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Eye Tracking Test

Eye Tracking Tests use a combination of specialized hardware and software to record the movement of a user’s eyes as they view and use a product. The resulting heat maps show you where the user’s eyes move and where they focus for extended periods of time. This data helps suggest which page elements need greater prominence, which elements should be de-emphasized, and which elements users are ignoring.

Researchers can perform an Eye Tracking Test remotely, making use of the users’ own webcams. Ideally, however, you would use a usability lab optimized for this purpose.

Category:
Description

Schedule Time & Gather Materials

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Schedule Time:

  • Time Needed: A Few Minutes per Test
  • Number of Tests Required: 8 – 12
Gather Materials

Gather Materials:

  • Eye tracking software and hardware
  • A testable version of your site or product
  • Video camera or webcam

Carry Out This Method

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  1. Write a scenario or task that you want to test. The task should involve specific pages and interactions.
  2. Recruit participants. This can be done automatically through web-based eye tracking software and testing services, or you can recruit local participants yourself.
  3. Run your eye tracking study. If working in a usability lab, be sure to adjust the camera between sessions to accommodate participants of different sizes.
  4. Ask users to describe their actions, including their reasons for taking an action and their feelings regarding the result.
  5. After collecting between 8 and 12 valid responses, compare heat maps for common fixation points and scan patterns.
  6. Watch video of each participant to see if they explain the reasons for prolonged gazes. Do they think something is attractive to look at? Are they trying to figure out what an illegible word is? Are they trying to interpret a low quality image? Also see if they mention any page elements that the heat map shows no eye activity for. Are they assuming that your header is a banner ad? Are they avoiding a photo that looks like it might be disturbing or uninteresting?

Try These Tips

  • Practice with your hardware and software setup multiple times with multiple individuals before your first test with real users. Check for lighting, software reliability, camera battery life, et cetera.
  • The value derived from Eye Tracking versus the effort should be considered. Heat maps generated from clicks and mouse movements may provide the same or similar information at lower cost.

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