Eye-tracking is a measuring technique that works by following the movement of the eye. This process is used for research in visual systems, psychology, cognitive linguistics and product design.
How does it work?
Eye-tracking is the process of assessing the point that we are looking at or the movement of the eye in relation to the head. This process is used for research in visual systems, psychology, cognitive linguistics and product design.
The amount of companies that use this method is increasing. Neuromarketing uses eye-tracking to study the consumers’ behavior even before they arrive at the point of sale. By measuring where people look, you can guess their purchase intent.
There are different methods to determine the eye movement. The most common one is using the images of a video to check the position of the eye. Other methods use search coil or electrooculograms.
The final method:
In terms of vision, it is the best method. Even better than any survey. This happens because consumers mainly act by influence of their emotions (remember this post: http://www.ad-pure.com/blog/marketing/the-importance-of-emotions-in-marketing/). What they express in surveys may not reflect their real behaviour.
There is a whole world out there. We can draw all kinds of conclusions from the way we look at things.
We are measuring the eye movement, which move in relation to the head. Our eyes not only look at things but reflect many kinds of psychological expressions.
With this method we obtain information about what products users prefer, but also we can draw conclusions about what they feel when seeing a picture or point of interest in our webpage. On the other hand, we can see why they avoid looking at a specific point.
Types of eye-tracking:
- – Eye-attached tracking: this method uses contact lenses with an embedded mirror or magnetic field sensor. This kind of measurement provides very detailed records of eye movements. These tools can be found in specialized markets.
- – Optical tracking: this type of tracking uses non-contact methods. Light, typically infrared, is reflected from the eye and sensed by a video camera or some other optical sensor.
- – Electric potential measurement: this method uses electric potentials measured with electrodes around the eyes to detect movement. The electric signal that can be derived using these electrodes placed around the eye is what we call electrooculogram, mentioned above.
We use heat maps to represent the information obtained from eye-tracking. The function of these maps is to measure the coloured mass. The “warm” areas, or areas of higher intensity, show the most frequent visuospatial areas of reference.
By means of these maps we try to find the important elements or the elements that stand out from a picture, webpage, advertisement, etc. However, as they are static representations, understanding animated representations is more difficult.
The eye focuses on the center first:
We look from left to right (as we read from left to right). Therefore, our eyes will focus first on the center and then from the top left part to the bottom right part.
Considering that we normally pay attention to the top left part, we must place important elements in the center and in the bottom of our webpage, so the eyes do the effort to look those areas too.
Eye-tracking measures fatigue too. Our webpage must contain white space so the eyes can rest while looking at it. Moreover, apart from colors, eye-tracking measures which exposure areas have higher impact.
Depending on the field of action, we can also reduce costs by doing these tests on users. Ideally, we would be able to test on clients. After carrying out the test, the best option is to create a document analyzing the time the users have spent looking at each area.
Nowadays, eye-tracking is the most effective method for web development and interface design.