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Market User Interface Design

Sven Seuken, David C. Parkes, Eric Horvitz, Kamal Jain, Mary Czerwinski, and Desney Tan


Despite the pervasiveness of markets in our lives, little is known about the role of user interfaces (UIs) in promoting good decisions in market domains. How does the way we display market information to end users, and the set of choices we offer, influence users’ decisions? In this paper, we introduce a new research agenda on “market user interface design.” Our goal is to find the optimal market UI, taking into account that users incur cognitive costs and are boundedly rational. Via lab experiments we systematically explore the market UI design space, and we study the automatic optimization of market UIs given a behavioral (quantal response) model of user behavior. Surprisingly, we find that the behaviorally-optimized UI performs worse than the standard UI, suggesting that the quantal response model did not predict user behavior well. Subsequently, we identify important behavioral factors that are missing from the user model, including loss aversion and position effects, whichmotivates follow-up studies. Furthermore, we find significant differences between individual users in terms of rationality. This suggests future research on personalized UI designs, with interfaces that are tailored towards each individual user’s needs, capabilities, and preferences.


Publication typeProceedings
PublisherACM Electronic Commerce
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