In a world where a reader must traverse through fake news and differentiate misinformation from truth, credibility becomes critical



Portfolio 4, Q. 1

Fogg (2003a, pp. 148, 149) highlights how the Internet can be a very credible source of information, but on the other hand, it can also entice with erroneous information. Lewandowski (2013, p. 132) suggests that credibility incorporates expertise and trustworthiness. Moreover, credibility relies on perception (Flanagan & Mezger, 2008, p. 8).  If the reader’s trust is broken then concepts like reputation, authority and reliability are severed (Stuart & Hooper, 2009, p. 235; Flanagan & Mezger, 2008, p. 8).  Moreover, Chete and Mbegbu (2012, p. 210) reiterate the negative effects of misinformation from the Internet. Perceptions of low quality control impact negatively on tertiary students (Chete & Mbegbu, 2012, p. 210). But on the other hand, credible sources create trust and consolidate the authority and expertise of the writer. As a student, I will return to those trusted sites that have built their credibility, because my perception of the information has been affirmed.

Shellenbarger (2016, November 21) highlights a Stanford study that found students appear to have trouble evaluating the trustworthiness and accuracy of internet news. Donald (2016, November 22), citing the same Stanford study as Shellenbarger (2016, November 21), highlights how students in the study were more likely to become consumed by the content rather than judge the source. The Stanford study reiterates the need as a student to assess the credibility, both in its trustworthiness and expertise.


Portfolio 4, Q. 2

Lih (2012, p. 331) suggests that Wikipedia is becoming recognized as a credible source, citing several media outlets who have quoted from Wikipedia sources. However, a citation in a newspaper is not evidence of credibility.  An online newspaper may seduce their readers with a perception of believability, but it does not always offer evidence of believability and accuracy (Abdulla et al., 2005, p. 150).

Lewandowski (2013, p. 132) recognizes that expertise is part of credibility. Anderson (2012, p. 146) reiterates that unreliability and authority are to blame for Wikipedia’s reputation for lack of credibility. Chesney (2006) notes that Wikipedia has warned that articles have the potential to fall prey to vandalism and to a writer’s agenda. Weinberger (2007, ch. 7) notes that Wikipedia’s credibility relies on an author’s contribution, but not their credentials.

Schneiderman (2015, p. 36) notes that Wikipedia places a lot of protections, guarding against erroneous news and eliminating threats. He suggests that such protection provide trust and credibility (Schneiderman, 2015, p. 40). However, Harvard University (“Harvard Guide”, 2017) argues that Wikipedia contributors are not filtered. Thus, the protections against writers with no expertise and no authority are weak.

Trustworthiness is one of the keys toward credibility (Fogg, 2003a, p. 124). Fitzgerald (2009, p. 181) highlights the inaccuracies that have sometimes plagued Wikipedia. He suggests that the posts can be unbalanced, sometimes lacking trustworthiness and tainted with bias (Fitzgerald, 2009, p. 181).


Portfolio 4, Q. 3

Fogg (2003b, p. 722) highlights how a consumer’s perception about the online service will determine whether their future use of the website.  But what are some of the issues that will affect the future perceived credibility of a website? Fogg (2003a, p. 154) hints at some of the future issues:

·         Bias perceived in the content

·         Typographical errors

·         Pop-up advertisements

·         Length of time for download

·         Confusion in name or website address creates confusion

·         Content not updated regularly

·         Online security

·         Professionalism of design

·         Customer service issues such as user feedback services and time of reply

·         Subscriptions

·         Links to other websites

·         Referencing untrustworthy sites

Lim (2014, p. 68) highlights how perceptions of credibility are important in shaping user attitude. These future issues are key toward shaping attitudes toward websites, especially customer service and design professionalism. Moreover, Lim (2014, p. 68) suggests that user confidence is formed through credibility. Issues such as security and bias will consolidate confidence.



The five-star rating on this Weet-Bix box gives credibility



Portfolio 4, Activity


Fogg (2003, p. 163) identifies four types of Website credibility, including presumed credibility, reputed credibility, surface credibility and earned credibility.

Presumed credibility is based on assumptions according to the reader’s perception. These assumptions steer the reader’s evaluation of the site.  A non-profit organization’s website is one example. It often ends with .org (Fogg, 2003, p. 164). One example of presumed credibility is Greenpeace steers the perceptions and assumptions of their readers with their website.

Reputed credibility rests on the endorsements of a third person (Fogg, 2003, p. 164). The site stands on the credibility of awards they have won and seals of approval. They are often linked to credible sites or companies. One example of reputed credibility is Allianz showcase their awards. They rest on their endorsements.

Surface credibility is based on first impressions. The website looks professional and constantly updated. An example of a website with surface credibility is The AFL constantly updates their website with the latest scores and up-to-date news stories.

Earned credibility ties the previous three together, providing fast customer service and recognizes your online presence. An example of earned credibility is The site remembers the books you have looked at and provides comprehensive customer service options.




Abdulla, Rasha A; Garrison, Bruce; Salwen, Michael B.; Driscoll, Paul D. & Casey, Denise (2005). “Online News and the Public.” pp. 147-164. Taken from Salwen, Michael B.; Garrison, Bruce & Driscoll, Paul D. (Eds.), Online News and the Public. New Jersey & London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Anderson, Paul (2012). Web 2.0 and Beyond: Principles and Technologies. Florida: CRC Press.

Brooke, Donald (2016, November 22). “Stanford Researchers Find Students Have Trouble Judging the Credibility of Information Online.” Stanford Graduate School of Education. Retrieved from

Chesney, Thomas (2006, November 6). “An Empirical Examination of Wikipedia’s Credibility.” First Monday. 11 (11). Retrieved from

Chete, F. O. & Mbegbu, J. I. (2012). “Website Credibility: Perceptions of Stakeholders.” Pacific Journal of Science and Technology.  13(2): 208-211. Retrieved from

Fitzgerald, M.A. (2009). “Wikipedia: Adventures in the New Info-Paradigm.” pp. 177-188. Taken from Orey, Michael; McClendon, Robert & Branch, Robert Maribe, Educational Media and Technology Yearbook. Volume 34. New York: Springer.

Flanagan, Andrew J. & Metzger, Miriam J. (2008). “Digital Media and Youth: Unparalleled Opportunity and Unprecedented Responsibility.” pp. 5-27. Taken from Flanagan, Andrew J. & Metzger, Miriam J. (Eds.), Digital Media, Youth and Credibility. Massachusetts & London: MIT Press

Fogg, B. J. (2003a). Credibility and the World Wide Web in Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann.

Fogg, B. J. (2003b). “Prominence-Interpretation Theory: Explaining How People Assess Credibility Online.” CHI 2003. New Horizons. 

Franklin, Benjamin (1995). The Means and Manner of Obtaining Virtue. UK: Penguin Books.

“Harvard Guide to Using Sources.” [2017].  Retrieved from the Harvard University Website:

Lewandowski, Dirk (2013).  “Credibility in Web Search Engines.”  pp. 131-147. Taken from Folk, Moe & Apostel, Shawn (Eds.), Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluation Computer-Mediated Communication. USA: Information Science Reference.

Lih, Andrew (2012). “Build an Encyclopedia: Everybody is Invited.” pp. 329-332. Taken from Chanda, Nayan & Froetschel, Susan (2012). A World Connected: Globalization in the 21st Century. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale Global Online.

Lim, Young-Shin (2014). “Evaluating the Wisdom of Strangers: The Perceived Credibility of Online Consumer Reviews on Yelp.” pp. 67-82. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 20 (1). Retrieved from

Schneiderman, Ben (2015). “Building Trusted Social Media Communities: A Research Roadmap for Promoting Credible Content.” pp. 35-43. Taken from Matei, Sorin Adam & Bertino, Elisa (Eds.), Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets.    Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Shellenbarger, Sue (2016, November 21). “Most Students Don’t Know When News is Fake, Stanford Study Finds.” The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Stuart, Janita & Hooper, Val (2009).  “Sociological Factors Influencing Internet Voting.” pp. 231-249. Taken from Reddick, Christopher G. (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Strategies for Local E-Government Adoption and Implementation: Comparative Studies. New York: Information Science Reference.

Weinberger, David (2007). Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. New York: Henry Holt and Company.


Aesthetic Design affects our daily lives, sometimes without us even knowing. Colours, shapes, and even fonts affect our emotions and our decisions.

Portfolio 1, Q. 1

One of the keys to aesthetic design is usability. Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2003, p. 18) argue that the first impression of a design will ultimately shape the user’s attitude toward the product. It can elicit a positive response, evoke positive emotions and create a positive relationship with the design. Lawrence and Tavakol (2010, p. 125) highlight how purchase decisions are influenced by a mixture of aesthetics, usability and purpose.  On the other hand, Norman (2002, p. 38) highlights how everyday items are not necessarily aesthetically pleasing and that usability is not necessarily linked to aesthetic stimulation. However, Norman (2002, p. 42) concludes that usability is intrinsic to the beauty and pleasure of a product.

Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2003, p. 18) highlight the role of emotions when using a product. An unaesthetic design conjures negative emotions unlike the aesthetically pleasing product that elicits positive emotions. Spillers (2004, p. 7) confirms that emotions shapes user experience.  On the other hand, Coehlo (2014, p. 187) suggests that design exceeds functioning and usability and moves into emotion. However, van Gorp and Adams (2012, p. 16) firmly plant the usability of a product with its emotional connection, arguing that emotion shapes our user experience.

Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2003, p. 18) discuss the role of first impressions of a product within user experience. A bad impression of a design will inevitably shape the consumer’s attitude toward using that product. However, Buck (1963, p. 8) reiterates that first impression are not everything. Buck (1963, p. 8) suggests that a pleasant design must be matched by long-term usability. When the first impression and the novelty had subsided, the product design must stand the test of time. On the other hand, Peak, Prybutok and Chenyan Xu (2014, p. 149) highlight how first impressions are not only momentary but long-lasting. But they also reiterate that a positive user experience solidifies the product’s value (Peak, Prybutok & Chenyan Xu, 2014, p. 149).  Usability and function are, therefore, a critical component of design (Buck, 1963, p. 8).


Portfolio 1, Q. 2 (+ activity)


The toothbrush, the toilet roll and the shampoo bottle are everyday items. But these three bathroom products highlight the interconnectedness between usability and design.

Greed (2003, pp. 215, 216) discussing the functionality of toilet rolls, highlights the importance of height, the use of a roll and its single sheet function. But its usability does not proceed its aesthetics. Groth (2006, p. 84) highlights the design benefits of embossing, suggesting “the effect can be subtle, sophisticated and eye-catching.”     

                                                   DESIGN 13

Fiore (2010, p. 4) highlights how quality is expected, but aesthetics differentiates products. The same applies to the humble toilet roll. The quality of rolls over the product range is difficult for customers to differentiate. Softness and thickness are external features that customers may observe. But the aesthetics of the packaging and design are critical.

Yang and Chen (2005, p. 235) highlight how the toothbrush design “is more elastic and good looking which are thought to be good features that attract customers.”  They highlight the “different neck shapes” and show that there is link between toothbrush elasticity and customer satisfaction (Yang and Chen, 2005, p. 235).


Michlewski (2008, p. 382) discusses the perceptions of ‘ugly’ and ‘beautiful’, suggesting that form takes precedence over function in the minds of society. Taste and preference become key ingredients to design choices (Michlewski, 2008, p. 382). This is no less true for the toothbrush. Bramston (2009, p. 109) reiterates how colour becomes the first impression for a customer and influences the purchasing choice. Interestingly, Bramston (2009, p. 109) highlights how “bright” colours have the impression of tasting good. The taste, therefore, incorporates both usability and aesthetics.

Pallidino (1972, p. 38) highlights the significance of the shampoo bottle shape. He suggests that “the graceful line of an elegantly tinted bottle is more pleasing than some of the ugly square bottles that have been, and still are, used.” (Pallidino, 1972, p. 38). But aesthetics are not the only factors in purchasing shampoo.  Its features, whether it is designed for dry hair or shiny hair, must match the aesthetics of the design.





Bramston, David (2009).  Basics Product Design 01: Idea Searching. Switzerland: AVA publishing.

 Buck, C. Hearn (1963). Problems of Product Design and Development. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Coelho, Denis A. (2014). “Specification of Affective User Experience in Product Design.” Taken from JI, Yong Gu & Choi, Sooshin (Eds.), Advances in Affective and Pleasurable Design. USA: AHFE Conference. Pp. 185-193.

 Fiore, Ann Marie (2010). Understanding Aesthetics for the Merchandising and Design Professional. New York: Fairchild Books.

 Greed, Clara (2003). Inclusive Urban Design: Public Toilets. Oxford: Architectural Press.

 Groth, Chuck (2006). Exploring Package Design. Australia: Delmar Cengage Learning.

 Lawrence, Dave & Tavakol, Soheyla (2010). Balanced Website Design: Optimising Aesthetics, Usability and Purpose. London: Springer-Verlag.

 Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 1819). Massachusetts: Rockport. 

 Michlewski, Kamil (2008). “Uncovering Design Attitude: Inside the Culture of Designers.”  Organization Studies 29(03). Los Angeles & London: Sage Publications. 373-392. DOI: 10.1177/0170840607088019

 Norman, Don (2002). “Emotion & Design: Attractive Things Work Better.” Interactions 9(4), July 2002. ACM.  Retrieved from

Palladino, Leo (1972). The Principles and Practice of Hairdressing. London & Basingstoke: The MacMIllan Press.

 Peak, Daniel A.; Prybutok, Victor R. & Chenyan Xu, Richard (2014). “A New Perspective on Visual Design with Information Systems.” Taken from Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (ed.), Inventive Approaches for Technology Integration and Information Resources Management. USA: IGA Global. Pp. 143-161.

 Spillers, Frank (2004). “Emotion as a Cognitive Artifact and the Design Implications for Products That are Perceived as Pleasurable.” Design and Emotion.  Retrieved from

 Van Gorp, Trevor & Adams, Edie (2012). Design for Emotion. USA: Morgan Kaufmann.

Yang, Z. Y. & Chen, Y. H.  (2005). “Product Customization in a Virtual Environment.” Pp. 233-238 Taken from Bártolo, Paulo Jorge (ed.), Virtual Modelling and Rapid Manufacturing: Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping. London: Taylor & Francis Group.