Posts Tagged ‘q3’

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.

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).