Activity – Examples

2 Nov

This website Random Acts is a site for the organisation Random Acts. I trust this site with my donations to the charity because I know it’s directly linked with the charity because of the .org means it’s an organisation.

The Johnnie Walker website can be considered credible because it has won an award in the 2010 Ektron All Stars Awards for being the “Best Brand Site”.

The Intimo website is for women to buy lingerie online. Upon first appearance I would trust this site to produce the good I pay for based purely on the fact that I find the design aesthetically pleasing because it’s neat and pretty.

When I first saw DeviantArt I didn’t really trust it. I didn’t want to put my art work on the site because I feared it would get taken and someone else would take the credit for it. But with experience I learnt that you can put a watermark over your art so people can’t take it.


Question Three – Credibility

2 Nov

There are a number of things that will have an impact on how we judge the credibility of a website, some help us trust a site and others make us have less of a sense of security within the site. It is important to have a site with credibility if you wish for it to be successful because people will not participate in anything to do with a website if they do not trust it.
Things that improve a websites credibility:

– The site is regularly updated
– The author of the content is clearly displayed
– The authors has some experiences in the field in which they are discussing
– You can create an account within the site that requires conformation via the email address you provided
– If you are clearly provided with contact information
Things that don’t improve a websites credibility:

– The site is not regularly updated
– The author isn’t displayed
– There is no author and the information can be edited by anyone
– If there is the authors name displayed but no evidence of them having experience in the field they are discussing
– If the site regularly malfunctions
– If there is no contact information

Question Two – Wikipedia

2 Nov

Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites on the internet, especially for high school and university students doing assignments. When you are researching something on a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, Wikipedia will be one of the first websites that is suggested to you. Its increasing popularity is possibly due to the fact that it has so much information in an instant on basically everything, in one place. But, the problem with Wikipedia is that anybody with a computer can place information on the site and even edit the things that other people have put on the site. This is why I believe this is one of the core reasons Wikipedia isn’t accepted as a reference in this assignment. While some information may be true there is still no guarantee.
Also, on a Wikipedia entry the person who created it can reference at the information at the bottom of the page. So this makes it difficult to know who you are actually referencing, and what if something that has been referenced then gets edited by another user.

Question 1 – Summary

2 Nov

When people are looking for information on a certain topic the internet is one of the first resources they turn to. Internet is such a large part of our culture now so it is important to understand what we can trust when doing research online. We need to understand how to recognise the signs of a website with credibility and one without credibility. Credibility essentially means how believable the information is. (Fogg, B. J. 2003).

One way to tell if a site has credibility is if you can identify the author of the content. (Struthers, K. 2004). If you can identify an author you at least know that the site isn’t open to anyone to say what they think. You then what to see if the author is an expert in the field in which you are researching. If the author wishes to increase their credibility they should also inform the reader of the date in which their information is relevant. (Hously, S. N/A).

Internet users also judge credibility by how the site is presented. (Lazar, J., Meiselwitz, G., Feng, J. 2007). So it is important to understand the elements of design and use them to your advantage in order to create a website that people trust.

Works Cited

Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the world wide web. In persuasive technology: Using computers to change what we think and do. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Struthers, K. (2004). Assessing the credibility of online sources. Retrieved from

Housley, S. (N/A) Questioning online credibility. Retrieved from

Lazar, J., Meiselwitz, G., Feng, J. (2007). Understanding web credibility: A synthesis of the research literature. Hanover, MA: Publishers INC.


2 Nov

The address book in my phone reduces cognitive load as I don’t have to remember phone numbers. The numbers are also listed in alphabetical order which makes them easier to locate.

The button on my keychain makes it possible to unlock the doors to my car without having to physically use the key. This reduces kinematic load as I don’t have to do as much physically work but I still get the same result as normal keys.

The remote for my air conditioner reduces both kinematic and cognitive load. It reduces kinematic load because I don’t have to get up to work the air conditioner. It reduces the cognitive load because it has very simple buttons.

Question Three – Psychology

2 Nov

The study of psychology is an important factor when designing something. Psychology is the study of the human mind through analysis. Psychology can then help designers form a better understanding of what specific things are successful in a design.
Psychology can help by first forming a better understanding of the human mind and then with that knowledge designers can manipulate their design to suit the viewers needs. The idea of chunking wouldn’t have occurred without some deeper understanding of how brains work and what is needed in order to create a system that is easier and more productive, and therefore a more successful product.

Question Two – Chunking

2 Nov

Chunking is the technique of grouping information in order to make it easier to remember. The reason it is an important technique is because it decreases the cognitive load for the person trying to remember the information.
An example of chunking is, say someone had a list of fifteen different ingredients that they needed to remember. It would be difficult for them to simply remember the ingredient list off the top of their head. So, they can employ the technique of chunking. How to chunk is quite simple, firstly they would decide what categories they would like to make and then place each thing in the category that fits the most. Some example categories for an ingredient list could be solids, liquids, vegetables, ingredients for the base, ingredients for the sauce etc.
Chunking can also be seen in things other than lists. Such as a library, a library has a system in which the books are divided into fiction and non-fiction. The further chunked into sections depending on the genre. Then they are placed alphabetically in the order of the author’s last name. If a library had no chunking system it would be nearly impossible to find the book you.

Chunking can reduce cognitive load as it make it easier to remember things and easier to find what you are looking for. In some case chunking even reduces kinematic load, as chunking makes places such as libraries and shopping centres more organised and therefore people spend less time walking around lost.

Question One – Summary

2 Nov

Performance load is a term used to describe the amount of physical or mental energy used to perform a task. In modern society it is a common goal to keep the performance load to a minimum, so companies try to outdo each other in creating something with the lowest performance load. There are two types of performance load, cognitive and kinematic.
The amount of the load imposed on working memory is called the cognitive load. (Chen, I., Chang, C. 2009). In other words, cognitive load is the level of ‘mental energy’ required for processing information when completing a task. (Cooper, G. 2002).
Kinematic is the degree of physical activity in which it takes to perform a task.  (Lidwell, W., Holden, K., Butler, J. 2003). The aim is to keep the amount of the kinematic load to a minimum as it will be easier for the person using the product or program.

Works Cited 

Chen, I., Chang, C. (2009) Cognitive load theory: An empirical study of anxiety and task performance in language learning Retrieved from

Cooper, G. (2002). Cognitive load theory as an aid for instructional design. Retrieved from

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐usability effect. In universal principles of design (pp. 46). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Question Two – Examples

1 Nov

As I mentioned the symbol for the pause button is an example of functional consistency. The two thick vertical lines side by side is a symbol that is used on all kinds of different devices. It is important to have these symbols as it would be messy and confusing if every remote, gaming consol, MP3 plays and radio had the function for each button written in words.

This warning symbol is attached to the cord of my hair straightening iron. This symbol is clearly informing the owner of the product not to get the item wet. This symbol can seen on many electrical devices, but more specifically ones used in bathrooms such as blow driers and curling irons, therefore making this symbol an example of externally consistent as it can be seen on a range of different devices and brands.  

Vera Wang is a fashion label and they use a specific style of font every time the brand name is printed on something. This is an example of a brand using aesthetic consistency in order to make the brand instantly recognizable. There are two main reasons that aesthetic consistency can help a brad sell a product. Firstly, a shopper will take comfort in the fact that they have seen this brand before and will be more likely to trust it. Secondly is that people wear certain brands with obvious aesthetically consistent designs because the brand is accepted by popular culture, or the brand is expensive and wearing it could make the buyer feel superior.

Question 1 – Summary

1 Nov

Consistency in design is about making elements uniform” (Spool, J. 2005)

Consistency is a factor in design or systems usability, when a design is used consistently it becomes something the viewer can recognise and use past experience to draw an understanding of the system. There are four types of consistency, functional, aesthetic, internal and external. (Lidwell, Holden, Butler, 2003).

Functional consistency is when certain symbols or codes are used on a range of different devices and over time becomes common knowledge for the users. For example, the symbol for a pause button, it is used on television remotes, gaming consoles, stereos and MP3 players. Generally when someone is trying to figure out how to pause something they look for the two vertical lines side by side.

Aesthetic consistency is referring to the consistency in the look of something. Certain brands will use the same style of something to give make it recognizable. The brand Louis Vuitton, a bag or fashion item from the brand can be associated to coming from that brand almost instantly. Consumers also will be more likely to trust a company brand they recognize, “consistency creates impressions of one well-managed image” (Schmitt., Simonson. 1997).

When elements are repeated throughout a design this is called internal consistency. A way to tell the difference between internal and external is that external consistency is “the degree to which a product is consistent with some reference other than a part of itself” (Zuschlag, M. 2010) and internal consistency is the degree in which a product is consistent within itself. (Zuschlag, M. 2010)

Works cited

Spool, J. (2005) Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach Retrieved from

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

Schmitt, B., Simonson, A. (1997) Marketing aesthetics: the strategic management of brands, identity, and image New York: Free Press

Zuschlag, M. (2010). Achieving and Balancing Consistency in User Interface Design. Retrieved from