Author Archives: abby London

Learning Portfolio 4

Credibility is apparent in our day-to-day lives as we surf and navigate the web.  Credibility and the web is subjective, and we as users must determine how reliable and truthful the information given, is. Credibility can be defined as ‘believability’. (Fogg, 2003, pp.122) and the truth lies in the eye of the beholder. So if we believe a website to be credible, we would place all faith in believing all the information we receive from it. Fogg describes credibility in his article  Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, as “credibility isn’t completely arbitrary. Much like agreement in evaluating beauty, people often agree when evaluating a source’s credibility.”  With the Internet being students main source of information, and acting as a world-wide forum for people to contribute to the content of certain sites,  credibility on the web is very important. Much of this credibility lies with the organisation behind the website (Fogg, 2003). We can determine whether a website is credible by seeing how competent and useful the information is, and by not trying to hoax you. If research requires students to use  the web, it is extremely important to use sites which are not misleading.  A conducted research by Stanford University (2004) shows, it is important to in a website to build web credibility with third-party support (references and source material), being confident and legitimate, showing credentials and affiliations, contact information being clear and being visually stimulating and simple. As students, knowing how to evaluate online sources is crucial to gathering the most relevant information for your research. As educational technology specialist Kelly Walsh says,” there is an overwhelming array of content” which can be risky when writing essays.


Credibility-online-sources-important-education.(n.d). 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.122-125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

The Web Credibility Project: Guidelines – Stanford University. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Question 2 – Wikipedia

As University students, the focus of our research should be on finding accurate information and formulating validated discussions and arguments. We must retain caution when reading and believing everything we read on the web, especially when it comes down to credibility. Wikipedia fails short here because when compared to other credible sources and verifying important information, Wikipedia can be misleading. The reasons being that anyone in the world with internet connection can access the Wikipedia site and edit content thus meaning Wikipedia should be assessed with caution, as information comes from many different sources.  Being taught to look critically at the reliability and credibility of information’s important to the education process, and it is easy to fall into Wikipedia’s allure of immediate, accessible material to help one wrap their minds around a new research subject. Though having to be savvy and research the credibility of information, so as to also display an obvious effort in research skills to obtain necessary information.

Question 3 –

Fogg’s (2003) research between 1999 and 2002, discovered that the internet users’ expectations of what was offered on websites, climbed as did their ability to traverse the Web and become more discerning at recognising a reliable website from a non-credible one. Therefore expectations of higher standards are becoming more apparent with users currently and further into the future, though making us more vulnerable to the vast-ness of the Web.

Anticipated Issues in the Future of Web Credibility for Users’:

  • With plagiarism becoming a large issue, sites that list author’s credentials for each article published will be considered more credible, and evidence being referenced.
  • So much online marketing with advertisements and sales pitches, it makes it difficult for users’ to distinguish between ads and content.
  • Websites that are not updated regularly may be perceived as stagnant and less authentic.
  • Large elements of easability and trust are given to online shopping and bill-paying making one more prone to scam.
  • As many of us, especially the new generation, are accustomed to researching online instead of print media, there may be problems discerning credibility online between legitimate sites and the vast number of competing illegitimate ones.
  • The promotion of misleading content and publication of inferior information.
  • Missing images and bad punctuation and grammar, and not representing a website properly can be misleading.
  • When websites don’t provide a prompt response to an email, they could be considered un-genuine


Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 147-181). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

Item 2 – Activity

Four examples of credibility: presumed, reputed, surface and earned.

This is an example of a presumed website. Save The Children is a brand we all know as being reputable and assume it as being a legitimate organisation based on its good will and generosity.


This is an example of a reputed website. This refers to a website which has been credited and promoted by a recognized third-party. Google would have to be one of the most widely used search engines in the world, and has many endorsements in the movie, Television and radio fields.



This is an example of a surface website. A simple, non-confusing website which has attractive design and has been considered professionally with style and graphics, leading us to assume the website has been designed by experts, playing a huge role in the credibility of the site.



The final example is a website with earned credibility. This credibility is based on the personal experience a user has with a particular site. A website that delivers accurate information, earns the users trust as a credible website. Such as the ABC news website being informed and current, updated on a regular basis.


Learning Portfolio 3 – Summary

As discussed in week 11’s article, Performance Load, the frustrations we may experience with the amount of physical and mental activity we devote to a mechanism or product, may vary from task to task due to variations in cognitive and kinematic load. (Lidwell, 2003).

Cognitive load is the mental activity we use in a task of problem solving, requiring us to accomplish a goal in minimal time. A good example of cognitive load would be computers and web design. Performance tests are often used in web design to determine the speed and capability people can navigate a web page. Load tests enable you to measure response times and utilisation levels, ‘and to identify the applicants breaking point, assuming that the breaking point occurs below the peak load condition’. (J.D. Meier, 2007). A more successful webpage would be one which diminishes cognitive load, where different categories of knowledge may be acquired, organised and stored in different ways.. ( Sweller, 2011).

Kinematic load is the physical activity required to accomplish a goal. Some strategies we can use to reduce kinematic load would be  minimizing steps, tasks, travel distances and making repetitive tasks automatic. (Lidwell, 2003). The basic principle is to reduce the amount of exertion one must endure, to accomplish a task.

Question two -Chunking.

Chunking is a way of consolidating data so someone can easily remember and recognize  information.  Chunking is a very important part of reducing cognitive load by separating relevant topics in to visual and memory cues.

In 1956, psychologist George A. miller formulated the chunk concept. His belief was that the working memory has limited capacity, and cognitive researchers claim that the capacity of working memory depends on the different types of information and the abilities of different people. (Malamed, C. 2009). So if our brain is too full of information, we simply won’t process the excess.

Therefore chunking is highly relevant to design and visual communication because our minds remember better visually and in relation to other things, so a well designed document or webpage will become more engaging and less daunting. Well formatted and thoughtfully designed content is important if to be remembered. So it is important to adhere to certain design principals such as a design’s usefulness, if it is understandable, aesthetic, thorough.. As Dieter Rams said, ” Good design is as little design as possible.” (Airey, D. 2010).

Question Three- Psychology in design.

To be a good designer, you need to have an understanding of psychology and human behaviour. As psychologist and designer Paul Davies said, ” Designers are actually psychologists who can draw.” ( 2011).

A designers purpose is to touch human emotion somehow and in order to do this, it is important to understand such principles of design such as reaction to colour and engagement through strong imagery and visuals. There are many theories involving psychology and design, such as the Gestalt theory which discusses ‘ organising visual elements in to groups and how the whole is often greater than it’s parts.’  (Anna R. Taylor, 2013).  This theory considers the cognitive way our minds process information, therefore making sense that design should be simple, symmetrical and visually arresting.

Item two – activity

The first product that satisfies the the design principal of performance load, would be the iPhone and it’s numerous organised categories. for example the contacts category which lessens the amount of cognitive load as the user doesn’t have to remember phone numbers to call someone. Kinetic load is reduced also, as steps to make a call are minimal. The information is also ‘chunked’ into one area, making it easily accessible.



The second product is the remote control for car keys.  Unlocking and locating your car is easy, fast and has become digitalised compared to fumbling in your bag and physically unlocking the car. .stock-vector-car-keys-modern-wireless-conventional-with-remote-control-and-keychain-alarm-110374040


The third product is a dishwasher. Reducing the need for hours of your time spent at the sink cleaning and stacking, the dishwasher is convenient and saves on water and detergent. A perfect modern day example of an old task being put into contemporary practice.Dishwasher-ratings



Ten principles for good design | David Airey, graphic designer. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sweller, J., Ayres, P. L., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory.

Meier, J. D. (2007). Performance testing guidance for web applications: Patterns & practices. United States?: Microsoft.

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

Chunking Information for Instructional Design. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Learning Portfolio 2- summary

The article Consistency, states we should ‘use functional consistency to simplify usability and ease of learning.’ (Lidwell, W. 2003, pp.46) Consistency is what makes a design recognisable to us and we also relate to this design in some way due to the associations attached to it.  The article discusses four types of consistency being: Aesthetic consistency, which uses consistent font, colour and graphics, so the appearance is all about marketing the product. We then recognise this logo or font, thus identifying it easily. The second type is Functional consistency, and this refers to such things as traffic lights and how we associate colour with meaning, e.g. red and knowing to stop. Another example given in the article is  the recognisable functions of devices such as the video cassette recorders and its control symbols such as rewind, play and fast forward. (Lidwell, W. 2003).  The third type of consistency is Internal consistency, which means maps or logical and thought out designs within urban landscapes such as parks. We rely and trust these systems as being current, up to date. The fourth type is external consistency. This type is more difficult to achieve because often they are systems within systems and there are no design rules to adhere to. Consistency is part of our every day existence, and many of us being so time poor, rely on previously gained knowledge to help gain understanding of a new product. When consistency in design is not applied, it takes the user longer to understand creating frustration and negativity towards the product . Consistency should “create a smooth and unobtrusive experience for users, and means their learning time will be shorter” (Colville-Hydeh, 2009).

Consistency is an important principle of design which has other important principles within its core, such as repetition, form, pattern, balance and emphasis. It allows us to recognise and associate a system to its usable nature.


Colville-Hydeh, B. (2009, June 5). Consistency and Design. retrieved from

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


Learning portfolio Q2

First example- Traffic lights

The principle of consistency applies in the use of traffic lights. It’s functional consistency “improves usability and learned ability by enabling people to leverage existing knowledge about how the design functions,” (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2010, pp.46). Across the world, drivers are aware of the same traffic law of colour recognition and knowledge of how to react to the three colours.  This has all aspects of the principle of consistency.

traffic-lightRetrieved from http:/

Second Example- The clock/ watch face

The clock is another example of recognisable, functional consistency. From an early age we learn how to tell the time, short hand the hour, and long hand the minutes. Although we are in a digital age, we all learn the analogue clock face first, so wherever we are in the world, we can read the clock and be punctual. Although branding and design change, its most recognisable functions such as number patterns, remain consistently the same.

titel-2Clock-Watch: History and technique of clocks and watches. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Third Example- The McDonalds logo.

Everyone, around the world, recognises McDonalds golden arches, looming at you from miles away. The yellow colour became emblematic and recognisable many years ago along with it’s consistent advertising. McDonalds has branded itself extremely well, and is one of the most universally consistent brands to us. 1000px-McDonald's_Golden_Arches.svg

Logos :: (n.d.). Retrieved from

Question two-LP 1, Study of products

ITEM ONE – Alessi juicy salif citrus juicer

This juicer is a prime example of function and form, and why people are persuaded to buy this product because of the aesthetic-usability effect.  Being an iconic product, designed by Phillippe Starck for Italian design brand Alessi in the 1980’s. ( Watson-Smyth, K. 2010 ) it’s the quintessential modern kitchen accessory with a martian-space like appearance that draws the consumer to questioning how the object may actually work.

The juicer stands about 30cm high and is made from polished, cast aluminium which is acid resistant. ( ). The way the juicer functions is simple: When the fruit is crushed on the top of the juicer, the juice simply runs down the elongated shape and into a glass, yet making a small mess in the process!

The item would naturally become a talking point for people, thus becoming an attractive piece of industrial design for one to have in their kitchens primarily for the attached name._MG_2678_2

ITEM TWO-  Kettle.

This kettle has a simple, attractive aesthetic which conveys practicality and functionality. Upon initial inspection, the simplicity of the design and use of consistent language are user friendly, easy and coheres to the overall user experience.


The kettle is obviously a modern take on an old design, where one waited and waited for the kettle to boil and whistle on the stove top.  The new version is simple and basic, which means its ability to prevent errors is minor, and the usability of the product is communicated well in its presentation and operation. Simply filling the device with water, placing it in its charger and pressing the green button until it quickly boils with a ‘ding’ sound indicator.

The kettle is durable in its material of polished aluminium, and minimal cleaning is required, it sits stably on the bench top in its charger and is not a complex or confusing everyday product to use.


The iPod has revolutionised the way we listen to music. With its sleek and simple design, its no wonder we choose this MP3 over other designs. The iPod has a name attached to it also, so people assume that if Apple mac have designed the iPod, it will function in a superior way compared to other brands, which is an example of the aesthetic-usability product. The wide list of features is also appealing to the buyer, and its simple scroll down system is an operation superior to other MP3’s. The iPod is known though to have problems attached to it such as screen freezing, but this does not seem to deter the buyer!_MG_2681 2




Citrus-squeezer – Juicy Salif PSJS | Alessi. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Secret History Of: Philippe Starck’s lemon squeezer – Interiors – Property – The Independent. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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

Learning Portfolio 1- Summary

This article, the Aesthetic-Usability Effect, (Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. 2003) discusses the psychological effects that an aesthetically pleasingly designed product, may have on the individual.

When we use a product that may not function the way we perceive it to do so, it may cause such emotions as frustration, impatience, stress and negativity resulting in the user feeling compelled to cease using such a product. This can also be called ‘usability mood’, (Jacobs, D. 2014). However, if a product is perceived as being more attractive in the first instance, our desire to use it is heightened, thus creating a more positive environment in which we can establish feelings such as patience, excitement, even affection towards a device, the consequence being long-term usability and success.

Although these aesthetically agreeable devices draw us in initially, often they may not perform as well as the less aesthetically pleasing counterpart. ( Jacobs, D. 2014 ).  As experiments have shown,  we purchase a product on face-value, and they may not function in a practical, user-friendly way.  This can be a perception which leads us to frustration if purchasing a product based on looks alone. Clever design means that beauty and usability are in balance.. ( Norman, D. 2002 )

A well designed product is integral to the end result being satisfactory to the consumer, as well as being practical and pleasing to the eye. Certain elements and principles of design contribute towards a product being both these things such as shape, colour, texture, proportion and balance. When a product is designed properly, we achieve our goals more efficiently and effectively making us feel positive and creative about our achievements, thus wanting to use this product more. The old saying, “form follows function”, is prevalent in these circumstances. (

As Thomas J Watson said, “Good design is good business.” ( identity  )


Doctor Disruption » Principles of Design #6 – Aesthetic-Usability       Effect. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Emotion & Design: Attractive things work better – (n.d.). Retrieved from

Jacobs, D. (2014). The cultural side of innovation: Adding values.

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principals of Design (pp.18-19). Massachusetts: Rockport.

Search results for “aesthetic design principles”. (n.d.). Retrieved      from