SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] ballot usability redux
Re: [Sigia-l] ballot usability redux
From: Jared M. Spool (jspool_at_uie.com)
Date: Mon Aug 11 2003 - 00:04:18 EDT
At 11:13 PM 8/10/2003 -0400, James Spahr wrote:
>I just could not believe that random order would be the preferred method
>of ordering names. I'd really love to see the history of that spectacular
>decision, and the arguments against alphabetical listings -- I can see why
>some people might think alphabetical listings would put some canidates at
>a disadvantage -- but that really would be assuming your users are morons ...
>I wonder if any studies were done.
Actually, there have been. alphabetical listings and random order perform
almost identically in most cases. David Fay and co. at Verizon Research
have done a tremendous amount of work in Yellow Pages, finding that names
listed at the top of the list have a significantly greater chance of being
chosen than names at the bottom.
If the great state of California were really interested in making the list
perform without any order bias, they'd make each ballot have it's own
randomly unique order. (The beauty of 193 factorial is that it's a *really
Maybe there should be a box on the ballot that says "I don't care. Just
pick for me".
Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
Don't miss User Interface 8, October 13-16, Cambridge, MA.
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:51 EST