social networking sites it will reduce its perceived credibility. Users need to be able to access or share content from a variety of sources and if this is not available users will be hesitant.


  • Language

As Gen Y ages and begins designing and updating web pages, some creators could use ‘tech’ language or shorthand. Older users who are not technologically inclined could view this as meaning the website is not credible.


  • Platforms

If a website does not operate across multiple platforms or browsers, users will assume that it is not professional or credible, as most credible websites have utilised this technology.

Credibility: Q2 Wikipedia

Wikipedia is not accepted in these learning portfolios, or any other academic writing, as it is not a credible source of information. Wikipedia is a peer reviewed website, meaning that any member or viewer can change and manipulate information. They do not need to have completed research or have any knowledge on the topic in order to contribute to the article, and as such it contains lots of misinformation.

An article can also have many contributors. They can often have conflicting views on the topics or conflicting information, which can make it difficult to discern fact from fiction. One study (Chesney, 2006) found that 13% of articles on Wikipedia had incorrect information or errors. However it is important to note that this study took place nine years ago and was also published on another peer reviewed website, proving how easy it is to access and publish information, whether it be true or not.  It is always necessary to consider any information from peer reviewed websites, such as Wikipedia, untrustworthy or at the very least uncertain.

Scholars are urged to cite the references cited on the Wikipedia page, rather than the Wikipedia page itself. This way, the information is direct from the source and will be more credible than the Wikipedia page.



Chesney, T. (2006). An Empirical Examination of Wikipedia’s Credibility. First Monday, 11(11).

Credibility: Q1 Discussion

Website credibility is important as it contributes to the type of relationship the user will have with the website. If a website is credible, users are more likely to return to it and feel safe spending their time and money. If a website is not credible and possibly fraudulent or untrustworthy, users are not likely to be willing to return to the site. It is vital to be aware of web credibility so as not to spread misinformation, view illegal or copyrighted material and to avoid scammers or viruses. There are four types of credibility: presumed (intuitive), reputed (heard from another source), surface (appearance) and earned (via personal experience) (Fogg, 2006).

A website can appear more credible if:

  • The overall design is appealing and comforting; no jarring visuals or conflicting colours.
  • Correct use of language. This adds to the professionalism of the website.
  • Low amount of advertisements. More adverts or pop-up windows make the user feel they may get a virus (Laja, 2012).

Misinformation can be a big issue with web credibility. As a student, if I were to use information from a website that was not credible for an assignment, it could be false and this could affect my mark. Alternatively, if this information was copyrighted and copied illegally, I could get reprimanded for plagiarism.


Fogg, B. J. (2006). Web Credibility – BJ Fogg – Stanford University. 2015, from                         stanford-university

Laja, P. (2012). 39 Factors: Website Credibility Checklist. 2015, from

Performance Load: Q4 Examples

Contact-less Payment

Contactless Payment


Figure 1.

Contact-less payment options, otherwise known as Paypass or Paywave, reduce both the kinematic and cognitive load involved in paying for items via card. The kinematic load is reduced as the user does not need to swipe their card or move their fingers in order to enter their pin. The cognitive load is reduced as the user does not need to remember their pin in order to purchase an item.


Contents Pages

Contents Page

Figure 2.

Content pages reduce cognitive and kinematic involved when searching for a page in a book. The cognitive load is reduced as readers do not need to scan the pages of the text or remember what information is on each page – it is already displayed for them. The kinematic load is reduced, for hard copy texts at least, as the reader doe not need to turn each individual page searching for their desired content.




Figure 3.

Calculators reduce the cognitive load associated with calculating math problems. The user does not need to remember math principles and theory in order to work out a problem, or remember the digits involved. Instead, the calculator can remember the digits in the precise order and solve the problem.



Figure 1 (n.d). In Paypass [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 31, from                                                                 

Figure 2 (n.d). In Security Risk [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 31, from                                                       

Figure 3 (n.d). In Phys [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 31, from                                                                       

Performance Load: Q3 Psychology

I believe the incorporation of psychology in design theory is incredibly important. In order to plan and predict how users will respond to a product, we must understand why they will respond in that way and what processes are utilised in order for them to come to that conclusion. Butler, Holden and Lidwell (2003, p. 148) maintain that cognitive load theory plays a major role in the design of a product. According to Budd (cited in Taylor, 2013) “To be a good designer in today’s society, you need to have an understanding of psychology, human behaviour, and the little shortcuts, the little quirks, in the way people operate.” Once you have this information on how the human brain and thinking works, you can tailor your product or design to get the desired emotion from the user.


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

Taylor, A. R. (2013). The Psychology of Design Explained. 2015, from                                                                                          explained/


Performance Load: Q2 Chunking

Chunking is a technique to help remember information (Butler, Holden and Lidwell, 2003, p. 46). According to Malamed (2011) “When multiple elements of information are chunked as single elements, there is more working memory capacity available for solving problems and processing information”. In simple terms, chunking is when information is grouped or divided, making it more likely for the brain to remember it at a later time. Chunking is considered an effective instructional and educational technique, however it also occurs in everyday life without people paying much notice. For example when you try and recall a phone number, it is often remember in two or three ‘chunks’ rather than a sequence of individual numbers. There does not need to be a meaning behind the selections in a ‘chunk’, such as the first four digits being an area code. However if there is an underlying understanding behind the groups, the chance of remembering the information is greatly increased (Cooper, 1998).

Chunking is also used in design; however it is more of a visual representation. Categories of information are often grouped together.

This can be shown through:

  • Text boxes isolating a specific concept or idea;
  • The use of colour to link related ideas;
  • Selecting a page layout that groups ideas;
  • The use of headings and sub-headings to maintain one idea per paragraph; and
  • The incorporation of graphics to link ideas, such as arrows or lines.

Chunking is used to make communication and the transfer of information more efficient and streamlined, resulting in a higher likelihood of it being remembered. It is used in education, everyday life and design practices to achieve this.



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

Cooper, Dr. G. (1998). Research into Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design at UNSW.                          2015, from

Malamed, C. (2011). What is Cognitive Load?   , 2015, from                                                                                     

Performance Load: Q1 Summary

Performance load is the amount of work, both mental and physical, a task requires in order to be completed. The chances of a task being completed to a sufficient standard decrease when the amount of effort required increases (Butler, Holden and Lidwell, 2003, p. 148).  The mental effort required is known as the cognitive load, and the physical effort is kinematic load.

Cognitive load theory has led to the development of techniques that make information easier to remember (Sweller, 2011, p. 48). Cognitive load theory stresses the importance of working and long-term memory, and how knowledge of the memory types can lead to greater understanding of how to present information. If information is hard to read and unclear, or a page is poorly designed, there is less chance that it will be read and completely remembered (Erre, Ginns and Pitts, 2006). If a task isn’t complex, yet takes a long time to complete, it is said to have a high cognitive load (Ayres, Kalyuga and Sweller, 2011).

Butler, Holden and Lidwell (2003) mention that kinematic load is the amount of physical force required to complete a task. They don’t cover that this force differs between individuals, such as a disabled person needing to exert more to achieve the same goal.


Ayres, P., Kalyuga, S., & Sweller, J. (2011). Cognitive Load Theory. Australia: Springer.

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

Erre, C., Ginns, P., & Pitts, C. (2006). Cognitive Load Theory and User Interface Design: Making                           Software Easy to Use. 2015, from http://www.ptg-                                                         

Sweller, J. (2011). Cognitive Load Theory. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 55(1), 37-76.


Consistency: Q2 Examples

According to Butler, Holden and Lidwell “Consistency enables people to efficiently transfer knowledge to new contexts, learn new things quickly and focus attention on the relevant aspects of a task” (2003, p. 46). The following are examples of this principle.


Exit Signs

Exit Signs


Figure 1

Emergency exit signs, such as the ones seen in public spaces, are always green with white text, independent of location. This makes them aesthetically and externally consistent. They are aesthetically consistent because they green backing and white text is familiar and recognisable as an exit sign. They are externally consistent because these signs exist in more than one system and have the same design throughout the country and some international countries. Designs that involve serious repercussions, such as fire hazard signs or traffic designs, are more externally consistent as there is a greater need for understanding. These signs can also feature an androgynous stick figure heading towards a door, making it easier for foreigners to determine an exit.



McDonalds Golden Arches

McDonalds Arches


Figure 2

The McDonalds golden arches are a worldwide logo for the company and are instantly recognisable. They are aesthetically consistent as the logo features the same or similar font, colour and graphic in every interpretation. The arches are internally consistent as it is a brand that manipulates and enforces the logo and it remains the same throughout the company internationally. This consistency is used as a advertising strategy as the company is immediately recognised by one image or sign, no matter where in the world you may be.



Chair Adjustment Controls

 Chair Adjustment Controls

Figure 2

Chair adjustment controls, the levers and cranks that are pulled in order to manipulate chair height and angle, are located in the same area on almost all office chairs. This is convenient for the user as they are not forced to search around for the controls and make adjusting the chair to their individual needs smoother and more efficient. The height adjustment controls are located under the seat on the right hand side, right in the reachable area. This is because it is the most common adjustment made. The back height is always at the rear of the seat and incline is found on the right hand side next to the height controls. It is functionally consistent, as the action remains the same for most office chairs and externally consistent as most companies operate this way.





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

Figure 1 Exit Sign. (n.d) In First Safety Signs [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 30, from                                    A/50BE/B6A6/CDCB/AC10/3D2A/0034/300mmx150mm-exit-left.gif

Figure 2 McDonalds Arches. (n.d) In Red Angle Spanish – WordPress [Digital Image]. Retrieved               May 30, from

Figure 3 Chair. (n.d) In Washington CI [Digital Image]. Retrieved May 30, from                                                      services/furniture/seating/chair-adjustments.png

Consistency: Q1 Summary

When parts and aspects of a system or design are similar to other components of a design, or a similar design, it is said to be consistent. For example, a user interface, such as Windows, will always have a close button in the top right hand corner of the screen. Consistency allows for smoother operation of a product, design or system which in turn builds strong relationships between the design and user. According to Levinson and Schlatter “To help users – and avoid common interface design mistakes – designers and developers need to establish rules for placement and treatment of interface elements and stick to them” (2013, p. 3).

Consistency is a similar design principle to consistency, in that features are carried over from one form to another (Clayton and Hashimoto, 2009). When users become familiar with the way a certain design operates or flows, it can be disjointing and confusing when this design is changed. It is therefore incredibly important that designs operate in the same way across multiple mediums. Consistency leads to the user or consumer to feel safe and in control due to predictability and habit (Nielsen, 2010). When the user feels safe and comfortable they are likely to return to the product or website. In order to create consistency in a website, designers should consider elements (footer and header), interaction (the display of content), content (uploading schedule and information) and overall design (Smith, 2010).

Butler, Holden & Lidwell’s  (2003) article defines the three categories that consistency can fit: aesthetic, functional, internal and external. The examples provided are what solidify the theory, and assist the reader in determining consistencies within everyday objects and systems. It links consistency to human emotion and psychology associated with predictability and safety, which provides a deeper understanding on the way we view design as a whole.




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

Clayton, M., & Hashimoto, A. (2009). Visual Design Fundamentals : A Digital Approach (3rd ed.).                USA: Charles River Media / Cengage Learning.

Levinson, D., & Schlatter, T. (2013). Visual Usability : Principles and Practices for Designing                           Digital Applications. USA: Elsevier Science.

Nielsen, Jakob. (2011). Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design. 2015, from                                                                  

Smith, T. (2010). Consistency: Key to a Better User Experience. 2015, from