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Choice Architecture for Human-Computer Interaction

By Anthony Jameson, Bettina Berendt, Silvia Gabrielli, Cristina Gena, Federica Cena, Fabiana Vernero, and Katharina Reinecke (2014)

Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, 7(1–2), 1–235.


People in human-computer interaction have learned a great deal about how to persuade and influence users of computing technology. They have much less well-founded knowledge about how to help users choose for themselves. It’s time to correct this imbalance. A first step is to organize the vast amount of relevant knowledge that has been built up in psychology and related fields in terms of two comprehensive but easy-to-remember models: The Aspect model answers the question “How do people make choices?” by describing six choice patterns that choosers apply alternately or in combination, based on Attributes, Social influence, Policies, Experience, Consequences, and Trial and error. The Arcade model answers the question “How can we help people make better choices?” by describing six general high-level strategies for supporting choice: Access information and experience, Represent the choice situation, Combine and compute, Advise about processing, Design the domain, and Evaluate on behalf of the chooser. These strategies can be implemented with straightforward interaction design, but for each one there are also specifically relevant technologies. Combining these two models, we can understand virtually all existing and possible approaches to choice support as the application of one or more of the Arcade strategies to one or more of the Aspect choice patterns.

After introducing the idea of choice architecture for human-computer interaction and the key ideas of the Aspect and Arcade models, we discuss each of the Aspect patterns in detail and show how the high-level Arcade strategies can be applied to it to yield specific tactics. We then apply the two models in the domains of online communities and privacy. Most of our examples concern choices about the use of computing technology, but the models are equally applicable to everyday choices made with the help of computing technology.


This book is being made available here by kind permission of now Publishers. Check out their other HCI titles!

  • Very short abstract: Want to help computer users make better choices? Tired of talking about half-understood “biases” and “nudges”? We present a foundation grounded in psychology research and designed for HCI people.
  • Page about the book on the site of now Publishers
  • 30-second preview video


Full Publication:  [PDF File]

BibTeX entry

  year = {2014},
  author = {{Jameson}, Anthony and
            {Berendt}, Bettina and
            {Gabrielli}, Silvia and
            {Gena}, Cristina and
            {Cena}, Federica and
            {Vernero}, Fabiana and
            {Reinecke}, Katharina},
  title = {Choice Architecture for Human-Computer Interaction},
  journal = {Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction},
  volume = {7},
  number = {1--2},
  pages = {1--235}}