Archive for the ‘Eye Tracking’ Category
In our role as User Experience Practitioners we know a lot about the advantages of using eye-tracking in usability research, but we are always learning.
This article covers a few of the things we have observed during our usability research using eye-tracking, and shows just a few of the benefits that eye-tracking can bring to your user research.
1. Making things bigger and bolder doesn’t always work
You may have been to usability sessions and heard users say things like “Oh, I didn’t see that. If it was bigger I’d probably have noticed it.”, or you may have heard “It just needs to be bigger and bolder, make it flashy!” While feedback is useful, it’s important to remember that ultimately what people say they do, or what they say will influence them may not be true when they actually sit in front of a website. Feedback like this is opinion based, and shouldn’t be taken literally.
Instead, listen to the users’ feedback and consider it in context to what the observed behaviour shows. While users may say that making something bigger and bolder would grab their attention, our specialist eye-tracking has revealed, that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it takes re-thinking the position or content of a call to action to get your users to engage with it, it doesn’t have to be a flashing neon sign.
The eye-tracking shows how the user missed the large banner at the top of the page, and instead was drawn to the content underneath.
2. Consider how buttons display visual hierarchy
While you may wish to try and incorporate company colours as much as possible on a website, it is important to consider the consequences of these actions.
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Here, she recalls her first year in the UX Practitioner role. For anyone considering a career in behavioural research, we hope that this gives some insight into what’s involved and specifically what it’s like to work at SimpleUsability.
“I first heard about the User Experience Practitioner vacancy at SimpleUsability when I was busy working on the last pieces of assignments during my final year at university. At that point I hadn’t yet started applying for any graduate jobs, but felt that my time to find a suitable job was running out. I didn’t want an ordinary job; I wanted something different, something that I would enjoy doing every day of my post-graduate life. And when I stumbled upon this job, I knew. I knew that was the one. I knew that I needed to get it, whatever it took me.
I came from a psychology background, and I was always fascinated by anything where psychology could be applied. I completed the Psychology of Design module during my time at the University of Leeds and I loved it. The idea of using psychological principles to create better, more user-friendly products absorbed me. I had never even thought that such a job was available for graduates, never mind at a behavioural research consultancy using state of art eye-tracking methodology. So, of course I had to get it!
Since joining SimpleUsability in May 2013 I have never regretted that, and I still get extremely excited when a new project comes in. It’s a great place to work, and I don’t just mean our new incredible offices that we moved into just before Christmas. It’s the people that I work with, and the relaxing, friendly atmosphere. Even though I had to quickly get up to speed with the unique user testing methodology we use here, the team was always there to offer support with anything that I needed.
Teamwork is highly valued at SimpleUsability, perhaps not surprisingly, as it’s an integral part of pretty much everything that we do here. It’s also great to see our team grow continuously, because it’s an opportunity to meet even more like-minded people, who are passionate about user experience and research.
During this last year with the company, I have learnt a lot about user experience, user-centred design, usability testing, as well as eye tracking and how it could be used in the research. As a person who really enjoys conducting research and analysing data, I love the approach that SimpleUsability takes when working on any project. There is a lot of attention paid to every detail of the research, which is made evident through our bespoke in-house recruitment, carefully chosen methodology, high quality preparation for each project and superb training of the practitioners.
Take, for example, our post-task retrospective recall methodology that we use for our eye-tracking studies. Practitioners use carefully shaped tasks to let users do what they normally do on the websites while recording their eye gaze patterns. This allows us to observe real, non-interrupted behaviours that people naturally exhibit. The retrospective recall then ensures that practitioners ask only relevant questions when guiding users through the recording of their gaze replay. The wording of tasks and questions is designed to prevent leading users, so that their performance and answers are not biased by anything that the practitioner says. This approach to conducting the testing and taking into account all those little things resonates with me well, as this is exactly how I imagine carrying out scientific research which yields credible results. And SimpleUsability doesn’t just stop at this; there is a lot of care involved in the every aspect of the project’s timeline.
Although we do serious work as a consultancy, we are also always up for some fun! The time at SimpleUsability flies very fast, and this is because we try to make the most of it. Christmas party karaoke and a 10K charity run are some of those great moments that will be hard to forget, as well as collective drawing on the massive blackboards that we have in the new office corridor and our grand office move itself (several days of carrying stuff across the road!) followed by the fizz’n’gin party for our clients.
When you also know that your work benefits a lot of other people as they come to use websites, apps or advertising that you have helped to improve, it does make your day at work feel even better.
So, SimpleUsability has definitely changed the way I see work. It is that perfect job I was looking for to start my graduate career, allowing me to learn loads of new things whilst still using my Psychology degree knowledge and having fun on a day to day basis.”
Big Brother is watching you: reality show uses SimpleUsability’s state-of-the art eye tracking glasses in task
Big Brother used our eye tracking technology in last night’s episode, as it put the attention spans of its newest batch of housemates to the test with the help of SimpleUsability.
In the episode that aired yesterday evening at 10pm on Channel 5, viewers saw some of the contestants take part in a challenge while wearing our cutting-edge eye tracking glasses. The HD-quality glasses monitored and recorded the eye movements of the housemates in the Eyes on the Prize task, as Big Brother challenged contestants to stare intently at a certain item they would like to win.
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We can’t share too many details right now, however Guy and Emma spent an amazing day yesterday in the Big Brother house.
This week has seen the creation of the Big Brother Lab, with the three most intelligent housemates cast as scientists and the rest humble lab rats.
Yesterday four of those lab rats were involved in a task called ‘Eyes on the Prize’, during which our eye tracking glasses monitored their eye movements while they were subjected to various distractions.
Whilst we can’t reveal any more until the show airs tonight, you can get an idea of what was involved (and a glimpse of lab coat wearing Emma and Guy) in the Luke S, Shievonne and Ashleigh videos from Day 15: http://www.channel5.com/bigbrother
It was a battle of the brands that cost £8k a second just to take part. As Marcus Collins and Little Mix cried their way through Sunday’s final, the real competition was being fought between the Christmas adverts jostling for top spot in the UK’s most expensive TV advertising slot.
Using innovative testing technologies to track eye movement and monitor subliminal, emotional response, we recorded how each brand’s advert rated during the final break before Little Mix was announced winner.
It’s been a bumper year for emotional Christmas offerings, but those that paid for top billing were Estee Lauder, HMV, Currys/PC World, M&S and KFC, as well as adverts for a Coldplay concert and ITV’s Christmas Special of Downton Abbey.
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Forget the singers grasping for stardom, the real battle of the X Factor final this year will be between the adverts. The break before the winner is announced on Sunday’s live final is the most expensive in the UK with slots selling for £8k per second.
Which mini masterpiece will come out on top? Can John Lewis’ headline-grabbing Christmas tale tug the heartstrings? Will the conclusion of M&S’s X Factor episodes have viewers hooked? Or can Coca-Cola claim the ultimate prize? Well, we intend to find out.
We’ll track eye movement and monitor subliminal, emotional responses, to record how each advert rates in terms of excitement, interest and, emotional engagement amongst X Factor viewers.
We’ll then analyse each advert’s effectiveness and ascertain which had the most powerful, memorable and engaging impact on each demographic. In short: which advert has the real X Factor with viewers. The results will be announced on Tuesday 13th December.
The final advert break will be played to each research participant in isolation. Via an unobtrusive electroencephalograph (EEG) headset, their underlying brain activity will be recorded to reveal what the user is feeling as well as their levels of engagement, excitement and frustration. Similarly, eyetracking technology will record where they look at any given time and the data correlated with their emotional state.
In short, they will watch the final in the same way as they normally would, without any interruption or outside influence, but they will also be unconsciously giving an honest, realistic and quantifiable critique of the adverts.
Visit back on Tuesday once we’ve analysed the data and revealed which ad had the greatest impact, winning the title of ‘Advert of the Year’.
SimpleUsability were delighted to win the Innovation Award at the Digitally Leeds Awards last night, bringing home a new addition for the trophy cabinet.
Take a look at the recent piece in Marketing Week in which Steve Lee, Jet2.com’s Commercial Director talks about the benefits of usability research.