I'm working on a settings panel where the user can control what kind of content is displayed on a home page. These settings can be displayed in a positive frame (selecting what to include) or a negative frame (select what not to include). Using smart defaults will make the workload about equal between the two.
Is there anything I need to take into consideration to help choose one frame over the other? Wondering if there is any research on this, or previous work/case studies that anyone can speak to.
* Follow Up *
After some deliberation, we went with a 'negative' frame despite many of the response I received here. In case it's helpful, I'd like to explain why we did and give a few more details on the problem.
The 'home page' displays a large amount of content that is aggregated (and supplemented) from a user's own behaviors and data (via calendar, email, productivity tools, etc). One of the main hurdles is that there can easily be too much content. Filter out noise, or the content that simply isn't important, was the primary goal.
A positive frame for selecting which content to include is normally nice, for all the reasons listed below. However, we quickly noticed that providing options for granular control over content display often cause dependency issues. Including one bucket of content would require another option to be checked, or else would not fully deliver on what the user had selected. In short, using a positive frame would increase the complexity of the menu.
Using a negative frame allowed us to provide granular control over content while removing complex interdependencies. Coupled with default settings based on interviews, we found this to be more straight forward and performed better in user testing. It was more about 'adjusting' or filtering the content, rather than adding or subtracting from it. A negative frame enabled the user to do this in the most direct and simple way.
Hope that's helpful!