Balancing News Bias on Facebook
A system that allows Facebook users to balance their news bias and see the bias rating for their current and upcoming news consumption.
Project Type & Deliverables
Final Project (MS HCI 1st Semester)
UI Prototype (Invision)
Visual Design (Sketch)
My Role — Product Designer
Project Duration — 6 Weeks
What are echo-chambers and filter bubbles, and how it leads to news bias?
When we like to read a certain type of news, whether it's conservative or liberal news, that becomes our comfort zone, and usually, we don't wish to get out of it. We share that news with our friends' circle and with our followers on social media. Most of the people we follow will like our shared news post because that is our echo-chamber or filter bubble means having people with similar interests. These people will also share the news that we want, and that leads to news bias.
But we should know that there is another side to almost every news, and there are other people with different news preferences. (Multiple Echo-Chambers and Filter Bubbles)
Why Facebook app?
Facebook is a widely used social media platform in the entire world. Echo-chambers and filter bubbles often form on Facebook because the algorithm that underpins the platform reinforces the user's confirmation bias by continually recommending news and information that aligns with their past activities.
What was my task/work?
As a Product Designer (MS HCI Student), my job was to work with teammates from the phase of defining a problem to the evaluation of a prototype with the users. For this project, I did the entire visual design and prototyping.
How might we give Facebook users exposure to news and information outside of their echo-chambers and filter bubbles so that they can make better decisions?
A system integrated into the Facebook app that allows Facebook users to balance their news bias and see the bias rating for their current and upcoming news consumption.
Skip to Design Process
Media Balance Scale
Media Bias rating system by allsides.com to show the type of news users are reading. (L=Left, L=Lean Left, C=Center, R=Lean Right, R=Right)
Bias Board - Dashboard
The dashboard for showing overall ratings on the news which users have consumed so far. It allows users to balance news bias using the media balance scale.
Bias Board - Balance your bias
If users want to balance their news bias, they can do it by dragging the blue circle component towards "C." It will recommend news pages to follow to centralize their news bias.
What would I do differently if I get the opportunity?
Since we had a limited time with specific scheduled tasks and assignments each week, we focused only on one feature, 'giving the user an ability to balance their news bias.'
During the evaluation, Users said that they liked the solution since they have full control of changing news to follow/unfollow, but that doesn't mean that they would use this solution. 'Liking a solution' and 'using that solution' are different things.
So if I get a chance to do this project again, I would study/focus on whether users are using the feature using metrics like User conversion rate, MAU, etc.
(DAU metric may not be useful since people don't follow/unfollow news page every day).
Thank you for reading this project
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