Are you a business owner, entrepreneur, or web developer looking to take your website to new heights? If so, keep your eyeballs glued to this post as I explain the basics of eyeball tracking on websites.
Eye Tracking and Its Purpose
According to usailbility.gov, which is the leading resource for user experience (UX) best practices, “eye tracking involves measuring either where the eye is focused or the motion of the eye as an individual views a web page.” The article continues to explain that the purpose of eye tracking is to allow website developers and owners to understand how their customers behave when visiting their websites. The tool provides information about site visitors, specifically:
- Where they are looking
- How long are they looking
- How their focus moves from item to item on the web page
- What parts of the interface they miss
- How they are navigating the length of the page
- How size and placement of the items on your site
Cool! But… How Does it Work?
In a nutshell, participants will look at a website while special eye tracking device focuses on their eye pupil and measures where and how they look at the website. The result will show two items which are heat maps and saccade pathways.
Heat What? Heat maps! These are a graphical representation, which uses a color scale to show how long participants stare at parts of a website. Here is how they look:
Saccade Who? Saccade pathways! These are treasure maps that represent the path or direction that the participants’ eyes follow while visiting the site. They look something like this:
OK Ricardo, that sounds great but why is this important to me? Well, I thought you’ll never ask… These days, Search Engine Optimization and content is nothing if your users don’t have a great experience once they reach your landing page, which can make a difference between a visitor staying on your site or leaving immediately. This tool allows to use your website’s real estate space strategically in order to keep your visitors engaged and generate the most value out of your online business presence.
Want to learn more?
For more detail information about the capabilities and limitations as well as other details, feel free to check out the full Eye Tracking article from usability.gov here.