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ANALYSIS OF INTERACTIVE CONTENT TWEETED BY: ZACH39

Polling aggregation website FiveThirtyEight effectively uses interactivity to enhance its communication of its Senate election forecast. By employing simple elements of interactivity without introducing further complexity, it reduces an overwhelming whole into its constituent, comprehensible parts.


Simple "hover-over" interactivity enables reduction of complex whole into simple parts
The overview of the data consists of a probability curve depicting the relative likelihood of Republicans capturing various numbers of Senate position. The graph allows for the user to scroll over each column of Senate seats. Upon doing so, the graphic updates an adjacent text box with specific numerical information related to the particular probabilities. In partitioning the seat-specific data, the multimedia presentation divides complex sets of numbers into digestible chunks which can then be perused by a user at their own pace. In accordance with a study conducted by Richard Mayer and Paul Chandler, the simple interactivity offered by the overview reduces strain on limited cognitive resources and promotes a deeper understanding of the information.

Though, the "Election" and "Polling" tabs similarly divided information, the bevy of remaining information still demanded cognitive resource occupation
Similarly, the webpage's "Election" section provided a fairly complex set of projected election results that could be sorted by state, incumbent, or likelihood of victory at the whim of the user. Again, this gives the user the power to dilute their reception of information in a manner that makes best use of their cognitive resources and enables the greatest depth of understanding. The final "Polling" tab also allowed for a user-driven division of information. However, it was more limited in that respect in only allowing the user to refine the data by still data-heavy state categories. As a result, the user is still faced with the prospect of being overwhelmed.

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