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The One Man MMO Project
The story of a lone developer's quest to build an online world :: MMO programming, design, and industry commentary
Left Hand Item Selection Bias
By Robert Basler on 2013-01-02 19:33:01
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I was designing a faction select screen today. I want there to be approximately equal populations in each faction. While doing the layout, an old bias I noticed came to mind.

A few years ago I did a lot of trade shows. I noticed at the time that if you had more than one handout, people would vastly prefer to take the one on the left. We would always run out of whatever was on the left before the rest.

I did some experiments and found that color or black and white handouts don't affect this bias, nor did the size of the handout, the number of handouts left, or the number of pages in each handout.

I took advantage of this fact and always put the most important handout (mine) on the left.

Anyway, back to my screen, I did a little Google search, but couldn't find anything about a bias towards selecting things on the left. So to be safe, I made the faction screen randomly rearrange the factions from left-right so that if this bias does exist on screens, it won't affect the game.

If you're wondering if university psychology classes are worth the time and money? Yes they are.

By AG on 2013-01-02 22:24:26
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Is that your left (person giving) or the person taking the handout's left?
By Robert Basler on 2013-01-02 22:41:28
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
The handouts were on a table, so it was the picker-upper's left.
By B'sB on 2013-01-05 15:27:06
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Put the faction with the lowest population on the left ;)

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