Understanding Eye Tracking

Eye tracking is the process of measuring a person’s point of gaze or where they are looking. This is made possible through an eye tracking tool that monitors and measures eye positioning and movement. It’s not a phenomenon; in fact it’s been around since the 1800s but it’s just as important today as it was centuries ago. Today, researchers and marketing executives should be employing eye tracking mechanisms to better understand whether their websites, marketing campaigns, and layouts are working and engaging users as they were intended.

Our class readings included findings of an eye tracking study of newspapers conducted by Poynter that I think are still relevant to marketers today. Some of the findings were that photos attracted attention, eyes followed common patterns of navigation, color appealed to readers, and images more viewed more often than text. Sure, these are not ground breaking findings but they still hold true today, and for media beyond newspapers.

Indeed, there is more to track today than just newspaper layouts. For instance, within an average webpage there are a number of elements that can attract a viewers’ attention. Marketers would be wise to find out where viewers’ eyes land first: Is it the flashing text, buttons, navigation bar, or Google Ads?

This is just a primer on eye tracking and I will share more interesting thoughts on this topic during my presentation later this week.

For now, my questions to readers are:

-Have you used eye tracking for your websites or media?

-Would you think about employing eye tracking for your portfolio websites? 

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7 thoughts on “Understanding Eye Tracking

  1. I’ve never used eye tracking for a website or media, but I’ve been a part of it used for menus, and posters. I don’t think I’d use it for a personal portfolio, it seems like it would cost too much.

    • Did you use Tobii eye tracking glasses? How was the eye tracking conducted when you took part?

      I agree that eye tracking is not practical for a portfolio, unless maybe, you’re a freelancer and your web design is your main way of getting new clients.

  2. Great presentation Naseem! I really liked your soccer example. Prior to this week, I didn’t know such research even existed. I can see the benefits of eye tracking and how it could really impact advertisements and how consumers view websites and ads. Its quite interesting to see how technology has improved.

  3. As mentioned in my post, I’ve considered the Z pattern in just about every ad I’ve looked at since college. I dont necessarily think that pattern is the #1 pattern of all time but it supports the rule of balance in designs which definitely holds true. (slightly off topic)

    For my portfolio site I would consider eye movement. It could be helpful to decipher how much content you’ll have on the site and what you think is most important for your viewers to see before they leave.

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