Persanalysed was developed as a self-directed Honours project. It is an extension for the Chrome internet browser that allows users to examine the extent to which their Google search results are manipulated.
The ways in which we encounter information online is increasingly being shaped by algorithms. These algorithms attempt to reflect our user activity, monitoring the information we source to better tailor the information we are delivered in the future. This seemingly benign, user-focussed design feature can result in us being trapped in ‘filter bubbles’, creating an internet where we are only shown what algorithms think we want to see and entrenching our existing world view.
Nowhere is this algorithmic personalisation more pertinent than in Google search engine results. Persanalysed is an analytic tool that quantifies your search behaviour. Operating as a Chrome browser extension, it allows users to compare the personalised search results Google delivers them against the same search results delivered to an ‘anonymised’ search. Detailed insights into the users search activity, and the way these results are algorithmically skewed, are then displayed through a series of elegant information visualisations.