Here at SimpleUsability we have designed and evolved our methodology around the central benefits of eye tracking. We use eye tracking as a tool to help us to discover better quality, or otherwise inaccessible findings from our research.
The eye tracker records exactly where the user is looking at any given moment and how long they spend looking in any one place.
Eye tracking allows you to:
- Find out what is attracting users’ attention
- Know what they are ignoring or not finding
- Observe what is distracting them from their user journey
The clever bit
It works by projecting an undetectable near infra-red light onto the eyes, and powerful sensors record the reflection of this back into the eyetracker. It then uses the known position of the screen and the participant’s eyes to calculate the point on the screen that they are looking at.
Unlike older eye tracking equipment, our state of the art Tobii and SMI systems are;
- Unobtrusive, meaning no clunky head restraints or heavy glasses.
- Quick to set up and can be calibrated in under a minute.
- Highly accurate, sampling at up to 30 times per second data quality is assured.
- Universal, the monitor tracks almost everyone, even those wearing glasses or contact lenses.
- Fully portable, and so are easily incorporated into our mobile lab.
- Immediate, allowing us to view the participant’s eye movements live, in real time.
Why eye tracking?
While a standard usability study relies on video and audio feedback alone, eye tracking allows us to observe the thought processes that are not vocalised by the user. Up to 95% of a person’s actions are dictated by their sub-conscious, and as eye movements occur largely below this threshold, eye tracking allows you to gain a deeper insight in to your users and what they are really thinking.
An enabler for natural behaviour
The live eye tracking footage provides the moderator with evidence for the qualitative interview that follows. This allows the session to be conducted in a very natural way so that we can observe the behaviours of interest uninterrupted.
With many of our eye tracking studies we play the eye tracking back to the user. This acts as a visual cue to the user, and in retrospective interviews they talk passionately about what they were thinking at the time, providing a commentary of their actions.
We also quantitatively analyse the data collected to produce a series of easily interpretable visual representations that accompany the report . These will show the main areas of interest, demonstrated by individual gaze plots and hotspot visualization maps (known as heatmaps) or other applicable visualisations.
The results are;
Eye tracking enables our core methodology of cued retrospective recall. We are experts in using different types of eye tracking technologies and analyses and can advise which type of study is best for you.
Here are just some examples of research questions where we find eye tracking adds immense value:
- Usability testing – from websites, printed brochures, emails, video or TV advertising, eye tracking allows us to carry out natural tasks during the session.
- Design options testing – choose a design route that works for your actual target audience so that the team can move forward confidently.
- Prototype and wireframe testing – you don’t need to wait until a product is almost ready for market to test, we can show you real users interacting with your concepts before expensive development takes place.
- In-store shopping insight – you can observe people choosing products in a live retail environment and allow the insight and feedback from the users to maximise sales.
- Shelf simulation testing – before finalising point of sale designs and merchandising plans we can project shelf schemes in actual size which allows users to interact and give feedback on layouts.