Where did users look?

19 09 2007

To answer “Where did users look”, eyetracking may help.
By introducing eyetracking, heatmap will be generated.

What is eyetracking?
Eye tracking is the process of measuring either the point of gaze (i.e. where we are looking) or the motion of an eye relative to the head.

What is heatmap?
A heatmap represents which content was seen by a group of participants. A heatmap helps to answer the questions “Where did users look?” and “Where didn’t users look?“.

heat map example
an example of a heatmap for a web page

If we have heatmap, we may discover:
What layout element draw the user attention?
Does photo always draw the user attention?

Here is the articles I read about the hints bring by the heatmap:
http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/070312ruel/

Besides, web site is for users! Therefore, we should know more about them, especially — User don’t read pages but scan the pages.

The reasons include:

User’s time is valuable
They are interested in the material that is necessary for them, so they choose some but not get all in order to save their time.

User has habit of scanning
When reading newspapers or magazine, they have been scanning and finding the part interesting them. Therefore, users tend to scan the web pages instead of reading page.

 

Here is more detailed information about eyetracking and heatmap:
http://blog.eyetools.net/
Example of eyetracking equipment:
http://www.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de/ags/ni/projects/eyetrack/index.html

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