Reading 4 – Part 2

Presumed Credibility

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The official BMW homepage has presumed credibility for me due to the fact that the brand has very high name recognition and is an iconic car manufacturer.

 

Reputed Credibility

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Uber has been recommended to me by multiple people, suggesting the brand as an alternative to using a taxi.

 

Surface Credibility

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The Squarespace homepage has a clean and minimal look. The page looks very well designed, and incorporates a changing background image. It has a very relaxed and familiar, homely feel that can build a sense of credibility.

 

Earned Credibility

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I have used Asos many times to purchase clothes online and I have always enjoyed the 100% money back guarantee that comes with each purchase if the clothes do not fit.

Reading 4 – Q3 Dot Points

  • The aesthetics of the webpage; is it old looking? Is it modern looking? Does it look like a well designed, visually pleasing web page?

  • The user may need to see the credentials of the web page. Does it have all the information needed to reference the web page in an academic format?

  • As online shopping continues to grow, we see more and more ads being placed on web pages. Perhaps the user will be deterred by advertising and unnecessary banners on a specific web page, that may suggest an ulterior motive to creating a web page than to share information.

  • As we go forward, we see that search engines have massive power over what we see first when we search for a topic. The importance of search engines has seemed to grow over time, to the extent that many users trust search engines to deliver the most credible and relevant sites to the top of the search results. We could see that people are perceiving sites that are down the list somewhat as less credible, due to the trust they may have in the search engine.

  • Many webpages these days have the potential for users to leave comments in the comment section, usually located at the bottom of the article. This allows readers to check the comments of other readers, which creates a bit of discussion and information regarding whether or not other users of the information found it to be accurate and credible.

Reading 4 – Q2 Wikipedia

Why do you think Wikipedia is not accepted as a credible web resource?

Wikipedia is not accepted as a credible web resource because its pages can potentially be modified and created by anyone. The website does get around to verifying the information that it stores, yet there is no garuntee that the page you are visiting has been verified to be accurate. The creation of pages on wikipedia is completely outside of the realm of academia, of which most of its references originally come from. It stands to reason that if we trust the references that wikipedia uses to produce its pages, then we should perhaps skip the less credible wikipedia and aim to use the traditionally credible resources found on the web.

Wikipedia also does not publish the author of its content, so the information cannot be traced to an identity. This is problematic for referencing reasons but it also poses the issue of not knowing the credentials of the author, possible biases on a subject, and reasons for publishing work.  The fact that anyone can publish information on wikipedia alone makes it far less credible than scholarly articles and webpages. 

Reading 4 – Q1 Discussion

The credibility of websites that we use as information resources is extremely important, because we are basing our learning and understanding of concepts on these sources. As a student, we want to complete our courses but we also want to become proficient in the field we are interested in, and to achieve this we need to have confidence in the accuracy of the information we are basing our learning from. If we can have confidence in our online resources by confirming their credibility, learning the authors name, their credentials and their reputation than we can absorb the information provided to us without hesitation.

As a student studying a journalism major, the importance of credibility of my resources is paramount not only in terms of my learning, but also in terms of building good habits for professional life. Journalism students need to be able to determine what constitutes a credible website, and what doesn’t.

References

1. Laja, P., 39 Factors: Website Credibility Checklist, Accessed on the 23rd of May 2016 from http://conversionxl.com/website-credibility-checklist-factors/

2. Melissa, P., How Can I Tell If a Website is Credible?, (2013), Accessed on the 23rd of May 2016 from https://uknowit.uwgb.edu/page.php?id=30276

Reading 3 – Part 2 Examples

Google Search Engine

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The Google search engine is the worlds most used search engine, which is essentially an online application that organises web pages in terms of relevance when searching a specific topic or keyword. Google automatically lists quality and relevant websites, ranked in perceived importance to your search, which alleviates a lot of cognitive load from the user, who would otherwise have to learn of a websites url before attempting to access it.

Calculator

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Calculators are obvious appliances that satisfy the design principles of performance load. They are used to calculate mathematic equations that are too taxing for the human mind in terms of cognitive load. They help us to save time and move forward with our tasks, rather than dwelling on the mathematics for extended periods of time.

Massive Synthesiser   

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Massive is an electronic, in-the-box synthesiser, which means it is entirely digital. Digital synthesisers satisfy the design principals of performance load by being easier to manipulate and save ongoing projects than an analog synthesiser, where you have to manually manipulate knobs and patch cables to achieve a required sound. The beauty of digital synthesisers is that with a click of a button, we can load up an old patch or save the current patch that we are working on. We do not have to memorise or manually record the process that we took to get the patch we desired.

Reading 3 – Q3 Psychology

Why is a study of psychology necessary when considering design?

A study or knowledge of human psychology may be useful when considering design aspects of a visual medium because we don’t process information in the same way a computer would. Our minds have certain tendencies and function certain ways, and if we can recognise these tendencies ahead of time we can potentially design ways to create visual layouts that adhere to our strengths and negate our weaknesses when it comes to processing visual information.

I’ve written about chunking and visual organisation in the previous question but there are other factors that can go into the creation of a usable visual design, one of which is the Aesthetic Usability Effect. If we brighten the visual design with imagery, aesthetic patterns and a well thought out array of colours and shapes, we can straight away make use of the strengths of human phycology by encourage the viewer to think of the design in a positive light, which makes deducing its information more enjoyable and thus easier.

Reading 3 – Q2 Definition

Chunking is a technique that involves the organisation of information in a certain manner to improve the memorability of the information. Rather than attempting to remember long, large amounts of information, chunking is the strategy of breaking big pieces of information down into smaller chunks, making them easier to remember and commit to the short term memory.

With regards to design and visual communication, the chunking technique can be adapted to work in the same way. For example, lets talk about web page design. On a well designed home page, we often see that different parts of the screen are designated for different functions that the page has. The space is split into segments, or “chunks” that each have a certain likeness. This “chunking” technique has the effect of organising a webpage to make it much easier to navigate, rather than just listing information and web-links on top of one another in a total monotone, DOS style.

When we process visual information, organisation of images and text can be critical in making the information easier to process. If we look at the organisation of text on a page, we see that the information is organised by letters, words, sentences, paragraphs and then pages. Paragraphs are the main organisational tool here, because they have no real purpose other than making it easier for the reader (or writer) to organise the information on the page. Their main purpose is to organise larger chunks of information than can fit in a single sentence into complete, distinct sections of text.

The chunking technique is used in a visual processing sense to make it easier to process the information being presented, due to the way our brains work and their potential to be strained by large amounts of visual information.