Learning Portfolio Item 2 (Activity)- Credibility Examples

Presumed Credibility- The Cancer Council website

Cancer Council screenshot (www.cancercouncil.org.au)

Cancer Council screenshot (www.cancercouncil.org.au)

The general assumption for this website is that because the company behind the website is legitimate, it is presumed that their website is legitimate too. With an organisation like the Cancer Council, it is pretty safe to assume it is a credible website as they are a very well known charity organisation. And also, because the site ends with “.org”, people generally would assume that it was a legitimate website.

Reputed Credibility- Pretty Little Things website

Pretty Little Things screenshot (www.prettylittlethings.com)

Pretty Little Things screenshot (www.prettylittlethings.com)

Pretty Little Things is a website that has been endorsed by other websites, like Facebook and Boohoo. These websites have staked their reputation as credible websites. Facebook and Boohoo are trusted websites so if they are endorsing this website, then  it makes it more credible. This is essential when asking users for financial information when purchasing clothing.

Surface Credibility- Tumblr website

Tumblr screenshot (www.tumblr.com)

Tumblr screenshot (www.tumblr.com)

The Tumblr website appears to be well designed which means people assume that is is a trustworthy and credible website, especially when they ask people to handle personal information.

Earned Credibility- Boohoo website

Boohoo.com screenshot (www.boohoo.com)

Boohoo.com screenshot (www.boohoo.com)

Boohoo has earned credibility as they have consistently performed in terms of delivery and dispatch of items ordered. They also provide accurate tracking information so you can keep track of your package as you wait for it to arrive. They provide records such as receipts and order histories which add to its credibility. These assure customers that their purchases are recorded and they provide a means for customers to keep the website accountable.

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading + Writing)- Credibility Q3

Q3) Perception of Web Credibility

  • Web page is cluttered with advertising- this makes the website look suspicious because these advertisements could contain malware or spyware that could damage the user’s computer
  • Poorly designed websites- if the company behind the website was legitimate, the company would have the funds to properly design their website
  • Websites that automatically open pop-ups- pop-up advertisement could make someone quite suspicious of this website, especially if the pop-up contained illicit material
  • Typographical errors- this is along the same line of a poorly designed website. Typos make a website seem less legitimate because if they were legitimate they would take more care with these errors
  • Sites that require a paid subscription to access- naturally, this could make someone suspicious of the site. This is a perfectly normal reaction as you should be careful handing over financial details over the Internet but it could make someone very hesitant using this site
  • The site is rarely updated- out of date information on a website would make someone suspicious of its credibility
  • The site links you to a non-credible website or the links do not work- this combines the pop-ups with the poor design and would make someone incredibly suspicious of the site

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading + Writing)- Credibility Q2

Q2) Credibility of Wikipedia as an Academic Resource

The credibility of information sourced from an online resource depends on the website behind the source (Fogg, 2003). If the website is seen as a trustworthy source of information, such as a university, organisation or government website, the information is seen as credible (Fogg, 2003). Web credibility has two sides to it, one that related to Web surfers, and one that relates to those who design the websites (Fogg, 2003). As Web surfers who consume the information, we need to take it upon ourselves to evaluate the credibility of the information we read on the Internet (Fogg, 2003). We can do this by examining who the author is, how timely the information is and how it compares to other, more credible sources such as the experts in the field (Fogg, 2003).

The main reason that Wikipedia is not accepted as a credible source for an academic assignment is that anyone can edit the pages on it. This is a positive thing as people can easily share and edit information, and contribute to a discussion but it can also be a negative thing. It also means that anyone can post false information if they wanted to, sometimes maliciously. Although the administrators do keep track of these pages and will fix them if the information is found to be false or incorrect, they cannot possibly evaluate every piece of information posted on the website immediately. It would be impossible as there are maybe millions of pages to keep track of. This means that you do not know if the information you are accessing is credible or not.


Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In B. J. Fogg, Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 122-125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

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

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading + Writing)- Credibility Q1

Q1) Credibility of Online Sources

Credibility is the quality of something, such as an online source, being believable or trustworthy (Princeton University, 2013). Credibility is based on the combination of perceived trustworthiness and perceived expertise (Fogg, 2003). The trustworthiness is a major factor in the perceived credibility of a source (Fogg, 2003). For example there are certain professions, such as judges and doctors, which are expected to be truthful, unbiased, and fair. Because of their perceived morality and trustworthiness, they are perceived as credible. This also goes for sources of information. If the information comes from a university website or a peer reviewed journal article, it is perceived as credible because these are seen as trustworthy institutions.

The same goes for online sources of information. The credibility of a website is an important factor in its power to influence (Fogg, 2003). Although the Internet can provide a wealth of information, not all of it is credible and trustworthy. Anyone can publish almost anything on the Internet and it is incredibly easy to put false information on the web (Fogg, 2003). For example, on an online dating profile, one could say they are a bikini model or a doctor, but it might not necessarily be true. This is why it is important to carefully evaluate sources of information for credibility. Information gathered from credible sources is usually considered more accurate and more useful academically (Fogg, 2003). For example, when writing an academic paper, one needs to be especially careful when selecting sources of information as they could affect the outcome of your grade. If the information you have gathered is sourced from non-credible websites and is incorrect or false, you could fail that assignment.


Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In B. J. Fogg, Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 122-125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

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

Princeton University. (2013, June 2). Credibility. Retrieved from WordNet Search: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=credibility

Learning Portfolio Item 2 (Activity)- Examples of Performance Load

Instyler Hair Styling Tool

The Instyler Hair Styling Tool (image courtesy ofhttp://www.prcouture.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/open009.jpg)

The Instyler Hair Styling Tool (image retrieved from http://www.prcouture.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/open009.jpg)

One of the main selling points of this particular hair styling tool is that it is easy to use and makes straightening or curling hair easier. It reduces the kinematic performance load by reducing the number of steps required and the rotating barrel reduces the physical force required to style your hair. It combines several steps by styling, polishing and smoothing hair in one step and using one tool, as opposed to using several tools and products to achieve the same result. In that same way, it reduces the cognitive load of the task. There is no need to remember how each tool works, which ones to use and what products to use with them; the Instyler does that for you.  That way, the performance time of the task is significantly lowered, the number of errors reduced and the likelihood of successful completion is increased.

Slot Machines

Modern day slot machines reduce the kinematic performance load by replacing the need to insert coins and pull a lever. Instead, the player only needs to insert a charge card and push a button to play. The physical force required to play and the number of steps are reduced, making the game easier to play, reducing the number of errors and increasing the successful completion of the task. The slot machines also automate repetative tasks by replacing coins with a charge card. The player no longer needs to insert the coins into the machine each time they play, they simply insert the card and the money is automatically deducted. It also makes it easier for the casino to earn money too.

QR Codes

QR Code (Image retrieved from http://www.qrstuff.com/images/sample.png)

QR Code (Image retrieved from http://www.qrstuff.com/images/sample.png)

QR codes make it easier to transfer information from one source to your phone. All you need to do is scan the code with your smart phone and it will take you to a website or it will download the data you want. For example, if a magazine has some downloadable content, you do not even need to search anything or remember a URL because a QR code does it for you. This minimizes both the cognitive and kinematic load of the task.

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading + Writing)- Performance Load Q3

Q3) Psychology 

Psychology is very important in design and it would be foolish to disregard its relevance. Each of the design principles we have looked at has some element of psychology involved in it, especially the principle of Performance Load, which has its origins in psychology. Psychology informs many human behaviours and can be a useful tool in design and can aid in creating a successful design. Without psychology, the designer would not know how to create a design so that the user will want to use it, not just once but consistently. If we disregard the psychology of the human mind in design, we would have no design principles at all.

Learning Portfolio Item 1 (Critical Reading + Writing)- Performance Load Q2

Q2) Chunking 

Chunking refers to a method of reducing cognitive performance load by grouping together related learning items into manageable amounts (Teflnet , 2013). These “chunks” of information are much more manageable and easier to process than random bits of information (Popova, 2012). Chunking improves the users ability to remember the information that they have been presented with and makes it easier to access that memory in the future. We also do this naturally; According to Cambridge neuroscientist Daniel Bor (2012), unlike any other animal on this planet, humans actively seek to structure the information we pick up in the world. We cannot help but look for patterns in what we see and look for anything that will help us to improve our understanding of the world (Bor, 2012).

By reducing the cognitive performance load, you have also reduced the time in which the task could be completed and the number of errors, and also increased the chances of the activity being performed successfully (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2003). Reducing the cognitive load of any one task makes a design much more usable and learn-able, therefore increasing its acceptability and success (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2003). Visually, chunked information looks neater and more organised. This gives the user the impression that the item you have designed is done so properly (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2003).


Bor, D. (2012). The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning. Basic Books.

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

Popova, M. (2012, September 4). The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity. Retrieved from Brain Pickings : http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/04/the-ravenous-brain-daniel-bor/

Teflnet . (2013). TEFL Glossary. Retrieved from TEFLnet: http://www.tefl.net/ref/glossary.htm