Archive for November, 2012

The Four (4) Credibility Types – Web Examples (Item 2)

November 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Fogg (2003) has highlighted the four (4) types of credibility that separates some websites credibility from another. The types of credibility are; Presumed Credibility, Reputed Credibility, Surface Credibility and Earned Credibility. I’ll be showing four (4) example websites from the world-wide-web that describe each type of credibility.

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Figure 1: Presumed Website Example (Source: WWF Global, 2012)

The following website example is that of a presumed credibility; ‘WWF Global’ is an organization which helps rescue animals, mainly pandas, from dangerous inhabitants and rescuing them from trafficking operations. They’re not only a globalized organization easily identified thanks to their efforts, but they’re constantly updating their website with information, have an extremely detailed FAQ and information link, and they’re primarily running through donations, which they show results due to the donations from the general public.

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Figure 2: Reputed Website Example. (Source: The Escapist Magazine, 2012)

This website example is that of the reputed credibility type; this website is ‘The Escapist Magazine’ website, which discusses and reviews video-games across all platforms. Although the information may be opinionated, the reason this site has a high credibility is due to the website winning a ‘Webby’ award for the top video-game website. The website also has a strong fan base of people who share opinions, and the reviews of the games are extremely informative and the video-game research is correct; but when it comes down to the writer’s opinion on if he or she enjoys or likes the game is completely opinionated (which could lose credibility if people disagree with their opinion).

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Figure 3: Surface Website Example. (Source: Bank West, 2012)

This website is a prime example of the surface credibility; The website is for ‘Bank West’, a highly professional bank located all around Western Australia. The reason why this website is an example of surface credibility is because it is presented professionally, and the site is easily an organization I recognize, especially through their advertisements on the television. All the informational pages within the website have citations and the website is easy to navigate through, with a simple tab on the right-side of the website to access online banking, and information about the bank is located on the left-side of the web-page.

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Figure 4: Earned Website Example. (Source: Google, 2012)

Finally, we’re left with the final type of credibility, and that is earned credibility. The website example for earned credibility is ‘Google’. Google is a search-engine website, an extremely popular website, quiet possibly the most used website on the world-wide-web. The reason why this website is the perfect example for earned credibility is because it’s extremely easy to navigate the website, the links are quick and responsive when clicked, it gathers large amount of search results in a matter of seconds and the content that is processed is “fair and balanced”.

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Web Credibility – Anticipated Issues (Item 1 / Q3 Summary)

November 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Fogg’s (2003) studies on web credibility from 1999 to 2002 have shown that the general website user has become more self-aware of the content that he/she may be reading or using in their research. Fogg shows a comparison sheet, comparing the trustworthiness elements that increase web credibility. One of the comparisons show that in 1999, the site that lists their organization’s physical address has a +2.0 rating of web credibility. In 2002, it’s been decreased down to +1.7. I’ll explain in dot points some of the reasons why people have become more aware and demanding of web credibility and some anticipated issues we could possibly see in the future in regards to credibility on the world-wide-web.

  • Figure 1: Facebook Logo (Source: Blue Out Pen State, 2012)

    The kids of this generation are being brought up with this type of technology and usability. They’re using mainstream sites like Facebook, Myspace & Twitter. Through these mainstream websites, people can supply links to information. People can ‘like’ links that are sent around the web, so people would misinterpret the popular links with the most likes as the ‘correct’ information, which could very well be completely inaccurate information.

  • The increased amount of articles lurking around the world-wide-web by supposed ‘journalists’ may have some correct information, but some articles are riddled with spelling mistakes and grammar errors, which could possibly indicate that the person’s article may not be completely true.
  • The reason behind the increased sighting of spelling mistakes and grammar errors could be due to the internet surpassing the ‘newspaper’ in delivering news. Every journalist and writer on the world-wide-web are keyboard-ready when it comes to news, so it’s all a matter of being first to deliver information, never-minding if the information is credible or not, and because they want to publish first, won’t scan their article as thoroughly as would professional editors apart of a newspaper or magazine agency.

Credibility Analysis & Wikipedia Queries (Item 1 / Q1&2 Summary)

November 3, 2012 Leave a comment

(Q1) Credibility is a crucial attribute when researching on the world-wide-web. Fogg (2003) describes credibility with a simple scenario example; first (1st) scenario is that you open the door to find cameras, a presenter with a big check claiming “You’ve won our sweepstakes “ The second (2nd) scenario is that you check the mail, and you get a letter claiming “You’ve won our sweepstakes “but they’ve spelled your name wrong and the signature on the bottom is not an original.

Figure 1: The Must-Have Guide To Helping Technophobic Educators (Source: Edudemic, 2012)

These example scenario’s can be applied to your ventures on the web, you must take into account that everyone has access to the world-wide-web, and that anyone can display a website or journal article, but the information could be completely incorrect. The word credibility as defined by Longley-Cook (1962) “was originally introduced into actuarial science as a measure of the credence that the actuary believes should be attached to a particular body of experience […] implying that the experience will will develop in the future may well be very different from that so far collected.”

It is vital to use credibility when researching over the world-wide-web, reasons is because, like described above, everyone has access to the web. The ways of detecting whether the research over the web is reliable is by the amount of reference information, for example; the author, title, date of publication, copyright statement, FAQ and more. Virginian Montecino’s (1998) article on ‘Helpful Hints to Help You Evaluate the Credibility of Web Resources’ states “Anyone, in theory, can publish on the Web; therefore, it is imperative for users of the Web to develop a critical eye to evaluate the credibility of Internet information.” One (1) example the article provides to help identify credibility within the research; “Is there any evidence that the author of the Web information has some authority in the field about which she or he is providing information?”.

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(Q2)“Why can’t we use Wikipedia as a credible resource?”

Figure 2: Wikipedia’s current logo. (Source: Wikipedia, 2012)

Wikipedia is a popular website which stores a large amount of information on pretty much everything. Clark (2007) sites Wikipedia as “An encyclopedia that anyone can edit” which is one of the most accurately sentenced descriptions for Wikipedia. Although the information may be accurate, and well reference at the bottom of the page, anyone can simply enter the page and edit vital bits of information that are completely incorrect. A writer at Learning Economics (2012) who’s a teacher, has expressed his thoughts on students citing Wikipedia as a reference; “When you cite something in your paper, it means that the information or idea you are presenting is not your own […] However, since anyone can edit Wikipedia, it is entirely possible that you created that post in Wikipedia to support your idea or topic.” In conclusion, Wikipedia is a website that should not be cited as a reference source, this statement is said by both expertise on credibility and teachers.

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Clark, D. (2007). What Is Wikipedia, and What Is It Good For?. Retrieved from

Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. (pp. 122-181).

FreeEconHelp. (2012). Learning Economics… Solved!. Why you should never cite Wikipedia in your papers! Tips for using Wikipedia in your research. Retrieved from

Longley-Cook, L. H. (1962). Report. An Introduction to Credibility Theory. (pp. 194-221).

Virginian Montecino. (1998). Helpful Hints to Help You Evaluate the Credibility of Web Resources. Criteria to Evaluate the Credibility of WWW Resources. Retrieved from

Performance Load Examples (Item 2)

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are some examples primarily discussed in the authors Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s (2003) article on Performance Load.

Figure 1: How Slot Machines Work (Source: How Stuff Works, 2012)

First (1st) example is the Slot machines. Slot machines back when they were new, the user had to pull a rather large lever placed on either side of the slot machine to make the slot machine spin. Now days, the slot machine can easily be spun by a press of the button. This is relevant towards performance load with the kinematic load aspect. Reason being, is that instead of increasing your kinematic load by using more effort in pulling a lever, you now can press a button, decreasing your kinematic load.

Figure 3: Ignition Keys (Source: 1 A Locksmiths, 2009)

Second (2nd) example is the remote car keysCar keys are simple, you open the door by inserting the key into the car door lock and turning, thus opening the car door, same applies to turning on the engine. The introduction of the remote car keys has decreased performance load, specifically in kinematic load, by having a special set of buttons on the key that will unlock and lock the car doors while standing away at a distance. This helps when walking towards the car, pressing the button to unlock the doors, and simply opening the door and hopping into the vehicle, instead of increasing kinematic load and having to manually take your time opening the lock yourself.

Figure 2: Barcode (Source: Barcoding Inc., 2011)

Third (3rd) and final example of performance load is the bar code. Before bar codes were brought into existence, when purchasing a product, the cashier would have to type the products code into the computer themselves, increasing both the cognitive (remembering the digits) and kinematic (typing each digit into the computer). Now that the bar code has been introduced, the cognitive and kinematic loads have been significantly decreased, because now the cashier can simply swipe the product’s bar code across a scanner, scanning the digits into the computer themselves.

Performance Load “Chunking” Information & Psychology Effect in Visual Design (Item 1 / Q2&3 Summary)

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

(Q2) – “What is Chunking?”

The authors Lidwell, Holden & Butler (2003) discuss the performance load method for reducing cognitive load as ‘chunking‘.

Figure 1: George A. Miller (Source: The New York Times Company)

Chambers (2012) give the definition of ‘chunking’ as “a strategy used to improve memory performance. It helps you present information in a way that makes it easy for your audience to understand and remember.” So essentially, the way chunking works is to make things easier for your memory to process, this is delivered through visual representations and communication. Chunking works best when separating key elements of important information and placing such information into key units. Chambers (2012) gives an example of chunking through George A. Miller’s use of chunking in his journal article ‘The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two’. 

He explains “Miller studied the capabilities of our short term memory. For example, he researched how many numbers we can reliably remember a few minutes after we’ve been told them only once.” The way chunking is connected with performance load is that the use of chunking will decrease the cognitive load, thus making it easier for the person to accomplish their task/goal with minimal chance of error. Lidwell, Holden & Butler (2003) identify chunking in their article “General strategies for reducing cognitive load […] chunking information.” Final example of chunking is within Saariluoma & Sajaniemi’s (1989) journal article ‘International Journal of Man-Machine Studies‘. In their studies that they conducted, they trialed chunking in spreadsheets to see what effects it would have on the memory load (cognitive load). The results are positive, stating that chunking “…showed that a possibility to visual information chunking substantially decreases the memory load caused by spreadsheet calculation.”

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(Q3) – “Do you think a study of psychology is necessary in design?

Lidwell, Holden & Butler (2003) touch on the visual design aspect of performance load. The question asks if the psychology in visual design is ‘necessary’, and my answer is yes. The reason why the study is necessary is because visual design plays a major key role in our cognitive load. What we ‘visually’ see and interpret may increase our cognitive load, so the study of psychology in visual design is used to better suit a lower cognitive load for the viewer. For example, Hofmann (2012) discusses the essentials of effective visual design, one of the studied aspects in the psychology of design. He is an expert in design and through his article, pitches ideas of visual design that can better improve one’s attention, like the importance of ‘hierarchy‘ in the piece, showing the most important information first, and also trying to deliver a message within the image clearly without making it ‘too’ confusing. If the image’s message is coming through as ‘confusing’ for some, the performance load, specifically cognitive, would increase.

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Chambers & Associates Pty Ltd. (2012). Software in Practice. Chunking Principles. Retrieved from

Hofmann, P. (2012). User Interface Engineering. Essentials of Effective Visual Design. Retrieved from

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design, (pp. 148-149).

Saariluoma, S., & Sajaniemi, S. (1989). International Journal of Man-Machine Studies. Visual information chunking in spreadsheet calculations. (pp. 475-488).

Performance Load Analysis (Item 1 / Q1 Summary)

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Figure 1: Human Brain Evolution (Source: Mobile Phone Talk, 2010)

A brief summary of Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s (2003) extract on ‘Performance Load‘ explains that to accomplish a goal, we must use a large degree of mental and physical activity, which in this case, is called Performance Load. If we increase our performance load, there will be a large chance of errors and damage to the performance time, and completion of the goal will be significantly decreased. If we decrease our performance load, they’ll be a significant chance of successfully completing your goal and a minimal chance of error. The two (2) performance loads are; Cognitive Load, which is the use of mental activity, and Kinematic Load, which is the use of physical activity.

Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s (2003) example of Cognitive Load is the use of computers. Many years ago, “early computer systems required users to remember large sets of commands, and then type them into the computer in specific ways.” But now days, we have ‘bar codes’ and ‘scanners’ that can simply be scanned into the computer, this reduces the performance load and decreases the possibility of errors. An extract from Malamed’s (2012) on Cognitive Load explains “[…] the part of our brain that consciously processes information, dominates everything we do in terms of learning.”

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Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design. (pp. 148-149).

Malamed, C. (2012). The eLearning Coach. What is cognitive load? Retrieved from