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Signal Detection & UX Design - A Look at Instagram's Notification Feed

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These slides provide an overview of signal detection theory and suggest how to apply the related core principles to UX Design.

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Signal Detection & UX Design - A Look at Instagram's Notification Feed

  1. 1. Signal'Detection Case%Study:%Instagram%Notification%Feed By Lily Zimmerman
  2. 2. Signal'Detection'in'Instagram'Notification'Feed Signal'detection'theory'describes'how'when'we'prioritize'attention'toward'one'piece'of'incoming'information'we'pay'the'price'by'ignoring' other'information. When'the'signal'and'noise'are'too'similar'and'difficult'to'differentiate'from'each'other'we'must'lower'our'threshold'and'expend'even'more' cognitive'effort'to'locate'the'desired'signal. Two'visual'depictions'of'the'attentional'trade=offs'in' signal'detection: Signal'= desired'information Noise'= excess'information'which'competes'with'your'intended'signal'for'your'attention 1
  3. 3. Signal'Detection'in'Instagram'Notification'Feed Often,'when'a'user'goes'to'the'notification'center'on'Instagram'there'is'a'specific'goal'such'as'finding'where'others'have'commented'on' photos'in'order'to'engage'them'back.'Currently,'the'notification'feeds'on'both'mobile'and'desktop'screens'use'small=font text,'in'a'condensed' quadrant,'to display'users’'recent'comments,'likes,'follows,'etc.'The lack of differentiation'between'different'types'of'notifications'creates'a' camouflage'effect'which'makes'it'more'difficult'for'us'to'distinguish'signal'from'noise. Instagram'Mobile'App Instagram Desktop'Site Let’s'say'you’re'searching'your'newsfeed'for' recent'comments'from'your'friends'in'order' to'respond'to'them: Signal'= desired'information Noise'= excess'information'which' competes'with'your'intended' signal'for'your'attention Because the signal and noise are so similar, signal detection becomes a'cognitively' effortful'task. 2
  4. 4. Recommendation I"recommend"creating"a"set"of"icons"representing"the"various"categories"of"notifications."I"believe"this"would"greatly"increase"the"ease"of"use"for" users"who"are"navigating"their"notification"feeds"purposefully"and"with"particular"informational"needs." Icons"to"differentiate"categories"of"notifications: Like Comment Follow Followed Mention Here’s"a"mockAup"of"my" proposed"design"solution"for" for"the"signalAnoise"problem" which"makes"Instagram’s" current"notification"feed" difficult"to"interpret. 3
  5. 5. Measuring*Results Sources • Evans,'David'C..'Bottlenecks:'Aligning'UX'Design'with'User'Psychology'(Kindle'Locations'915D916).'Apress.'Kindle'Edition. • https://cdn.dribbble.com/users/113776/screenshots/1338303/explore_icons_designed_by_mandar_apte_studio_for_lurnq_2.png • http://www.cns.nyu.edu/~david/handouts/sdt/internalDresponse2.gif • http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/icons8/windowsD8/512/UsersDAddDUserDicon.png • https://content.cdn.intranetdashboard.com/images/iconDtaggingDmentions.png One way to determine the efficacy of thisIrecommendationIwouldIbeItoIrun usabilityIstudies.IUsersIwouldIneedItoIbeIquestionedIaboutItheirI goalsIwhenIusingIInstagramIasIwellIasItheirIassessment ofIeaseIofIuseIwithinItheInotificationIfeedIinIitsIcurrentIstate.ITheseIresultsIwouldIhaveI toIbeIcomparedIwithItheIsameImeasuresItakenIafterItheIInstagramInotificationIfeedIhasIbeenImodifiedItoIutilizeItheIgraphicIiconIsystem. 4

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