Motivating Participation through Novelty Cues

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<p>The voluntary nature of participation in many open collaboration platforms means platform managers and system designers need to develop strategies to attract new participants and retain existing ones. Implementing features that positively impact users’ motivational states will help address challenges surrounding user recruitment and attrition. This paper reports on the design, implementation, and evaluation of one such feature – novelty cues. Prior studies have shown that novel stimuli attract and increase attention towards objects. Citizen science projects regularly ask volunteers to classify data that no other human has seen previously. An experiment was designed where volunteers were shown novelty cues. The goal was to evaluate the saliency of novelty in motivating participation among citizen science volunteers. The results showed that under most circumstances, novelty cues are effective mechanisms to increase user motivation; however, its effectiveness may be mediated by other factors such as existing system design and individual preferences for novelty.</p>

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