Recently while discussing a new website at the Village, the topic of eye tracking came up.
“It wasn’t uncommon for my clientd in the UK to drop $xx on eye tracking studies before we began the build.”
“It’s just not anywhere near as popular here as in the US and the UK.”
“Yes, it feels like we’re behind when it comes to seeing the value in eye tracking.”
“Yeah. Eye tracking. Yeah.”
That last comment was me. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had never heard of eye tracking. And clearly if I, someone working in the industry, doesn’t know what it is, it is little wonder this useful tool is under utilised by marketing campaigns in Australia.
So after some vigorous Googling I’ve come up with some key facts about eye tracking
- Eye tracking is basically the measurement of eye activity. It includes what people look at, how long they spend on different elements and in what order. Eye tracking provides accurate, measurable data, which can be used to research behaviour and improve user experience.
- Eye tracking involves not just where we look, but also what we ignore. Research has shown that we are so used to viewing advertisements on the web, that we ignore anything that looks like an ad (even if it isn’t). This is called Banner Blindness.
- We generally view web pages in two horizontal stripes (left to right), followed by a vertical stripe down the left side. This is called an F-Pattern and dominates most web design.
- This technology is not just for market research or user experience testing. Eye tracking technology is changing lives. Leading eye tracking company Tobii Technology has been creating tools to help the lives of people with conditions such as autism and cerebral palsy to communicate effectively for almost a decade.
It’s a fast growing industry where exciting developments are being made. This technology can help advertising campaigns become more useful by getting immediate, accurate, subconscious feedback. It’s an amazing tool with endless possibilities and I’m kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner.