Matthew Riedsma writes a long and thoughtful article about the problem of bias in library discovery systems (aka search).
He makes an interesting point about visual interfaces and the inference of trust.
By returning only a single result and placing the result on the right side on wider screens (mirroring Google’s Knowledge Graph), the Topic Explorer is meant to say, “this is what you are searching for.”
Of course a similar effect happens with the first page of google results. It’s by now a fact of life that we rarely if ever go beyond the first 10 results. But that’s an arbitrary choice forced by google’s decision to only put 10 results on the first page and not use an infinite scroll.
The interaction between human-computer-interfaces and connotations of reliability and trust seems like a fertile area of exploration.