5.5.3 Focus attention

Given that you have found a way to motivate participation and you are able to leverage participants with wide-ranging interests and skills, the next major challenge you have as a designer is to focus participants’ attention where it will be the most valuable, a point developed extensively in Michael Nielsen’s book Reinventing Discovery (2012). In human computation projects, such as Galaxy Zoo, where researchers have explicit control of the tasks, the focus of attention is easiest to maintain. For example, in Galaxy Zoo the researchers could have shown each galaxy until there was agreement about its shape. Further, in distributed data collection, a scoring system can also be used to focus individuals on providing the most useful input, as was done in PhotoCity.