Attention Receipts: Utilizing the Materiality of Receipts to Improve Screen-time Reflection on YouTube

Attaching a cost to YouTube usage.

YouTube remains a site of problematic persuasive media consumption, often overriding the goals of users when on the platform. In resistance, we present Attention Receipts - artifacts that materialize the cost of being persuaded by the engagement driven design of YouTube. We design and build a browser plugin and a receipt printer that helps users critically reflect upon their time spent watching videos on YouTube. In a 3 week field-deployment with 6 participants, we evaluate how the materiality of the receipt and their agency in the reflection process affect both the quality of reflection and the time spent consuming media. We find that the materiality of the receipts positively influences time spent consuming internet media and that users were split on having agency over when and how they reflect upon their screen-time. We conclude with design recommendations for domestic artifacts that utilize materiality to reveal the effects of persuasive technology.

Created by:

Anup Sathya, Ken Nakagaki


CHI '24: Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems | DOI| PDF