What does the user look at? Eye-tracking and testing methods for UX

May 9, 2016 Back to blog

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.


5546677366_454238c3fb_b                              Photo credit: SMI Eye Tracking via Foter.com / CC BY


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.



358223163_3ac654620fPhoto credit: dannysullivan via Foter.com / CC BY


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.




Social networks are crucial to knowing where our brand is going and how it will connect with audiences. Major social networks will continue to include new features on their platforms. Following, all the news that will mark the decisions of the brands in social networks this 2017.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Social networks 2017: Everything a brand needs to know in order to obtain an efficient marketing strategy
Read More

Knowing the latest trends in digital marketing will certainly help us establish actions or strategies applied to our business, which will give us greater visibility on the Internet. This will allow us to be able to capture more leads, customers, and ultimately get more sales. 2017 is already here, and with the new year there […]

20 essential news about Digital Marketing for 2017 that every marketer should know
Read More

There exists a phenomenon in the way our brain functions that helps us improve our strategy, like building and reinforcing our audience. Following are a few of them.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Basic psychological concepts to better improve our marketing strategy
Read More

Despite new technological innovations, television continues to maintain its position.  

[INFOGRAPHIC] Television: The medium with the highest return on investment
Read More
[INFOGRAPHIC] The Christmas consumers: How is our behaviour during this peak season towards the brands?
Read More

Christmas is arriving earlier and earlier each year. And while the days on the calendar tell us one thing, advertising puts a lot into it so that up to two months before we are already thinking about gifts, ornaments, last minute purchases and returning home for Christmas. We can say that ads are an inherent […]

The Perfect Recipe for Christmas Ads: Special Top Ten Christmas Commercials of 2016
Read More

E-commerce is the buying and selling of products or services via electronic media such as the Internet. This allows us to be able to collect a series of e-commerce data concerning sectors, gender and meteorology. The latter affects (and much) to purchase decisions online users as to the operations of the companies.

[INFOGRAPHIC] What e-commerce data affects to purchase decisions?
Read More

The marketing campaigns for holidays such as Halloween or Christmas, as well as for events such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday are happening earlier and earlier every year. In cities like London, during the month of August we can begin to buy Christmas products in the main shopping centres.   Black Friday and Cyber […]

Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, and how to get a head start of Christmas shopping
Read More

Both events produce a special mood around Christmas, causing more publicity, shopping and the Christams spirit itself to arrive. Thanks to this, selling becomes easy.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Black Friday & Cyber Monday: An important shopping event both inside and outside the U.S.
Read More

When selling online, it’s essential to take into account the seasonal factor. The different times of the year are accompanied by corresponding climate traits: cold, rain, and snow in the winter, and hot temperatures in the summer. But, can we be sure this always occurs? What happens if we have a fairly warm winter like […]

What meteorology and seasonal influences (among other events) eCommerce?
Read More

Infographic: Multiplatform campaigns. The new way of reaching the consumers.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Multiplatform campaigns: The new way of reaching the consumers
Read More

Infographic: Current status and usage of social media.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Current status and usage of social media
Read More

Cognitive biases that influences the mind of the consumer.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Neuromarketing: Cognitive biases that influences the mind of the consumer
Read More

Tips on how to achieve horrifyingly great results.

[INFOGRAPHIC] How to incorporate Halloween into our marketing strategy?
Read More

Up until recent times, we have been watching TV and when the commercials air, we take the opportunity to do things like go to the bathroom or go running to the fridge to get something to drink. Today, it all has changed. Our tablets or mobile phones are with us at all times. Even when […]

TV Sync: A channel with immediate interest from the viewer.
Read More

The content that is streamed does not substitute traditional TV, it is complementary.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Traditional TV vs. TV Streaming
Read More

Internet, one of the greatest winners (after television).  

[INFOGRAPHIC] Global Ads Spend: Summary of 2016 and forecast of 2017
Read More

Real-time Moments of Sync: great opportunities captivating the attention of the TV viewers.  

[INFOGRAPHIC] Real-Time Moments of Sync
Read More

Until relatively recently Halloween was best known as an American tradition, but it seems that many Brits are now firmly digging their claws into the hubble bubble holiday. As the month of October starts, we are likely to witness the preparations and signs of Halloween all around us — people dressed up in costumes, candy […]

Are you prepared for Halloween 2016?
Read More

This type of marketing, also known as real-time marketing is a key factor in your strategy because of the immediacy of response that it gives to brands. That is why they have a duty to be the latest (to the point of even anticipating) the events that cause social upheaval, in order to create timely, […]

What is Moment Marketing (and what is not)? Steps to carry out your Moment Marketing Plan
Read More

To make effective measurements of our campaigns that tell us whether we have reached the return of the deposit or ROI, the first thing we ask is what are the measurable elements in email marketing. When you send an email marketing campaign from a delivery platform, we automatically generate different data that can even be […]

Tips on how to measure the success of our email marketing campaigns
Read More

The summer and holidays are full of activities and events to attend. And the weather greatly influences what happens at this time. That is why our behaviours vary and so do the initiatives we take to perform certain activities and not others different. When it’s hot, we crave different things. Weather forecasts give us the […]

An Olympic summer: How can we take advantage of our brand during this season?
Read More

Back to school marketing and sales

[INFOGRAPHIC] Back-to-school: Marketing and sales
Read More

How to save time and money in your marketing strategy? Keep on reading:

[INFOGRAPHIC] 5 Revolutionary formulas to save time (and money) in a marketing strategy
Read More

Moment Marketing shows how the world is not independent of consumers.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Moment Marketing: Opportunities with our users in real-time
Read More

The Olympic Games have always been a place for brands. Like atletes, the compete with other companies to gain the attention of an audience, in this case, globally.

Read More

Multiscreen consumers are more observant than single screen viewers.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Multiscreen consumers: The most observant of all users
Read More

Steps to achieve success with your Moment Marketing Plan.  

[INFOGRAPHIC] Moment Marketing Plan: Steps to achieve success with your real time plan
Read More

The new trigger from Ad-Pure, TV Sync, lets you synchronize your online campaigns with your TV commercials.

Read More

Moment Marketing is the strategy in the marketing universe that stands out by the speed of reaction and by doing so, the brands arrive to the consumers before any competitor. With the launch and subsequent success of the new App Pokémon Go, we clearly see the consequences of moment marketing on products, as you already […]

How can Pokémon Go and Moment Marketing benefit your brand? Examples of real-time strategies
Read More