Sports Tournament Predictions Using Direct Manipulation

We present an advanced interface for predicting sport tournaments by direct manipulation. The interface allows users to focus on their prediction tasks, by dragging and dropping teams to their final outcome in the competition, e. g., as winner or semi-finalist. This interface allows predictions to be made non-linearly, such as prediction winner first and filling up the other games. This better matches the way people actually make predictions, while the current interfaces can only be filled linearly, with text fields widgets as input. We released a first version of the interface for the 2014 FIFA soccer World Cup that validated the use of direct manipulation as alternative to widgets. We released an improved version a year later for the 2015/2016 UEFA soccer Champions League, which included a tracking system to understand users interactions. We recorded a total of 504; 307 interaction logs from 3; 029 unique visitors, among them 198 fully completed the prediction from scratch. From our analysis of logs, we provide a list of strategies that people employ to perform predictions, and which will help inform the design of further prediction interfaces that preserve the flow and concentration of users.

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