Websites that have credibility

Websites that have credibility

Week 12 – Learning Portfolio Item 2


This website uses a nice design layout with a tool bar at the top of the web page which easily guides you around the website into the different products that apple has to offer. There is also a selection of options at the bottom which are clearly displayed and provide you with images so you know what the information is going to be about. The contact information is also immediately displayed at the bottom of the screen for customer enquiries. Overall, the apple website is easy to use and nice to look at it.


Ebay is precise and reliable.  As it deals with transactions, it consists of functions that enable you to easily balance your money.  All these options are easily accessible through the homepage which immediately allows you to start buying or selling. The home page also has categories which allows for you to go straight to your area of interest. The design layout has been well thought out by distinguishing the searching options from the transactions options so it is easier to manoeuvre around the site.



Tom Hoch is an award winning website and it is easy to see why. The images of his design work grab your attention as soon as the site opens; hence you know what he does and how his designs will look. He has used many design elements like balance, contrast and line to make this website look credible, but non better than the use of colour which he makes blend beautifully. The functionality bar is well displayed and easy to access.

 2010 Best Design Site  (“Best Design Websites” 2010)


The information on this website is nicely displayed through options that are clearly presented and easy to find. The side bar option on the left hand side is a nice touch for requiring immediate information. The functionality bar at the top of the page is well displayed and allows easy movement around the website. The forum also allows people to receive friendly advice from people who have perhaps suffered from the same problem and professional help.


Best Design Site. (2010). Retrieved from


Performance Load

Performance Load

Week 11 – Learning Portfolio Item 1 – Q1

“Information in working memory lasts only around ten seconds” (What is cognitive load?) n.d) Cognitive load reduces the mental workload because performance decreases when the task is split between the textual and displayed information, which increases the cognitive load. (Johnson, A. Proctor, W. R. 2004. p. 252) Cognitive load has a direct effect on the amount of the information that is taken in because the working memory only holds a limited amount of information. Cognitive Load can be managed through general learning strategies. (Cognitive Load theory of Multimedia Learning (Sweller) n.d) said that Learner goals are important because they determine the cognitive pattern. The Learnability of a design should be easy enough to use immediately which reduces the mental ability to work out how a device functions. Too much information on the use of a device will directly affect the manner in which information is synthesized in working memory (Sweller, 2003).

Kinematic load is the degree of physical activity needed to complete a task.  Good design should be able to successfully reduce the amount of kinematic load on an individual.  The lack of kinematic load is also attractive, it can make a design more appealing and overall easier to use.

Reference List

What is Cognitive Load? (n.d). Retrieved from

Cognitive Load Theory of Multimedia Learning (Sweller). (n.d) Retrieved from

Johnson, A. Proctor, W. (2004). Attention: Theory and Practice. Michigan, United States: Sage Publications.

Paas, F. Renkl, A. Sweller, J. (2003) Cognitive Load Theory: A Special Issue of Educational Psychologist. New Jersey, United States: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates inc.

Helping you to reduce your performance load?

 Devices that reduce your performance load?

Week 11 – Learning Portfolio item 2

Figure 1. TV remote - (alaTest, 2011)

TV remote

The TV remote reduces peoples Kinematic load because they can control their Television from a distance. If they want to switch it off or change the channel then they don’t have to psychically keep getting up to control the television.  Also, as a device the buttons functions are clearly labelled and grouped together, this reduces people cognitive load because they don’t have to remember which button performs which function because symbols are used on the remote to tell people what that specific button does. The TV remote is certainly the laziest device to mankind’s laziest inducing machine.

Figure 2. Calculator - (emovingstorage, 2010)


A calculator is another device that reduces Cognitive and Kinematic load. It functions easily, simply pressing in buttons that display the mathematical input. This requires no strenuous movements or activities, just a small finger movement. The main function of a calculator is too reduce the cognitive load placed on a person. It instantly calculates an equation without the use having to think about it. Therefore, the user doesn’t have to mentally apply themselves to calculating the sum. It is done instantly and easily with the calculator.

Figure 3. Dishwasher - (Maria, 2010)


The dishwasher reduces the kinematic load of washing plates, bowls etc. Washing manually with a sponge requires physical activity but a dishwasher reduces this. Technology replaces the need for hours of washing by the users own ability to set the machine to specific functions like time, load etc.  Also, the dishwasher can get more washed in less than time, directly managing the work that someone has to perform.

Reference List

 TV Remote. (2011). In Samsung TV Remote Controller. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 2, 2011 from,34/

 Calculator. (2010). In 19 Mortgage Calculators. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 2, 2011 from

Dishwasher. (2010). In Latest Trends in Home Appliances. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 2, from

Factors that effect the credibility of Non – Profit

Credibility of non – profit websites

Week 12 – Learning Portfolio item 1 – Q3

  • Credibility of information – People often don’t cite the information they have used on their site because they feel it has no importance because the information is deemereliable by the creator of the website. Since these citations cannot be followed, the information can not found and therefore may be false.
  • Biased – A non – profit website is usually created by a person or a group of people for a purpose. The information on their site could only be their personal opinion, not the actual truth. Online content should, where appropriate,  must show their expertise and trustworthiness (Cugelman,B. 2009)
  • Design Layout – non – profit websites do not receive funding meaning they cannot spend money on a professional looking websites.  A website that does not uses the basic design elements of effectiveness, recognition etc may be deemed unreliable.
  • Contact information – Non – profit websites do not have efficient contacting systems like Ebay/Apple etc so the owner of these websites often feel uncomfortable displaying their contact information online. Therefore, we do not know who has created or posted the content.
  • Usability – Websites should be simple to navigate and use . If  the website appears complicated, unusable etc it often a sign that the website isn’t credible.
Reference List

Consistant Products

Consistent Products

Week 10 – Learning Portfolio item 1&2 – Q2

PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 controllers

Figure 1. Playstation3 Controller - (Reisinger, D. 2010)

When you walk into a modern, family home these days one of the things you will notice is a games console. Whether you are  a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or even Wii, odds are there’s one in every home. However, these consoles follow a simple design principle; Consistency. The controller is the most important tool for a gamer, therefore learnability has to be quick and the usability has to be easy. This is certainly the case with Playstation and Xbox 360 controllers as design “affects the placement of navigation buttons, the way media controls such s start and stop buttons work”  (DiMarco, J. 2010). Meaning that the designs must be similar for people to use them without any confusion. 

Figure 2. Xbox 360 Controller - (Green, M. 2008)

These controllers follow the Aesthetic/Functional forms of consistency. The designs of these controllers are aesthetically similar. Both controllers have two distinct, protruding grips which are bridged together by the main component of the controller which has the home, start and select buttons. Both controllers have two toggle sticks for in game coordination. But Sony (Playstation 3) has chosen a more compacted look for the joysticks and placed them together just below the main component. Whereas, Microsoft (Xbox  360) has decided on a more spread out approach, slightly  intersecting the toggle sticks by the directional pad. PlayStation also has a directional pad, which is built into the left side of the controller. Similarly, the R1,2 and L1,2 functionality buttons are placed in exactly the same position for both controllers.

What makes these controllers functionally consistent is the similarity of the action buttons. Playstation has distinguished the different buttons by a colour and uniquely by shapes used as symbols. Xbox has done something similar, using a colour coding system, but their design is slightly different by the use of letters for symbolisation instead of shapes. The colour systems are also closely the same with Microsoft opting for a Yellow colour on the Y instead of the Pink used for a Square by Sony.


Figure 3. Samsung - led TV series - (Barker, S. 2009)

A Television is arguably the most important object in a household. It provides entertainment, information and now the internet, but these TVs are designed consistently with previous generations of TV models so the user can easily learn how to use it. Also, different companies always want to attract people to their brand. This has created  diversity in different models of Television but the design has always stayed constant from the birth of TV to modern day. Yes, we have Blu Ray, 3D and the newer the TV the thinner it is, but this too is a consistent design principle, used ensure that people will not be drawn away from their model because it looks hard to use.

Source 4. Old Television - (Turner, A. 2009)

In my house, we have a Samsung 42″ plasma television. We also have  a old Sony TV. The differences between these models are subtle but still Aesthetically consistent. Both models still use the rectangle shaped design which has become the common feature of a TV design. However, my Samsung has been designed in a more modernistic approach as the TV rim around the screen is  thinner and much more elegant looking than the thick rim of my Sony. However, this design feature has been extracted from previous models and modernised. My Television is also very large, whereas my Samsung is thin and flat screened. This too has been a design feature that has been taken into consideration to contend with advancing technology.

TVs have also been designed with functional consistency so when people buy a new TV they are not confronted with different buttons and options which they have to get used to, same for my two TVs. Both have on,volume buttons etc However, Samsung has used touch sensitive buttons whereas as the Sony has used the old fashioned push buttons. This has been upgraded to fit with the modernistic feel of the 21st Century.

Smart Phones

Figure 5. iPhone 4 - (2011)

A mobile phone was once the pinnacle of modern technology. It removed the wired cord and allowed conversations on the go but in the last decade mobile phones have become smaller, hand held computers. They now have internet access, games, texting and come in smaller, more concise sizes. However, all these phones have something in common; consistency.

Mobile phone interfaces are now all internally consistent. Whether you own an LG, iPhone or even Blackberry, the similarities in these interfaces are due to companies attempting to attract people to their product by allowing people to transfer their learnability about a device. Most mobile phone interfaces consist of icons, displayed on a home screen(s). These are usually known as apps and are displayed in vertical rows. Usually a mobile phone interface has 9 or 8 apps. However, some mobile phone companies have used this layout and these icons on the home screen then allow you to access your applications. This not only makes the home screen look tidy but allows more room for apps on a single “page”.

Figure 6. Blackberry Bold - (Staff, 2008)

Internal consistency has been used to allow people to transfer their learnability from one type of mobile phone to another. In this way, when people want to buy another mobile phone they are not met with the typical confusion of a device they have never used people. Their usability of the device is enhanced because they have preset knowledge on the basic use of icons, apps and layout. This makes maneuvering around the interface easier and convenient. This leads to the access of applications through the home screen. These applications can be downloaded from the internet straight onto a mobile phone. These apps are now consistently displayed on mobile phones, so the usability of mobile phones also tune into the user’s personal preference.

Competition within these companies is well known, especially when it concerns mobile phones which has become a huge industry. Companies are always looking to attract people and using consistent designs from more successful companies is the answer.

Reference List

DiMarco, J. (2010). Digital Design for Print and Web: An Introduction to Theory, Principles, and Techniques. Design: Definition and Devices (pp. 27 – 59). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey

 Playstation3 Controller. (2010). In Sony: Counterfeit controllers can explode. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 2, 2011 from

 Xbox 360 Controller. (2008). In Revised Xbox 360 Controller Remains International Exclusive. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 2, 2011 from

 Samsung – led TV series. (2009). In Samsung  LED TV Range. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 2, 2011 from

 Old Television. (2009). In Australian retailers must help to tackle eWaste. [Digital Image]. Retrieved  June 2, 2011 from

iPhone 4. (2009). In iPhone 4. [Digital Image]. Retrieved June 2, 2011 from

Blackberry Bold. (2008). In RIM Blackberry Bold. [Digital Image]. Retrieved June 2, 2011 from

Products that meet the Aesthetic – Usability Effect

Products that meet the Aesthetic Usability Effect

Week 8 – Learning Portfolio items 1 & 2 – Q2

Figure 1. iMac 27" - (Eshark, 2009)


In the modern age, owning a computer has become an assumption as well as a necessity. These machines are designed to look just as good as they function. With the use of flowing curves and tempting colours, computers are designed to catch the eye. Apple seems to be experts on crafting their products to attract customers. Apple has become famous for their designs. Their attention to detail and care in making sure the hardware is elegant and the software is second to none. Their products are sleek and modernistic. The two main design features needed to attract the modern day customer.

The iMac is simply stunning to look at. It catches your eye the moment you look at it, and the moment you look away, you can’t help but turn for another peek. This is the main factor which Apple thrives off. People want to use the iMac because it is nice to look at. Therefore it has a higher chance of being used. The convenience of an iMac is a conventional factor. The iMac is a singular base unit. A single wire powers the iMac, instead of the cluster created by Window’s complication of monitor and desktop wires being huddled together. The curves on an iMac lead the eye around the computer and you can’t help but love them. Elegant curves are attractive and fit with the modernistic design of “today’s” tech. Many people want to keep up with the latest technology, but also have an eye for what looks nice. If they enjoy the look of it then they will use it more often.  The perfect contrast of metallic gray and black also works amazingly well. The black is evenly balanced and is used in turn as a contrast for the screen colours. The singular black apple logo, surrounded by the metallic gray instantly stands out and appeals to you and shouts Use me! Use me! We all love a massive screen, with crisp 1080p HD (How can your resist? Honestly) . 21″ or 27″ people always want bigger and better, regardless if it’s actually a quality product.

Figure 2. Hyundai i30 –  (Jeremy, 2010)

Hyundai i-30

As mankind has evolved, so has our form of movement. From cavemen in the ice caps, walking vast areas to capture a lonely mammoth, to popping down Woolworths for a pint of milk. Movement has been vital to our survival. Cars have made travelling further distances in less time possible, like the Hyundai i-30. However, cars have become the technological equivalent of fashion models. Cars are beautifully designed in every way from colour to the inclusion of iPod connectivity. Every feature has been purposely considered to attract the buyer.

The psychology accommodated of colour is a powerful tool. We all had a favourite colour when growing up. The Hyundai – i30 is red but car manufacturers produce the same model  in different colours because different colours appeal to different people. A peacock uses its colours as an act of expression, this is the same for car owners. These cars have a higher chance of being used because people want to show them off, to express themselves. Size is also important. Some people prefer bigger cars, others littler cars. However, what remains the same is the effect that these sizes have on people. It relates to their personal preference, what they feel looks right, what they like and what they don’t like. This often conjures a bond between the car and the owner, because they enjoy driving it or simply enjoy looking at it.

The Hyundai – i30 is a five seater. Nicely accommodated I feel. However, it is the layout and amount of gadgets in the dashboard that creates the appeal. Once the driver enters the car, they are greeted with a neat interface. All options are clearly pointed out and accessible. The inclusion of iPod Connectivity in the compartment is convenient. It allows for the wires to be stored whilst travelling.

Figure 3. HotPoint washing Machine - (Malyon, H. 2009)

Figure.3 – Washing Machine

Washing Machine

The humble washing machine, a mundane tool used in our everyday lives. We can pop a bit of dirty washing in, sit down, have a cup of coffee, watch TV and not worry. It may not be as an exciting as a 42″ Plasma TV but just as much care has been put into designing it so people will use it and because the washing machine is such a common tool in households, this has to be top priority.

Firstly, people need simplicity. The machine has to be easy to function. The control layout has to be precise and lack complication. The washing options are governed by a single, rotating knob. This knob makes the user believe that it is much more easier to use as all the washing options are formatted with a single rotation. This is more conventional and ensures that the machine will influence a positive attitude in the user and therefore a greater amount of usage. Singular buttons on the machine are also used for other options such as heat control and time. This interface includes the use of LED lights for indications which is convenient for both day and night use. The moment the machine turns on the options change colour  to let you know which options are available. The three screens in the middle of the interface, time and temperature are also indicated in amber. When an option has been selected the LED will turn green. This is a clear and easy to use indicator for washing options.

The opening door and entire unit has curved lines. These are elegant and continuously flowing around the center of the design. This instantly attracts you to the overall bulk of the machine. The size of the machine is also a factor that creates attraction. In the modern age, our technology is gradually becoming smaller and more favourable. This washing machine fits perfectly underneath the washing bench or into a small space. Its size has been designed to limit the amount of space it takes up within the area.

Reference List

iMac 27″ (2009). In The New iMac comes Wider. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 1, 2011 from

Hyundai i-30 (2010). In 2010 Hyundai i30. [Digital Image] Retrieved from June 1, 2011 from

HotPoint Washing Machine (2009). In Hotpoint Black Appliance Collection. [Digital Image] Retrieved June 5, 2011 from

Credibility of websites

Are websites credible?

Week 12 – Learning Portfolio item 1 – Q1

Website credibility is a serious issue in the modern age of computing and technology. As we are now using the internet in a diversity of different ways it is important to be to inspect a credible website upon arrival.

Whatever your activity is on the web whether its shopping or research, it is important for the website to establish credibility to earn your trust. As (Doncor, 2011) explains, a website design be correctly targeted against a market audience. The design will not only attract them but influence them to become your customer.

Websites can look attractive and well designed but sometimes this can be a trap as (Furman, 2008) notes that we make preconscious judgements because we are distracted by the design visuals before any real cognitive processing can take place. However, if a website has elements like familiar logos, contact information etc then its credibility is often reliable. What you are doing on the internet can often be affected by credibility.  If your researching for a project, credibility is important for reliability.

Reliability of information is another issue. The information that is gathered can often be false or incomplete. If someone does not cite the text then it could fiction or someone’s biased opinion. An example of this would be Wikipedia where it is freely open for editing, meaning that anyone can easily change the information displayed on the website. This is something to be careful of when researching for projects etc.

Reference List

Doncor. (2011) Website credibility. Retrieved from

Furman, S. (2008). Credibility. Retrieved from