Thesis
Master of Science: Integrated Digital Media
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
In the field of UX, designers are encouraged to make things “user-friendly” and also “easy to use.” This thesis argues that those two ideas should not always be lumped together. In digital environments where users are being asked to take a risk, an “easy to use” interface is not “user-friendly.” It is user unfriendly, since it will almost certainly be prompting a user to make a certain kind of decision, and that decision may or may not be in the user’s best interest. For this thesis, I designed a series of interfaces that asked users to make risky decisions, and recorded which interfaces affected them to choose an option that they would not have usually made. I found that users were most likely to make a decision that went against their natural risk-taking instincts when the option they chose was accompanied by a picture of the potential outcome of their choices and when they were pressed for time. In the future, it would helpful to study the exact pictures or moods of pictures that can sway a user to make a choice they would not usually make, and the optimal amount of time to give to a user to make a choice that is in their best interest.
 
For a copy of the complete thesis, please email me at anneebrinich@gmail.com.