Wikipedia: Credible or not? You decide…….

Credibility of Wikipedia

Week 12 – Learning Portfolio item 1 – Q2 

We’ve all performed a sneaky Wikipedia copy and paste at least once in our lives for a late assignment but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a credible source. In fact, it isn’t. The appeal of huge amounts of sophisticated sounding information is enough to deter us from the idea of whether the information that we are using is reliable.

Academically, Wikipedia should not be used. The main problem with Wikipedia is mainly the reliability of the information. (Ollig, 2007)  Explains that the information which is given to the public, has no independent or credible confirmation.

Furthermore, using information from Wikipedia does not benefit the student as he or she needs to be able to think independently. Taking information from Wikipedia not only limits this but can also be interpreted as a form of plagiarism. However, like I previously mentioned, the attraction of Wikipedia can be irresistible. Therefore, when students see the information on Wikipedia they instantly accept no alternative but to use Wikipedia. This is because they are pleased with the information they collected because it sounds professional and reliably “credible”.

The information that is collected could be biased or incomplete. Wikipedia has also admitted that very rarely its information can be accessed.  But if accessed it can edited by anyone who uses an internet connection (Ollig, 2007) Meaning that the information that be changed from fact to fiction. Some writes don’t cite the sources they have collected, so the credibility of the information can be often affected.

Reference List

Ollig, M. (2007). The pros and cons of Wikipedia. Retrieved from


Psychology of Design

Psychology of design

Week 11 – Learning Portfolio item 1 – Q3

As human beings we are all naturally structured the same way with arms, head etc but our personal preferences are totally unique to our psychology i.e favourite colour. We are not all joined by a single idea. It is this type of psychology that makes us independent.

Companies tend to base their designs on a universally appreciated design elements. However, if these products are designed to match someone’s personal preferences then ( Kontouris in Burgoine , 2010 ) said that we shouldn’t have to think about good design, we should  know it from recognition. Good design should influence the way we feel about a product.

As we all differ; we individually separate what we prefer in a design and what we don’t.  A design may be attractive to me that may not to others.  A specific design will never be universally appreciated .This a consequence of individual personalities and thought.

Reference List

Burgoine, L. (2010)  The Psychology of Design. Neoskomos. Retrieved from



Week 11 – Learning Portfolio item 1 – Q3 

Chunking is a learning strategy where information is broken down into smaller groups so it is then easier to remember. (Bozarth, J. 2010) says that information must not be divided in a scattershot way; it has to have some sort of meaning. Information that is broken down must have some relevance to the area in which you wish to learn. If the information isn’t relevant then the process of “chunking” becomes meaningless.

The human mind can only hold a certain amount of information at any one time. Therefore, a design which enables people to reduce their cognitive load will be more popular as the capacity of the memory depends on the size of information and the information type (“Chunking Information,” n.d )  Therefore, from a designers point of view, what they envision must  look  engaging but also be simple enough to understand i.e designs with less buttons will be easier to understand because a wide range commands will be enabled by a lesser number of buttons. Therefore, people naturally break down the information on how to use the device and its distinctive functions.

People use different methods of chunking when collecting information. Each method relates directly to how easy the individual finds that method. The different methods of chunking are: Organising information into groups. Finding patterns (links) within the information which inhibits having to list separate pieces of information. Organising your information based on its meaning and content. Creates easier learning patterns and breaking information down into smaller, easier to learn pieces of information.

Reference List

Chunking information. (n.d) Retrieved from

Bozarth. (2010). Chunking Retrieved from

The Design Flow: Consistency

The Design Flow: Consistency

Week 9 – Learning Portfolio item 1 – Q1

Consistency is when “Systems are more usable and learnable when similar parts are expressed in similar ways” (Lidwell, W. 2003) Meaning that if something is consistent then it is easier for people to use. However, this is usually on behalf of the designer, because when a designer changes their design, they expect that the “resulting design will be consistent with the beginning design” (Braha, D. Maimon, Z. O. 1998) There are four types on consistency: Aesthetic, Functional, Internal and External.

Companies use Aesthetic design to create recognition and association through a consistent experience (DiMarco, J. 2010. pp. 27 – 59).  A corporate identity is created through design elements such as colour, text, logo’s etc. This creates an association between companies and people. Functional consistency is similar because the way certain designs are instantly recognised by people .However, functional consistency is not just for corporate identity. It “affects the placement of navigation buttons, the way media controls such as start and stop buttons work”  (DiMarco, J. 2010). Functionally consistent designs enable people to transfer their learnability about a device because the functions are universally known such as the play and pause buttons on an mp3 player. The product may be released by different companies but the design is consistent because it enhances people’s usability.

However, internal and external consistency are slightly different. Internal consistency is when certain elements within a system are consistent. This creates trust in people because it shows that the system has been designed specifically for their purposes. This is mainly used in website design because websites need to be easy to move around and use, allowing your “designs to develop and internal consistency makes it easier for your customers to understand” (Administrator, 2010). External consistency is consistency within an environment.

External consistency can be  “The use of similar terminology and functional attributes across platforms or commonly used interfaces. An example here is a ‘back’ button and the Windows ‘minimise’, ‘maximise’ and ‘close’ buttons which are utilised in popularly used interfaces such as ‘Internet Explorer’. (Chambers, M. 2006).

Reference List

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

Administrator, (2011, September 28 ). Principles of Design. [Web log Post] Retrieved from

Chambers, M. (2006) Design Rules, Principles and Standards. Retrieved from

Lidwell, W. Holden, K. Butler, J. (2010)Universal Principles of Design: 125 ways to enchance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design. (2nd Ed). Rockport Publishers, Inc. Beverly. Massachusetts.

Braha, D. Maimon , Z. O. (1998) A mathematical theory of design: foundations, algorithms, and applicatons. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

To be or not to be……..Aesthetic Usability Effect

Aesthetic Usability Effect

 Week 8 – Learning Portfolio Item 1- Q1

When we go to buy a product we are often attracted by it’s design because we imagine ourselves using it, debating what looks nice and what doesn’t.  However, Lidwell explains in Lidwell, W. Holden, K. Butler, J. (2010) Universal Principles of Design (2nd Edition) Aesthetic Usability Effect (pp 20- 22) that design is used to influence use psychologically. We perceive designs that we like easier as to use because we enjoy looking at them. If we like a product then we tend to create a positive attitude towards it i.e mobile phones . The Aesthetic Usability Effect purely influences the users own personal preferences.

As customers and potential users, design appeals to use specifically. Some of us may prefer a specific design over others. This is mainly due to difference in user preferences i.e colour, size etc. This is because “Advances in our understanding of emotion affect, have implications for the science of design.” ( Norman, D. A. 2002) Our emotions such as happiness, love, hate, drive us to these products because they influence how we feel. However, as technology advances so does new trends. We always want the “New” thing and design attracts us to it. However, it means that ”  Aesthetic Design can be a more important influence on user’s preference than traditional usability” (Jacko, A. J. 2009 ) Products are being produced with less quality only to be substituted with a better design. As a result, people will like the design and perceive the product as easier to use when the quality of the product is quite low.

We develop positive attitudes towards these products. But we assume  that Usable products must be simple to use, Dillon, A. (2003. pp.18 – 29)  If the product has many buttons and looks complicated to use then we will not use it. Regardless of if the complicated design is a easier product to use. Manufacturers take advantage of  the users preferences because industries are  “More focused towards the user, usability is becoming somewhat of a given” ( Boulton, M. 2005) We are primarily influenced by what we want.


Reference List

Lidwell, W. Holden, K. Butler, J. (2010) Universal Principles of Design (2nd Edition) Aesthetic Usability Effect (pp 20 – 22) Rockport: Massachutess

Jacko, A. J (2009) Human-Computer Interaction: New Trends. Berlin , Germany: Springer Verlag

Dillon, A.(2003) Designing usable electronic text. New York, United States: Taylor and Francis inc.

Norman, D.A. (2002). Emotion and design: Attractive things work better. Interactions Magazine, ix (4), 36 – 42. Retrieved from

Boulton, M. (2005) Aesthetic – Usability Effect. Retrieved from