Week 11

Eye tracking is something fascinating to me. I love that it’s used on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue.

I really like eye tracking because it makes design qualitative. Not normally an artist or designer, I often find myself lost when it comes to why people don’t find something visually appealing, and vice versa. But I really enjoy that eye tracking gives us the ability to figure out the most effective way to design a page based on science or numbers.

The white paper in the reading covers the reasons people focused on one link more than others, placement and reviews apparently help. This seems pretty straight forward. Giving something more space will lead to more people noticing it.

I also feel that the reason people’s views hit specific places so much is because of their familiarity. Google maps looks the same if you’re googling directions in canada, brazil, or florida. People know where to look, and trust the results of the search, so they don’t spend a lot of time hitting other results.

The results of the newspaper test also kinda hit the same feelings. Headlines get more attention, areas with the most important stories get more attention.

Personally, I think that keeping track of where people look on your page is very important, but difficult and expensive for most companies.

1. When using a desktop browser and a mobile browser, do you change where you focus on the page?

2. Given the cost and time it takes to develop and test the eye tracking of a menu, website, magazine, etc., do you think this plays a big role in marketing? Should it play a bigger one?

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5 Responses to Week 11

  1. I definitely think leading the eye plays a big role in marketing, and distinguishes between great marketing products and mediocre ones. That’s not to say that everyone who gets the right design is paying for eye tracking. The readings this week, however, give excellent evidence that I think justifies the investment for certain organizations. As for mobile versus desktop, I feel that a lot of sites on mobile devices are still awkward and overwhelming, so that when I go to a site on my iPhone, I either look for one specific thing or go right to the search option, which also supports the Poynter findings where subjects tended to look for navigation first in online resources.

  2. Emily Davis says:

    I think if you have the resources to do an eyetracking study then it would be worth it. A major retail company for example, could discover from an eyetracking study that people aren’t finding the checkout button and later increase revenue.

    For those of us that could never dream of affording it, that’s doable. I think looking at previous studies like the ones we read can provide some insight that might be able to aid your designs as well.

  3. amandacbilly says:

    “I also feel that the reason people’s views hit specific places so much is because of their familiarity.”

    I think this is almost a chicken-or-the-egg sort of deal. Do people look for those familiar elements because they’re so commonly used? Or are those familiar elements commonly used because that’s where people naturally look?

    Logos, for example, are commonly placed in the upper left corner of the page. In my memory of the Internet, logos have almost always been in that spot, right where users tend to enter a web page. Did they wind up there because people look for them there? Or did they become so common that people learned to enter the page there?

    • Exactly. I hate that kind of question, because it’s hard to answer without having been there specifically. Odds are good that the logo ended up there because it’s a smart place to put it. I feel that eye tracking is really good if you want your boss to know why you spent so much on a graphic artist.

      • Andy says:

        It also makes me think about how we design a resume. Where do people look first? It never came up in the discussion, but from reading the responses here, I started to think of that too.

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