Debbie’s Learning Advice Blog

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Quality of the product & submission  I believe I have submitted a high quality analysis of all the information required.  I believe it is presented well and is useful.  I have spent over 20 hours on this assignment.        x  
Depth of information & discussion  I have gone above and beyond the requirements, ensuring I have answered every question as well as possible, providing ample information on each subject.        x  
Quality of the conceptual underpinnings  I believe that I have chosen a background theme that is aesthetic without being overpowering.  The information is easy to read and clearly laid out.        x  
Quality of referencing  I have met all referencing requirements and have done ample research to give me additional information on the subjects to be discussed.        x  


Creative Report, pages 1 and 2

Creative Report, pages 1 and 2

Creative Report, pages 3 and 4

Creative Report, pages 3 and 4













The two other pieces of work that I copied to disc from the Apple Mac have not actually copied so I do not have them available to download into my blog.

Learning Portfolio Item 2 (Activity)

A1)  Find a website for each type of credibility (i.e. presumed, reputed, surface and earned) and upload snapshots of the websites on your blog site.  Provide a brief explanation why the websites are credible.

City of Swan Website

This is an example of  ‘presumed credibility’  as there is the assumption that this is the official website for the City of Swan because it certainly appears to be presented in this way.

City of Swan Home Page

City of Swan Home Page

Qantas Home Page

This is an example of  ‘reputed credibility’ .  This is endorsed as a credible website and comes highly recommended for booking airline tickets through.

Qantas home page

Qantas home page


Marks & Spencers Home Page

This is an example of a website with ‘surface credibility’.  It looks professionally designed, it downloads quickly, it is easy to navigate around, easy to find what you are looking for and easy to order things.

Marks and Spencers Home Page

Marks and Spencers Home Page

Yahoo Home Page (UK)

This is an example of ‘earned credibility’.  Yahoo is a worldwide network for emails and is very well renowned.  Almost everyone has heard of Yahoo.  It has a reputation for being secure, fast etc.

Yahoo Home Page

Yahoo Home Page

Q3)  In dot points, in your own words, list anticipated issues that may affect the users’ perceived Web credibility in the future.

I believe the following will be the key issues affecting web credibility in the future:

  • Websites that have more ads popping up are annoying and will further  decrease web credibility in the future.
  • It is becoming more and more important for questions posed to online customer services to be answered promptly.  People don’t have much time and this is an ever increasing problem in this busy world.  If a person can’t get an answer to their question rapidly, they will go elsewhere and not consider that website a good resource in the future.
  • Security is becoming a much more important issue therefore sites that send emails to confirm transactions are more credible.
  • With plagiarism becoming a much more real issue in today’s society, sites that list authors’ credentials for each article published will be considered more credible.
  • Websites that are professionally designed are considered more credible.  This is always an issue as people are naturally drawn to aesthetics and a professional design also indicates the owner of the site has the money to spend on ensuring the image of his company is well presented.
  • Websites that are regularly updated are perceived as more authentic as someone is working on them continuously to bring the information to the user.
  • People are being encouraged more and more to handle their regular, every day household billings, technical queries, problems etc online instead of telephoning customer services.  This even includes grocery shopping online.  It will therefore become more and more important to have very user friendly websites that are easy to navigate around and very clear as to where to find the item you are looking for.  The easier the site is to use, the more credible it will seem.
  • I believe in the future Web Awards and Seals of Approval will become more and more important as a recognition that the website is credible (Fogg, B.J., 2003, pp 158-166).


Reference List

 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.

Q2)  In the learning portfolio, Wikipedia is not accepted as a resource for your study.  What do you think is the reason Wikipedia is not accepted?

Wikipedia is a ‘free encyclopedia that anyone can edit’ (Wikipedia, n.d.).

It is not an acceptable resource for study research as it does not fit the criteria of  reliable resources.

The information contained on the site is made up of multiples of authors, who are not authorities on the subject, but simply have something to say.  Accuracy of information can therefore not be verified.  In addition, there is an edit button at the end of each piece of writing, including the citations and references section that can be edited by anyone, anywhere (you have to create an account to do this).  This reduces reliability of information drastically.  (One Person Australian Librarians Group, 2000, pp. 24-25).

Wikipedia, by its own admission is a biased website.  It clearly states that it exists for anyone to edit therefore content is very much based on individual opinion and slant.  It does not fulfil the two dimensions of credibility:  trustworthiness and expertise, as the information cannot be verified as true and the expertise of the author is unknown (Fogg, B.J., 2003, p. 156).

Some questions to ask are:

‘Do I trust this person’s judgement?

‘Do they know about this information area, these types of resources?

‘ Are they impartial?’ (One Person Australian Librarians Group, 2000, p. 27).

In respect to Wikipedia, the answer to the above questions is no and is therefore a pretty good indication not to use the information on this site as a reliable reference when researching.


Reference List

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.

One Person Australian Librarians Group (2000).  Evaluating Websites.  Sydney:  One Person Australian Libarians

             National Interest Group.

Wikipedia (n.d.):  “Welcome to Wikipedia”.  Retrieved May 2009, from the Wikipedia Web site:




Q1)  Why is it important we evaluate credibility of websites?  Provide an example of how credibility of Web resources could affect me as a student.

It is important to evaluate the credibility of websites to ensure that the information we are getting is correct.  There are many reasons why this would be important.  Here are some examples:

1     If searching for health information, a person would want to know that the data he finds is from a reliable source.

2     When booking an airline flight, a person would want to know that it is an authentic site for two reasons:

a)    He wants to have a real flight to travel to his destination on his chosen date and time and

b)   He wants to know that when entering his credit card details, the money is actually going to paying for a flight and not to a fraudulent person’s bank account.

3     When entering a website and giving personal information, a person  would want to know that things such as his address and telephone number are going to an authentic source and not to a dodgy website that is collecting this information for purposes other than what is stated.

 4     It is essential that a person knows, when doing internet banking,  that he is on a real banking site and not a dummy copy.  The ramifications of this can be losing all his money (Fogg, B.J., 2003).

 5     As a student, I want to know that the information I find for  assignments is correct.  I want to know that the evidence I present to back up my opinions is from ‘up-to-date, relevant, and reputable sources’ (Hay, I., 2006, p.19).  

 It is therefore important to me that I find reliable websites that will provide me with truthful data.

 Surprisingly, despite the above common sense argument, a poll of 1500 U.S. adult internet users (conducted in April 2002), showed that the average consumer paid more attention to things such as the visual design of the site to assure them of web credibility.  This is a very superficial aspect when judging credibility because in some cases very reputable authorities publish information on the most amateur looking sites (Consumer Reports Webwatch research report, Oct 2002).

 The following are some good ideas/questions to apply to researching:

‘Be critical of all your sources and particularly those on the WWW.  Whose evidence and argument do you accept?  Why?  How do you know that your source is in any way credible or authoritative?  Whose interests does it represent?

‘Simply because something is published, or is on the Web, does not mean it is true’ (Hay, I., 2006, p. 11).

 Reference List

Consumer Reports Webwatch (October 2002):  “How Do People Evaluate  a Web Site’s Credibility?”.  Retrieved May

           2009, from the Consumer Reports WebWatch Web site:  

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.

Hay, I. (2006).  Communicating in Geography and the Environmental  Sciences  (third edition)South Melbourne:

          Oxford University Press. 

Learning Portfolio Item 2 (Activity)

Provide 3 visual examples of products or artefacts (found in everyday surroundings) that satisfy the design principle of Performance Load.

TV Remote Control

TV Remote Control

TV Remote Control

Originally switching the TV on, adjusting the settings and changing channels all had to be done manually.   This entailed getting out of your chair every time you wanted to change a channel or fiddling around with knobs to tune in TV stations or change the contrast/colour.  Now this can all be done from the comfort of your armchair and remote control in hand.


Modern day kettle

Modern day kettle

Boiling a kettle originally meant phsyically taking the lid of the kettle to check how much water it contained then once water added, putting it on a stove to boil.  When the water was boiling, the kettle would whistle and you would need to go and turn your stove off to stop it whistling or boiling dry.  Now, there is a water measure in a kettle to let you know, at a glance, how much water is in there.  You can boil the kettle by pressing a switch and once the water has boiled, the kettle will switch itself off.

Gas Fire

Modern Gas Fire

Modern Gas Fire

We originally had to chop wood or stock coal and stuff lighted newspapers amongst dry wood to get a fire going.  This could be a messy process requiring lots of patience and also a long one if the wood was damp.  Now with the press of a button, you can have instant heat from a gas fire.  In addition, modern gas fires have a digital display of the temperature output which you can adjust up and down.

Q3)  Why do you think a study of psychology is necessary (or not necessary) in design.

 I can see why it is considered that a psychological study of effective design would be helpful .  This would have the aim of identifying what sorts of designs people respond to.  This can go far more in depth, looking at how people respond to different colours, different typefaces, shapes, images, pictures and so on.  This information is very useful in determining what to include in a design.  Looking at your target market and using the research you have done, you could create a design which would directly relate to the exact audience you wish to reach.

I personally have an aversion to psychological descriptions and evaluations of how people think.  Research is very helpful but the way in which a psychologist analyses this information and then conveys this is far too complex and therefore is not user friendly.  It contradicts what we have discussed in terms of reducing complexities and going more for simplicity.

Q2)  Define and describe the chunking technique in relation to design and visual communication.

We live in an information age where we are bombarded by data every day.  Sometimes the amount of information we receive in a short period of time is overwhelming due to its randomness or just too much data process.  It makes sense to receive information in a more orderly fashion.  This would help with the processing and understanding.  For example if data received was ordered depending on size, colour or shape, instead of in a massive jumble, it could be more easily assimiliated.  Information could be catagorised, making it simpler to isolate the key points.

‘The process of grouping  information so that the intended audience easily understands it, is known as “chunking”.

‘When written or verbal information is chunked effectively, it is logical, organised and consistent.  This enhances your audience’s ability to understand what is going on.  A written format that is chunked and hierarchical gives readers quick access to the big picture.  From there they can get into the details as needed.’  (Mind Tools ™, 1995-2009).

It makes common sense that if a person looks at information, he will be drawn to the presentation that is more usually pleasing and easier to read.  A huge long paragraph or page of text filled with words can bring on instant tiredness.  It looks hard to read.  A well laid out text with titles and bullet points is far more attractive.  A person can more easily skim over the information and pick out key points and it certainly aids assimilation.

In an era where there is far too much information, especially on the world wide web, reliability of data is in question.  Layout becomes a key issue as users are drawn to displays of information that are clear, concise, have headings, bullet points and are simply just easier to read.  Hence simplicity goes a long way in ensuring that your information is seen and read.


Reference List

Mind Tools ™ (1995-2009):  “Chunking”.  Retrieved May 2009, from the Mind Tools ™ Web site:


Q1)  In your own words, write a summary of the article and provide critical analysis/discussion on the topic of Performance Load.

The article on Performance Load discusses how much mental and physical activity is required to perform a task.  (Lidwell, W., Holden, K., Butler, J., 2003).

‘Cognitive load theory proposes that since working memory is limited, learners may be bombarded by information and if the complexity of their instructional materials is not properly managed, this will result in a cognitive overload.’  (Sweller, 1988, pp 257-285).

The main aim now is to:

1     reduce cognitive load by looking at the complexity of procedures a person is required to know when using a product,

2     reduce the amount of devoted attention required to perform the task in question.  (Cohen, M.H., Giangola, J.P., Balogh, J., 2004, p. 120).

Kinematic load talks about the physical activity required to achieve the goal aimed for.  Reducing the amount of physical actions required to execute a task reduces the likelihood of mistakes.

The overall goal in design now, is to reduce the amount of physical actions along with remembered instructions required to perform a task.

It is a well known fact that the simpler the design, the easier it is to use.  This is far more attractive to a buyer/user than a highly complex product, which requires memorising many different instructions and carrying out multiple physical actions.  There are still a lot of citizens from the 20’s, through to the 70’s and even the 80’s that have never used electronic gadgets and find them utterly confusing.  It is necessary to simplify procedure as much as possible to attract this large percentage of the market.

In addition to this, people are generally lazy and will mostly take the easiest , simplest option which requires the least amount of effort, (Mann, J., 1993, p. 91).



Reference List


Cohen, M.H., Giangola, J.P.& Balogh, J. (2004).  Minimising Cognitive Load.  In Voice User Interface Design (p. 120).

               Boston:  Addison-Wesley.

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

              Massachusetts:  Rockport.

 Mann, J. (1993).  The Principle of Least Effort.  In  Library Research  Models A Guide to Classification, Cataloging,

              and Computers (p.  91).  New York:  Oxford University Press.

 Sweller, J. (1988).  Cognitive load during problem solving:  Effects on Learning, Cognitive Science.  Reference

              extracted from:  Knol™     Beta A Unit of Knowledge (n.d.):  “Cognitive Load Theory”.  Retrieved May 2009,

              from the Web site:

January 2021

Assignment 4

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