AM Posters 2009 START Conference Manager    

Using Interactivity to Help Users Understand the Impact of Spam Filtering on Their Inboxes

Andrew Orange, Christopher Lueg and Vishv Malhotra

(Submission #8)


Interactivity as a way to help users understand and/or explore complex information issues has been utilized successfully in information science eg in information retrieval. In this paper we report experiences with utilizing interactivity in a different albeit related context: informing users about spam filtering activities. Spam filters are widely used to remove spam from inboxes by filtering incoming messages according to certain criteria are readily available. However, the complexity of modern spam filters means few users of spam filters actually understand what their filters are doing and how different spam filter settings would impact on their email. In this paper we describe work into using interactive exploration as a way to increase users' understanding of how spam filters work. Lab-based evaluation of a prototype suggests that a considerable increase in spam filtering understanding even among subjects that stated they had prior spam filtering expertise.

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