Exploring the Role of Activity Trace Design on Evaluations of Online Worker Quality


Websites can record individual users’ activities and display them in a variety of ways. There is a tradeoff between detail and abstraction in visualization, especially when the amount of content increases and becomes more difficult to process. We conducted an experiment on Mechanical Turk varying the quality, detail, and visual presentation of information about an individual’s past work to see how these design features affected perceptions of the worker. We found that providing detail in the display through text increased processing time and led to less positive evaluations. Visually abstract displays required less processing time but decreased confidence in evaluation. This suggests that different design parameters may engender differing psychological processes that influence reactions towards an unknown person.