Warnick lays out five criteria cited by lay users as indexes of web site credibility. Which of these criteria do you feel you have typically relied upon to determine the reliability of a site in the past? Why?
The criterion I prioritise is: ‘Being able to trust the information on a site’.
This is the most important and oft-used criterion for me. I find that many aspects of the other criteria fall into place if this criterion is successfully addressed.
It must be said that because of the nature of my work history, I have developed a strong habit of triangulating my research (at least) around any information I find. In my case, I concur that, in my personal habits, website evaluation is connected to my user behaviour.
Even though I do pay attention to the other factors stipulated, “professionalism of design, usability, relevance and usefulness of site content, motivation…” (Warnick 2004, p. 7), I also agree that these factors can change depending on the type and subject of the site I am looking at, along with the type of information needs I have at the time I am looking for that information. Context is very important.
Warnick, B. (2004). Online Ethos: Source Credibility in an “Authorless” Environment. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(2), 256-265. doi:10.1177/0002764204267273