Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Networked Design - Trust me?

You are to consider how we learn to trust information. Reflect on real life experiences and map these onto your experiences in the virtual world. How do you know what to trust and what may be faked?

Summarise your experiences of three websites, pick ones that you trust and consider why you trust them.

Music equipment online retailer

A website I trust because.

The home page assures you that experts are behind the site.
It encourages phone enquiries, so users can question anything on the site, safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to rely on the digital domain.

The site includes some 'sleek' adverts, for big companies or national music events. I think that this portrays the retailers to be 'connected' to well known, big, trusted companies eg Apple.

The site states clearly that they will compete on price. Most of the time, people probably wont check, and with all prices being in bold red type, I think most users will probably believe them.

Internet movie database

A website I trust because.

Straight away, the home page hits you with lines like - ‘Visited by over 42 million movie lovers each month’, ‘earths biggest…’, ‘Award winning’. Statements like these give the site it's value. Whether or not the site is trustworthy, I think users will trust the judgement of other users. 42 million of them.

The homepage has small, rather pointless sections like, 'Born Today', detailing actors birthdays. Extras like this show that they know their stuff, or that they are ‘in touch’ with the movie world.
Each film/actor/director has a message board, for reviews/comments. This adds value because users can give their opinions. The site is clear and concise, with many, many links.
It is almost overwhelming, too much to click. But this adds to the overall feeling that there is much content on the site.

This is an example of a website I don't trust.

The site is supposed to, and used to be a valued daily surf report site.

The reason i don't trust it (anymore) is because the site started small and was the first in the area. As hits went up, the author realised that he could advertise products on the page. More and more products and adverts appeared, the actual report became less and less of a feature. The page is scattered with products, which makes it hard to find what you visited the site for, which de-values the information.

The actual report is the authors personal opinion and the photos are taken from a different place everyday, not live, taken at different times, and only once a day.

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