U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Bias by default? A means for a priori interface measurement

Publish Date: 
Friday, September 22, 2017
Systems have biases. Their interfaces naturally guide a user toward specific patterns of action. For example, modern word-processors and spreadsheets are both capable of taking word wrapping, checking spelling, storing tables, and calculating formulas. You could write a paper in a spreadsheet or could do simple business modeling in a word-processor. However, their interfaces naturally communicate which function they are designed for. Visual analytic interfaces also have biases. In this paper, we outline why simple Markov models are a plausible tool for investigating that bias and how they might be applied. We also discuss some anticipated difficulties in such modeling and touch briefly on what some Markov model extensions might provide.
Cottam JA, and LM Blaha. 2017. "Bias by default? A means for a priori interface measurement." In Dealing with Cognitive Biases in Visualizations (2017).
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