Week 4: Credibility

Discussion and reading from week 4 – Credibility

Credibility: Q4 Examples


Department of Transport – http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/

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 – http://www.facebook.com


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 – http://www.boohoo.com/aus/page/home

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 – https://www.paypal.com/au/webapps/mpp/home


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 http://www.slideshare.net/bjfogg/web-credibility-bj-fogg-                         stanford-university

Laja, P. (2012). 39 Factors: Website Credibility Checklist. 2015, from http://conversionxl.com/website-credibility-checklist-factors/