Week 8: Eye Tracking

eye

Is there a science to how we view things? This weeks readings covered topics on how eye tracking has been implemented within various platforms over the past two decades. While there are various ways that humans collect information, the way our eyes see and process information has been the most complex but important one.

For years scientist, designers and other stakeholders have been trying to implement analyzed data with the thoughts of improving a users experience. The first article that I read New Poynter Eyetrack research reveals how people read news on tablets provided details on how people were either intimately involved with a tablet screen while reading or detached while reading. I found this article very interesting and I myself tend to fall under the detached category.

The Economist.com article The eyes have it gave an overview with examples of how eye tracking can do much more than be used for research. As the cost of Eye-trackers have come down prototypes of video games or even television sets have been unveiled showing how a viewers gaze can control the device. The technology has been used as well for paralyzed people to operate wheelchairs or as a form of safety to keep drowsy drivers awake.

The Article from UX Magazine Eye Tracking and Web Usability: A Good Fit? broke down certain instances such as the ketchup bottle in the fridge example where often times we are starring at something right in front of us but the item is overlooked. Eye tracking would measure this as a something we saw which would prove to be the wrong result.

Desktop, mobile, and tablets are still a relatively new field where many methologies are still being established. Search engine could also use data to see what information is relevant when a user is searching. For the time being eye-tracking will continue to be a trending topic and as cost continue to drop more opportunities may come forward.

Questions:
Do you find yourself to be more of an intimate or detached user with a tablet?

Do you think eye-tracking has real value as a research tool for website viewing and ad placements?

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6 thoughts on “Week 8: Eye Tracking

  1. I am definitely a more intimate user with my tablet, and my battery life can attest to that. I am constantly scrolling when I’m reading, really for no reason. I actually find myself getting irritated when I reach the end of a page/article and I can’t scroll it up any more. I also zoom in and out a lot. I have noticed this and questioned why I use my iPad this way, so I found it comforting to know that while I still don’t know WHY I do it, at least I’m not alone!

    After reading all of these articles, I do think that eye tracking has a place in testing website design. However, I think it needs to be coupled with other research methods – like interviews – to make sure that the eye tracking data matches up with what people are saying. Finding out if people actually processed and remembered what they saw is an important part to eye tracking and can’t be left out.

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  2. Welp, I don’t really use a tablet. My husband has one, but I rarely if ever use it. I never got the appeal of a tablet, which is probably because I have a smartphone and a laptop and can do most things I would like to on either.
    I think that eye tracking has a large value with design an advertising. If you are placing ads or coupons in an area that viewers avoid, then the ad/coupon is less effective. It really helps designers pinpoint where the visitors are going.

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  3. I personally don’t own a tablet, unless you count the nook I purchased as an e-reader.

    I do believe eye tracking is a fantastic resource for anyone designing a website, as it will let the designer know where their clients are focusing. If a certain call to action isn’t working, for example, eye tracking would allow the designer to see if their CTA was being glanced at all, how long it was being seen, and what other spots on the page drew the most attention. With that information, the designer could change the location of the call to action, or change the way it is being displayed.

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    • Hi Tina,
      With the pace at which we are moving in technology I wonder if the tracking will apply. Seems like we went from desktop to tablets and mobile phones, Next in line is wearables like smart watches which all in some form of way will interact with a website or application.

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