Eye Tracking: All the Secrets Revealed!

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Eye tracking is also known as gaze tracking. 🎯 This eye tracking technology is based on the principle that vision is a very important sense, which triggers the intellectual process of gathering and processing information in individuals. 🧠

Let’s check it out! 🔍


What is Eye Tracking?

Eye Tracking refers to techniques for studying gaze or eye movements. 👀 It measures the path, fixation point and fixation time of a group of people during a specific task or action.

The results of eye tracking studies are mainly based on the development of heat maps created from eye fixation points.

Eye tracking was originally used in the fields of marketing advertising (press and billboard) and packaging design, but as a result, it also finds many uses in digital marketing.


Definition of Eye Tracking UX

In particular, eye tracking is used in UX for: 👇

  • Impact and reading of packaging,
  • Optimization of merchandising”,
  • Analysis of the consumption of consumption,
  • Impact and reading advertising (press, display, etc.),
  • Analysis of internet elements such as emails, websites, and mobile UX applications,
  • Analysis of attention paid to phones,
  • Analysis of experience at point of sale or at service…

Eye-tracking technology and tools have advanced considerably, 🤖 with the availability of wearable eye-tracking glasses and webcams, it allows a predictive eye that can automate testing without setting up a specific study or recruiting testers.

Here are some examples of possible gaze paths, 👀 which you should consider when designing a website: ⏬


Examples of eye tracking patterns

Heat Map Version: :feu:

  • The heat map version of eye tracking visualizes areas that attract most attention by displaying ‘hot’ spots where eyes linger.
F-Pattern Reading: ⚡
Z-Pattern Reading: :ampoule:
  • Intended for advertising posters or images.

Layer-cake Pattern: 🎂

  • The “layer-cake pattern” of eye tracking refers to readers alternating between skimming main text and exploring sidebars or graphics.

Spotted Pattern: 🔵

  • The “spotted pattern” of eye tracking indicates scattered attention, with users rapidly shifting focus among multiple elements on a page.

Marking Pattern: 🚩

  • The “marking pattern” of eye tracking involves readers moving their gaze vertically, often marking their place in long-form content.

Bypassing Pattern: 🔁

  • The “bypassing pattern” in eye tracking involves users skipping over certain sections of content, often due to lack of interest. 🙊

Commitment Pattern: 🤝

  • The “commitment pattern” of eye tracking shows users thoroughly reading and engaging with content, typically signifying high interest or relevance.


Principles for Eye Tracking Design

Careful alignment: ⏹️
  • When we design visuals, we use invisible lines to direct the reader’s gaze.
  • So we try to keep a certain alignment to direct the eye.
White areas or rest areas: 💤
  • You need to organize your visuals so as not to overload the reader (you don’t just throw everything out of whack and let the visuals breathe).
  • We apply the rule of thirds to make the whole harmonious (basically, we divide the image into 3 equal parts in length and width and place our important elements).

All these elements help you create your eye-tracking path and determine which “pattern” works best for your product or audience. 🤗


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How does eye tracking work?

Eye tracking is a pillar of neuromarketing” that enables us to understand what attracts a consumer‘s spontaneous attention. 😍 Eye attention, on the one hand, influences decision-making and on the other, is also a major entry point for information.

Thus, eye-tracking in marketing enables us to: 👇

  1. Improve your marketing strategy by facilitating the key elements of communication.
  2. Improve customer experience by giving priority to information that your customers are looking for.

Basically, it allows you to measure the path taken by the eye and the fixation time of each visual element, so you can then accentuate them. 😏


Some advantages:

  1. Reliable results, eyes don‘t lie. 🙈 Eye movements are unconscious and accurately reflect cognitive processes in real-life situations. Eye tracking methods provide relevant information on interface usability, user behavior, and expectations.
  2. Detailed analysis, the results are visible. 👁️ The data obtained at the tests is displayed in visual form. In order to analyze consumer behavior in detail, data is calculated for each “zone of interest”, such as the number of glances, glance time, reading direction, and discovery order.
  3. Based on the results, you can obtain specific recommendations for improving your interface. ✅


Some limitations:

However, this technique has a few limitations. 🤫 Firstly, eye-tracking is relatively expensive, regardless of the equipment, as it requires a wider range of participants than the user tests to obtain reliable data.

  1. In fact, an eye-tracking study requires around 50 participants to obtain a reliable heat map, whereas 10 are enough for user testing. 😬 In this case, peripheral vision is not taken into account for eye tracking.
  2. As a result, we dont know exactly where the user is looking throughout the test. 🥲 In addition, certain parameters can alter the test, such as wearing mascara, moving closer to or further away from the screen, or placing one’s hand on one’s face.
  3. Best of all, eye tracking can‘t tell you why you’re looking at one place or another. 👀 Fixation can have many causes. Users may fixate on a point because they find it attractive or, conversely, because they don‘t understand it.

Furthermore, the participants cannot be questioned during the study because it must not be interrupted. Interaction can distract your eyes and attention and interfere with your work. 🙈 It is therefore difficult to use this technique alone. For the results to be relevant, they need to be supplemented by usability tests.


Preparing for the eye tracker test

How to prepare for an eye-tracking test: 🤔

  • The person is placed in front of a series of visual elements such as advertising posters, websites, and supermarket shelves.
  • The “eye trackers” record eye movements and send them to a screen.
  • A map appears on the screen, highlighting the area on which the gaze has stayed the longest and the path traveled.
  • In this way, the viewer visualizes the elements that attract the eye and those that are ignored.
  • After observation, the marketing team modifies the visual elements accordingly to improve campaign performance and user experience. 🤩


Some pointers: 🔔

  • Testers must be representative of users associated with the application. 🤝 However, care must be taken to ensure that participants are not visually impaired and do not wear glasses or contact lenses.
  • Similar to user tests, eye-tracking tests are carried out with the help of scenarios common to all participants to enable results to be compared. 🔍 For example, buying a particular item (for e-commerce sites), finalizing a purchase, etc.
  • After giving the indications, participants must behave in front of the interface as they would in their everyday environment. 💻 At the start of the test, a device calibration phase is planned.


Procedure for eye tracker test

  • During a session, an “eye trackerrecords your eye movements in real time and the moments when your attention is focused on an element. 🏹 User tests generally use a protocol called the “Think Aloud” protocol, which asks users to verbalize their thoughts.
  • In the context of eye-tracking, this practice should be avoided. 🙊 If you describe the action in words, the movement of eyes will change! Therefore, moderators should be discreet in the background so as not to interrupt the test. Participants should ideally be alone in the room during the session.


Test conclusion: 👇

  • The test is often concluded with a retrospective interview. ⌚ This method involves asking the user to explain his or her choices after the session. The test manager shows him or her the recorded results and asks questions.
  • This exchange between the user and the tester sheds light on how the session went. 👂 Be aware, however, that some participants tend to justify their decisions afterward by commenting on them.


Eye Tracking Software

There are two tools needed for eye tracking: sensors and software (with or without AI support). 💥

The tester is equipped with sensors, and an observer observes the results displayed by the software. 🔍 These tracking sessions are conducted with a representative panel of consumers to obtain relevant results.

Avoid sessions that are too long to avoid eye fatigue, which distorts results! 🙈


1. Eyetracking sensors

There are two types of eye tracking sensors: ⏬

  • Fixed system: the image is displayed on a computer screen equipped with an infrared camera. Infrared light projected onto the tester’s eye records eye movements: areas seen and not seen, attention span for each element, and line-of-sight trajectory.
  • Mobile system: The tester is fitted with glasses with a camera that records eye movements while he or she views the images. 😎 The system is suitable, for example, for use in eye tracking of points of tracking.


2. Eyetracking software

Eye tracking software is used to transcribe the results. 🤓 The software will display different types of maps such as:

  • A heat map” highlights the most observed areas. 🔥 Hot (red) areas attract the most attention. Cold blue areas are features that are ignored or easily visible. A graduated color palette is displayed to help create a hierarchy.
  • A path map traces the eye‘s path throughout the session, recording the order of discovery of different elements from start to finish. 🚩 The path is numbered and flagged.
  • An occult map shows areas that are completely ignored, allowing us to show what consumers can‘t see in the image. 🙈

By interpreting these maps, it is possible to identify consumer behavior in relation to the ads and web content consulted. 💡


Here are 3 examples of eyetracking software: ⏬

  1. The “Tobii Pro Lab” software collects and analyzes the results of its “baror “glasses” sensors. 👓 In particular, the platform displays the path taken by the gaze during an eyetracking session in the form of a numbering of the visual elements.
  2. The “iMotions” software is a comprehensive motion analysis solution. For example, in addition to eye tracking, the software analyzes facial expressions to enrich the results. 😉
  3. The “GazeRecorder” software uses a webcam-type sensor to collect information for analysis. 🎥 The results of eye tracking are displayed on a thermal map using a color palette ranging from orange to green, with elements prioritized according to visibility.

In addition, new eye tracking software such as “Sarbacane” or “Eyeware Tech” is already being used by artificial intelligence to better capture eye movements during the test and better understand the results! 💯


Eye-tracking analytics

Eye-tracking technology has developed alongside the use of digital technology. 👽 UX marketing professionals use it to study consumer behavior in relation to the user interfaces of websites and mobile applications.

Based on the results, developers can propose optimal navigation ergonomics and suggest the best navigation paths to take. 🛣️ In this way, the company improves the customer experience and thus, customer satisfaction by taking advantage of this technology.

Emails and newsletters use eye tracking, as do websites and mobile app pages. 📱 These visual marketing materials contain a lot of text, and eye tracking gives readers the chance to capture the areas that stand out the most.

From there, marketers can decide on the most strategic places to include your “call-to-action” (CTA) buttons and important information! 🧲


How to use eyetracking?

As we’ve seen, eye tracking is an eye-tracking technology that measures and analyzes the gaze of people interacting with visual stimuli such as ads and websites. 🤗

Here are 4 examples of where companies can use eye tracking: 👇

  1. Optimizing online advertising: eye tracking helps companies understand how users interact with online advertising. By analyzing users’ eye movements, companies can determine which visual elements receive the most attention and which areas receive the least. 😅 You can use this information to optimize your ad design, highlighting the most important elements and placing them strategically to maximize visibility.
  2. Improve the user experience on your website: eye tracking provides valuable information about how users navigate your website. 🤔 By understanding what users are looking for and which visual elements catch their attention, companies can improve layout, information organization, and CTA button design. This translates into a better user experience, more intuitive navigation, and higher conversion rates.
  3. Evaluating the effectiveness of product packaging: companies can use eye tracking to assess the visual impact of product packaging. ❇️ By measuring the eye movements of consumers looking at their packaging, companies can identify which elements attract the most attention and which are overlooked. You can use this information to customize your packaging design, highlight key features, and improve your visual communication to capture consumers’ attention at the point of sale.
  4. User interface usability testing: eye tracking can be used to assess the usability of user interfaces such as mobile apps and software. 🌐 By tracking users’ gaze as they interact with the user interface, organizations can identify problems or areas of misunderstanding. We can use this information to make targeted improvements to our interface that facilitate navigation, clarify information, and optimize the interaction process, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.


The strategic use of eye tracking can provide businesses with valuable insights into consumers‘ visual behavior, 🤨 enabling companies to optimize marketing efforts to attract attention, improve the user experience, and increase conversions. 🚀


Examples of Eyetracking marketing

Eye tracking is used in many fields, including marketing and customer experience: 👇

  1. Merchandising: 🏪 the point-of-sale uses eye tracking results to highlight promotions and organize shelves to optimize the customer experience. For example: an eye tracker registers preferential attention to a yellow marker and longer fixation time to a beam at a height of 1.60 m. To push the product, the store puts the product at this height, and the label turns yellow.
  2. Packaging: 🎁 eyetracking results show which packaging elements attract the most attention. For example: brands want to stand out with new packaging. Based on A/B testing techniques, the brand offers consumers three different packaging. This result can be used to determine which receives the most attention.
  3. Posters and leaflets: 📚 eye-tracking results show gaze paths and fixation times for various image elements. For example: if a brand wants to emphasize low prices, graphic designers place the price first. If the brand wants to emphasize free delivery, then the graphic designer will strategically reposition and correct the information.


Heatmap Examples

Data from an eye-tracking session can be displayed in the form of heat maps, like this one: 👇

The results show that regions with larger or smaller colored dots of varying color are the most frequently observed. 🚥 This type of analysis requires a considerable number of participants.

Eye-tracking can be used to validate that the organization of information in the user interface follows the user’s logic and that the information is presented in the right order. 💯 It can show you where you got lost in the journey and identify optimizations to make reading more fluid.

The heat maps objectively represent areas invisible to the user. 👻 Eye tracking can‘t tell if the user understands the areas he’s looking at, but it clearly shows the areas he doesn’t.

The question arises whether these areas contain useful information for optimizing the interface. 👉 If so, we recommend highlighting them!


Conclusion: Eye tracking and Neuromarketing

To conclude, eye tracking is an analysis technique based on eye movements. 👁️

It involves observing the behavior of consumers’ eyes in front of visual elements in order to draw conclusions, increase marketing effectiveness, and improve the customer experience. 💪

Eye tracking is performed using a device called an eye tracker. 🏹

The eye captures the image and converts it into a nervous message that the brain must interpret. 🧠 Based on this interpretation, individuals feel emotions, make decisions, and carry out actions.

For example, when a drivers eyes pick up the image of a red light, 🚦 the message is sent to the brain, and the driver concludes that he must stop. The driver then presses the brake pedal.

Observing the visual elements on which attention is focused and the trajectory of the gaze within a scene helps to understand cognitive functions and predict reactions. 🔮

This is what eye tracking is all about. 🧐 This technology can be applied to marketing to influence and study consumer behavior!

More precisely, it’s a marketing technique called “neuromarketing”. 🤯 It’s a marketing method that uses cognitive neuroscience and communication technology. 🗣️ By linking the brain and cognitive activity, it helps us understand consumer behavior more deeply.


FAQ : Eyetracker

How do you implement eye tracking?

There are several ways to obtain an eye tracker. 🔫 Firstly, you can choose a hardware solution from a specialist manufacturer. These devices can be purchased online or in specialty stores.

Some companies also offer eye tracker rentals for specific periods. ⌛ Another option is to use computer vision-based eye tracker software that can be installed on existing devices such as computers and smartphones without the need for additional hardware.

This type of software uses the built-in camera in your devices to track eye movements. 👌 Some software solutions are free, while others can be purchased or made available by subscription.

That’s it! Now you know all about eye tracking. 😉


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