Fogg (2001) describes credibility of online resources such as websites as being affected by several components. These are:
- Presumed credibility
The presumed credibility of a web resource is based on “general assumptions” by users. For instance, web sites that end with “.org” have the reputation of being reliable and reputable organisations for quite some time. Also these are usually associated with companies which have existed for quite some time and are therefore presumed to have credible websites.
- Reputed credibility, Awards and seals of approval, Links from credible sources.
Any web resource that shows a sea of approval or that shows adherence to a standard such as ISO or otherwise will have a better perceived reputation.
- Surface credibility, and
The first impression counts for web resources that do not always have lots of visitors. This is where good design and an intuitive user interface would help(Robins and Holmes 2008).
- Earned credibility
Earned credibility is when a website has existed for quite some time and has a proven history of providing reliable information.
The credibility of web resources does affect me as a student. The web is the main medium of research on any given topic. The act of sifting through websites to separate the good from the bad is an essential part of the learning experience. Moreover, any resource has to be credible and reliable if it is to be used as references in academic work. There is also a need for information to be independently verifiable and credible online resources allow for this.
Fogg, B., et al. (2003). How do users evaluate the credibility of Web sites?: a study with over 2,500 participants. Proceedings of the 2003 conference on Designing for user experiences, ACM.
Robins, D. and J. Holmes (2008). “Aesthetics and credibility in web site design.” Information Processing & Management 44(1): 386-399.