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1

Introduction to eye-tracking

"The eye is the mirror of the soul, and the soul is the mirror of our thoughts." In his introduction to eye-tracking, Matteo Penzo explains how eyetracking works, what the outputs are, and how eye-tracking can introduce quantitative measurement to standard usability evaluation techniques.

Links:

  • Introduction to Eyetracking: Seeing Through Your Users' Eyes

Henrik Olsen - January 15, 2006

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See also: Primers (9) 


 

2

Eye-tracking as a supplement to traditional usability tests

SURL have studied how eye-tracking can be used to supplement traditional usability tests. They found that eye-tracking data can be used to better understand how users search the interface for a target and what areas of a page are eye-catching, informative, frequently ignored and distracting.

The study is based on a test of three toy e-commerce sites, which is described in detail in the article.

Links:

  • The article Hotspots and Hyperlinks: Using Eye-tracking to Supplement Usability Testing

Henrik Olsen - August 02, 2005

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See also: Usability testing (29)  Web page design (23)  Research (91) 


 

3

How to use eye-tracking for website redesigns

This case study by Eyetools demonstrates how eye-tracking analysis can be used for guiding a redesign of a website. The before and after heat maps reveal significant improvements to users attention to content and navigation on a home page.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 24, 2005

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See also: Cases and Examples (12) 


 

4

Eye-tracking study of e-commerce sites

Eyetools Inc and MarketingSherpa have published the report "The Landing Page Handbook". The report describes the results of an eye-tracking study of typical e-commerce sites and has design guidelines for improving web page layout.

Some highlights from the report:
- The upper-left corner is always seen
- Most web pages are scanned, not read
- Any text that is underlined or blue get high readership and many people will read only the emphasized text before deciding to read on
- Material underneath images is viewed quite often
- People experience such a strong pull to look at images that they can trump left-to-right reading
- Navigational links or bottoms usually distract visitors from the main purpose of the page

Links:

  • The article Are Your Visitors Seeing What You Think?
  • The book The Landing Page Handbook

Henrik Olsen - March 03, 2005 - via UI Designer

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See also: E-commerce (21)  Research (91)  Books (32) 


 

5

Blog on eye-tracking research

Greg Edwards had dedicated a blog to eye-tracking analysis. He will publish interesting viewing data and rules-of-thumb from measuring what people read, look at, skip, and ignore on web pages.

Links:

  • The blog Eyetools Research Blog

Henrik Olsen - February 23, 2005

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See also: Blogs (11)  Research (91) 


 

6

Eyetrack project reveals how people perceive new sites

A very interesting eyetrack research project looked through the eyes of 46 people to learn how they see online news. It's impossible to summarize the many findings, but here are some highlights:

- Headlines had less than a second of a site visitor's attention
- Smaller type encourages focused viewing behavior
- Larger type promotes scanning
- Shorter paragraphs get more attention than longer ones
- People often looked only at the first couple of words in blurbs
- People typically looked below the first screen
- Navigation placed at the top of a homepage performed best

Links:

  • More highlights by CyberJournalist.net
  • The Eyetrack III web site

Henrik Olsen - September 09, 2004 - via WebReference Update

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See also: Research (91)  Web page design (23) 


 

7

How people scan web pages

The usability consultancy UIE conducted an eye-tracking study to find out how people scan a typical three column web page layout.

Some major findings:
- The users usually scanned in the centre area first, then the left area and then the right column
- The users would only investigate the left and right column when looking for additional information
- The users quickly learned to look where they would expect to find relevant content and avoid areas which was unimportant to their current task, such as banner ads
- The users would only re-evaluate their scan strategies when they detected changes in the layout of pages
- The users where able to determine if surrounding content was relevant before looking directly at it, suggesting that peripheral vision plays a central role in the interaction with the web pages
- Ads attracted users only when they related to the current task even if the content interested users

Links:

  • The article Testing Web Sites with Eye-Tracking

Henrik Olsen - October 21, 2003

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See also: Research (91)  Web page design (23) 


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