Archive for Eye Tracking
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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Twitter is a highly accessible way to appeal to a wide audience of readers. Nearly 500 million tweets are posted every day, so brands need an edge in order to stand out and win attention from readers. This is particularly crucial in the build-up to the Christmas season, with consumer spending high, and competition huge.
To look at the ways in which readers interact and view twitter feeds, we investigated using advanced eye tracking technology to determine where readers looked and to gain insight about how users interact with a Twitter feed. From these findings, we were able to uncover some tips on how to stand out with Christmas tweets.
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
The article covers the less conventional forms of market research and Jet2’s Commercial Director, Steve Lee states that EEG and eyetracking technology are a useful complement to other research sources as they pick up information that might otherwise be missed.
They can address flaws in traditional surveys, where people are often unwilling to admit to being influenced by marketing messages and are unable to recollect their choices and actions accurately. Lee says these are not necessary less reliable, and that behavioural monitoring techniques are used alongside, not instead of, surveys to build a fuller picture.
“The majority of it is challenging your own ideas of how you should market online. You do not see the wood for the trees all the time. You can have an overall conversion strategy that is successful, but you can always tweak it further and that is where website usability testing comes into play.”
We invited users to participate in booking a holiday on the Thomson website. They were asked to have a destination and booking party in mind and add on any specific requirements they would need. Eye tracking technology was used to observe how the users would navigate through the site during the holiday booking process.
Once on the Thomson homepage one user was immediately attracted by the ‘Late deals’ option. This took them to a landing page showing over 33,000 holiday deals which the user found overwhelming. The results were already arranged in lowest price order but this was not obvious to the user. Clicking on the column heading rearranged the date order of the results, but again we saw the user looking around the page because she had failed to realise that anything hand changed due to the listings looking so similar.
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Our team conducted an eye tracking review of the Mr Porter website for the July edition of Internet Retailing Magazine. The full article can be read here: Mr Porter Website Eye Tracking Article.
We invited users to participate in sessions to explore the Mr Porter website. Users were either asked to purchase a replacement item of clothing or to buy a gift for someone. By using eye tracking, we were able to observe users’ natural behaviour as they interacted with the website.
Upon entering the website, users were drawn to the large promotion image that took up three quarters of the screen. However, due to the home page offering editorials over products, the users immediately resorted to using the main navigation to either select the department they were after, or the ‘What’s new’ if they were just browsing.
Users responded favourably to the layout of the products when browsing. After accessing a department landing page, they were drawn to the large images and were content to scroll down a long list of results.
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When we talk about emotional engagement, we don’t mean ordering an ‘I heart ’ t-shirt and giving the CEO a bear hug, we’re referring to the scientific study of emotions and how they have the starring role in the purchase decisions made by your customers.
Have you ever asked yourself how your users feel while they are using your product or your website?
It makes intuitive sense that if your users have a positive emotional experience on your site they’re more likely to convert from browsers into buyers. Do you know exactly what on you site is converting using emotional equity, and what is failing?
We are irrational beings, and nowhere more so than when we are online and (believe it or not) when we are parting with cash. In fact neuroscientists argue that emotions drive between 90-99% of all decisions we ever make.We have evolved a highly sophisticated subconscious brain that effortlessly deals with the millions of inputs we perceive every second before delivering it to the attention of our conscious brains, via ‘gut’ emotions.Yet the most widely used methods in usability testing often involve asking a user’s conscious brain why it did something. The truth is it simply doesn’t know.
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Our team conducted an eye tracking review of Waitrose for the May edition of Internet Retailing Magazine. The full article can be read here: Waitrose Website Eye Tracking Article.
We invited users to participate in sessions to explore the new Waitrose.com website. These were people who shopped online and had different levels of experience regarding using grocery websites. By using eye tracking technology we were able to observe users shopping naturally for basic items that they would regularly need.
Users struggled to find the most basic of items. The simplified initial drop down menu for ‘Groceries’ was limited.In order to find bread, users had to learn to click on ‘Cupboard’>’Food’>’Bakery’ and then choose an additional category such as ‘Sliced bread’.
This was felt to be a long route to individual items. It was not obvious how these sections were ordered within the navigation area displayed at the top of the page,with some users commenting that they expected to see the most common sections first.
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