Learning Portfolio Four Q3

Due to the added ease of setting up a non-profit website the perception of these organisations has changed. There are many issues which may affect people perception of web creditability in the future like how it effected these organisations:

  • With the ease of being able to create a website people are becoming more sceptical about what sites they use and browse.
  • With the increase in web fraud people are wary of sites they do not know or have never visited.
  • The added number of sites makes it harder to verify its credibility so people are more likely to write sites off without a throughout check of their resources and experts.

Learning Portfolio Four Q2

With most websites only credible sources can be used to publish information however with Wikipedia that is not the case. Wikipedia is peer reviewed and should never be used as a credible source because of the simple fact that anyone can post information on any topic if they want to. Even the disclaimer of the site warns people that the information on the site may not be accurate and that posters and add and edit any and all information on the website.

There is a considerable risk when using Wikipedia, even as a brief overview of a topic, because its posts are not reviewed by experts however that is not to say it should never be used.Wikipedia should be used as a spring board rather than a credible source. It is useful as a source of a brief overview and with help finding other, more reputable, sources. By doing so you can verify the information you have gathered and are able to critically analyse it for yourself, without doing so you run the risk of ruining your own research with faulty or untrue information.

References

Harvard Guide to using sources. Retrieved from: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&pageid=icb.page346376

Andrew Orlowski. (2006) Avoid Wikipedia, warns Wikipedia chief. Retrieved from: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/15/wikipedia_can_damage_your_grades/

Learning Portfolio Four Q1

It is important to verify the credibility of a website for many different reasons, the most prevalent being that we have no idea if the information on the website is accurate. When researching a particular topic, whether it is for university, high school or in the work place, it is vitally important to make sure the information you are gathering in correct and accurate (Walsh, 2012). Otherwise the researcher may use outdated information and pass on these inaccuracies and making the situation worse.

It is also important, in the interest of fairness, to make sure a website is written by someone, not only with the correct qualifications to discuss the topic, but is also the true author of the information. It is quite easy for someone to steal or plagiarise another persons work and pass it of as their own as such we should be careful to vet the author in order to be able to cite the correct person (Morgan, 2017). This is important for two reasons; to make sure we give the correct author credit for their research and time and so our own work is not seen as plagiarism. Without the correct reference someone could be inadvertently plagiarising.

It is also important because some sites, such as Wikipedia, are peer reviewed. As a rule peer reviewed sites should be avoided because they can be changed and altered by the public who may have no idea what they are talking about, making the information inaccurate at best and completely false at worse.

In order to use the most accurate information it is vital to know the credibility of a website before using it as a source of information.

References

Kori Morgan. (2017) Why Is Credibility of Online Sources Important in Education? Retrieved from: http://oureverydaylife.com/credibility-online-sources-important-education-7012.html

Kelly Walsh (2012) The Importance of Source Evaluation and Content Credibility Skills for Today’s Students. Retrieved from: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/05/the-importance-of-source-evaluation-and-content-credibility-skills-for-todays-students/

Learning Portfolio Three Q3

The study of psychology is necessary when studying design because without an understanding of the psychology of your target audience it is harder to design a product which they would find appealing enough to invest money in. By studying the audience you wish to sell product or even ideas to you can customise the design around that audience and therefore make it easier to sell you product. Visual design is all about how a person sees a product, if you target a particular group and use design tactics which will appeal to that audience you have a better chance of being successful.

Learning Portfolio Three Q2

The term ‘chunking’ refers to the breaking up of long strings of information in to chunks making the information easier to commit to memory. It works by breaking up the information into smaller portions as it has been proven that long stings or chain of information are harder to memorise. It can be used for most mediums such as text, sounds and video (Harrod, 2002). In Martin Harrod’s article he states that the simplest example of this is phone numbers. For example:

0432423014 is harder to read than if it was broken up: 04 3242 3014

Chunking is ideal when specific and important information needs to be memorised but it is long winded. The breaks allows the brain to, rather than memorise a long string with no breaks, to see the information in a simpler manner therefore making it easier to memorise. The information is still the same, however the brain interprets  it in a different way, it stimulates the brain’s memory centre and shorter segments are inherently easier to memorise. While chunking makes memorising chains of information easier it should be used with cation if the information needs to be analysed or searched within a search engine it can make the task harder and more time consuming that searching for it in it entirety.

References

Harrod, M (2002).  Interaction Foundation of Design chapter 43; Chunking. Retrieved from:  https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-glossary-of-human-computer-interaction/chunking

Meyer, K. (2016). How Chunking Helps Content Processing. Retrieved from: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/chunking/

*please note the phone number used in the example is not an active number

Learning Portfolio Three Q1 Summery

Performance load is the amount of cognitive and physical activity needed to perform a particular task, whether it is mentally or on a computer. This article discusses ways to reduce performance load in order to increase efficiency and decrease errors.

Cognitive loads are constrained by working memory, and the effective management of which is instrumental in performance management as shown by the efficacy and popularity of “The Learning How to Learn” course on Coursera. The article states how minimising this load increases adoption and enables wider use.

Kinematic load is the compounding of possibilities of errors over long action chains; the article cites the example of Morse code as the reduction in required actions produced value through both efficiency and success rates. This principle has been the cornerstone of virally effective UI design as employed by popcorn time with its two click solution as analysed in the book Design for Hackers.

However as a counterpoint it has been shown that reducing the combined cognitive and kinematic loads can have a detrimental effect on performance as discussed in Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. in this text airline pilots were shown to not maintain adequate levels of concentration to effectively respond to events despite the catastrophic outcomes that could result from their negligence or mistakes.

In conclusion thought must be taken in designing interfaces such that ease of use and chance of error are prioritised although when deciding which action chains to redesign first use of the Pareto principle should be applied as generally a minority of the possible actions are undertaken in delivering the majority of the actual use cases.

References

Learning how to learn course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. (2014). Anutfrigile: Things That Gain from Disorder. Random House Trade.

Kadavy, David. (2011). Design for Hackers. Wiley

Tim Ferris.  http://tim.blog/2008/06/24/the-margin-manifesto-11-tenets-for-reaching-or-doubling-profitability-in-3-months/

Learning Portfolio Two Q2 Examples

Apple products a a good example of a company that uses a consistent logo and other basic design principles. Apple products are known world round and are instantly recognizable thanks to the Apple logo displayed on the back of their phones and tablets and the lid of their laptops. Thanks to this logo their products are known world wide which is also one of the reasons many people buy them. People want products which a well known, not only for their reliability and reputation but also because the people around them know the brand and associate it with a person of a particular social status.

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Gaming Consoles use, primarily, functional consistency. This means that most companies that manufacture consoles use consistent designs for their consoles, especially the button placement and function on their controllers. By maintaining this consistency it is easier for customers to change from console to console because the button placement is the same therefore making it easier to play on them. While some change the colour or shape/letter on the button they are almost always in the same place. The Microsoft console; Xbox uses the letters X, Y, A and B and Sony’s PlayStation uses shapes however they are used in the same place on the controller, making it easier for customers to use. This means that customers aren’t locked into only using one gaming console, it also means that the customer has more control over the consoles they use.

The QWERTY Keyboard it also an example of functional consistency. QWERTY keyboards are the most common keyboard used because they are easy to use due to their simple key layout and how wide spread they are. It is also now used on smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices that use a keyboard.  Other keyboards are available however they are not as popular because the key layout is more complicated or just too confusing for people to use, many people see the ABC layout as over-complicated while QWERTY is almost intuitive.

References

Lee, Sangwon; Koubeka, Richard J. (2011). “The Impact of Cognitive Style on User Preference Based on Usability and Aesthetics for Computer-Based Systems”. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction. 27(11) pp. 1083-1114

Lidwell, William; Holden, Kritina; Butler, Jill (2003). Universal Principles of Design. Rockport.

Sonderegger, Andreas; Sauer, Juergen (2010). “The influence of design aesthetics in usability testing: Effects on user performance and perceived usability”. Applied Ergonomics. 4 (3): 403–410

Reineche, Katharina; Bernstein, Abraham (2011). “Improving Performance, Perceived Usability, and Aesthetics with Culturally Adaptive User Interface”. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

Learning Portfolio Two Q1 Summery

When designing new products which may have advanced with the technology growth of today it is important to be consistent with some basic designs so that they are still easy to use. These designs may be the product/company logo, basic button placement or button symbols (Lidwell, Holden, Butler 2003). By keeping these aspects the same as previous products or other products of a similar purpose people are able to see the functionality of the product at a glance and will have a basic understanding of how to use the product. The use of a logo allows products to be instantly recognisable by customers this allows to company to keep customers returning because they are familiar with their products. Apple is a prime example of this; by using a simple logo the which is recognised world wide and maintaining consistent design principles they are able to maintain a loyal customer base (Lee, Koubeka 2011). By combining different forms of consistency, such as aesthetic and functional consistency, they are able to create products which function in a easy  and logical manor which means new customers will not be turned off the product while also appealing to returning customers.

Consistency is especially important for products which are widespread and very popular such as MP3 Players, Gaming Consoles or Computer systems. For example gaming consoles use specific buttons on their controllers which are almost universal, the use of X,Y, A and B buttons is used by most with a few variations, they are also used in the same configuration to help the user change between consoles (Reineche, Bernstein 2011). If each individual manufacture used individual buttons it would be hard for customers to change from one console to another and therefore would be a turn-off for new customers. Without some consistency in design principles new or growing companies would be at a huge disadvantage when trying to gain customers, in this way consistency is hugely important.

References

Lee, Sangwon; Koubeka, Richard J. (2011). “The Impact of Cognitive Style on User Preference Based on Usability and Aesthetics for Computer-Based Systems”. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction. 27(11) pp. 1083-1114

Lidwell, William; Holden, Kritina; Butler, Jill (2003). Universal Principles of Design. Rockport.

Sonderegger, Andreas; Sauer, Juergen (2010). “The influence of design aesthetics in usability testing: Effects on user performance and perceived usability”. Applied Ergonomics. 4 (3): 403–410

Reineche, Katharina; Bernstein, Abraham (2011). “Improving Performance, Perceived Usability, and Aesthetics with Culturally Adaptive User Interface”. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

Learning Portfolio One Q2 Examples

A common product that uses this principle are Mac computers, especially laptops. Mac laptops use a sleek and simple design with light colours and a simple key design, these together make them look easier to use than other laptops brands which use darker colours and more complicated key deigns. They are also lighter than most laptops which is appealing to consumers for they’re are easier to use and transport, because of this they are popular for university and high school students who need to take them to schools and people who work away from home (Reineche, Bernstein, 2011). This is a major selling point and has given Mac and edge over other computer companies. They have even named a few of their products with this in mind the Mac-book Air is a good example of this.

Mobile phones are also a wide user of the aesthetic-usability effect. Due to our technological advancements new phones are being released almost every month with companies such as Samsung, Apple and HTC releasing new models of established brands every year. The Samsung Galaxy and Iphone lines are always being updated however without changing the look and feel of the phone these lines would quickly loose popularity because they would be seen as ‘outdated’ and ‘obsolete’ even with software updates. So these companies release a new line which looks nicer, thinner and with upgrades to the screen size of colour options in order to keep customers returning. In reality the ‘software upgrades’ the phone has are usually minimal at best and the only real reason to buy the new one is aesthetic (Sonderegger, Sauer, 2010).

Televisions are also frequently overhauled and ‘upgraded’. With the rise of the internet streaming and sites such as Netflix and Stan people no longer need to rely on Television to watch and follow their favourite TV shows so television companies needed to make people want to use a standard television rather than a computer. Bigger screens, higher quality picture and some can even be connected to a Wi-Fi network these are all changes made to the product to increase its aesthetics for a customer in the hopes that they will prefer this product.

References

Lee, Sangwon; Koubeka, Richard J. (2011). “The Impact of Cognitive Style on User Preference Based on Usability and Aesthetics for Computer-Based Systems”. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction. 27(11) pp. 1083-1114

Lidwell, William; Holden, Kritina; Butler, Jill (2003). Universal Principles of Design. Rockport.

Sonderegger, Andreas; Sauer, Juergen (2010). “The influence of design aesthetics in usability testing: Effects on user performance and perceived usability”. Applied Ergonomics. 4 (3): 403–410

Reineche, Katharina; Bernstein, Abraham (2011). “Improving Performance, Perceived Usability, and Aesthetics with Culturally Adaptive User Interface”. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

Learning Portfolio One Q1 Summery

This article discusses how the aesthetic-usability effect works in relation to particular products to help persuade people to purchase them. The aesthetic-usability effect describes the phenomenon where people are more inclined to believe that products with a more aesthetically pleasing design are easier to use than those with a less aesthetically pleasing design. This principle states that if a product looks appealing, and often very simple, the consumer with choose it over another model which looks more complicated even if it is untrue.  The use of aesthetically pleasing designs has increased in recent years because other companies are forced to adopt them in order to stay viable, without it they could lose customers and business and would be unable to stay in business. There are many reasons why this tactic is usefully when trying to sell products. the most common reason is that with the increase in our technological capabilities people are worried that some products many to too complicated to used if they have never owned/used one before(Reineche, Bernstein, 2011). By using a simple but appealing design the creator is showing that the product is easy to use and that anyone of any age can use it, even if that is not strictly the case. By combining factors such as colour combinations, text size and fonts and visual layout (Lee & Koubeka, 2011) designers are able to produce products which not only look good but also look functional and easy to use. This is the key to the aesthetic-usability effect, if a product looked good but not functional or too complicated a customer would be less likely to purchase it but by using this effect they are able to draw people in, they also use this to keep customers coming back to their products. Light colours such as white, silver and light blue are often used because they stimulate people to feel positive about something, they are also used because they give the feeling of something being ‘modern’ which is important to people especially if they are buying a phone or laptop computer. Many people believe that the ‘newer’ a product is the easier it will be to use (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). The way a product look and feels will always be a huge factor when designing a product because we as a consumer are driven, especially in society today, to make life easier and stress free. Tools such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets allow us to simplify our day to day lives and are the products which benefit the most from the aesthetic-usability effect because how they look and feel usually dictates how easy they are to use (Sonderegger, Sauer, 2010).  

References

Lee, Sangwon; Koubeka, Richard J. (2011). “The Impact of Cognitive Style on User Preference Based on Usability and Aesthetics for Computer-Based Systems”. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction. 27(11) pp. 1083-1114

Lidwell, William; Holden, Kritina; Butler, Jill (2003). Universal Principles of Design. Rockport.

Sonderegger, Andreas; Sauer, Juergen (2010). “The influence of design aesthetics in usability testing: Effects on user performance and perceived usability”. Applied Ergonomics. 4 (3): 403–410

Reineche, Katharina; Bernstein, Abraham (2011). “Improving Performance, Perceived Usability, and Aesthetics with Culturally Adaptive User Interface”. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction