The importance of Eye Tracking for UX testing on mobile

Dmitry Gaiduk
May 29 · 6 min read

When it comes to improving your mobile website user experience (UX), we can consider eye tracking as a technology that allows us to follow the eye movements of a person to infer what they see and what they see. With the information provided by eye tracking, you can improve the user experience of the mobile website. At the same time, there is the opportunity to offer you the information that most interests you where it is known that your eyes will be directed first.

Unlike the polygraph, instead of measuring the emotional reaction of a person to lying, eye tracking technology takes measures of the person’s cognitive reaction. For this, the researchers will record a series of measurements. These measures include dilation of the pupil, response time, reading, and re-reading of time and errors.

Thanks to the results of research with this type of techniques, you can better know which elements of your mobile website are more attractive and which invite users to stay in one place.

Initially, this technique was used in the field of psychology, but after the 80s, questions related to human-computer interaction (HCI) began to be answered, which is what interests us.

What information do you get after an eye-tracking study?

Mainly, how has the user’s eye behavior been studied? If we take it to the realm of the web world especially on mobile website, an eye-tracking study will give us information such as where the user is looking, what intentions he may have, where he keeps his gaze fixed, what catches his attention, how he searches for the information in the mobile site …

What do we use the information for after the eye tracking study?

All the data that are collected is fantastic to know how the user behaves on our mobile website and, based on that, to improve the mobile UX, usability, and navigability of it. For example, if I have three buttons with calls to action, but the user has not even looked at them: should not that give me clues that I should change the mobile website or color?

It will also give us clues about how to structure the content better, and we will be able to facilitate the processes that the user wants to carry out. All advantages here! For example, it can also be analyzed with what ease or difficulty users find specific information on the web.

How is the eye tracking study carried out?

Until recent time, the vast majority of eye tracking studies were based on videos. A camera focuses on one or both eyes that record the movements of these while the subject sees a series of stimuli.

Some of these ‘cameras’ are mounted on the head, others just support the chin, and others follow the movements of the head.

The most common results, and which you have undoubtedly seen on occasion, are the famous heat maps. Good news — today technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and powerful mobile devices allow you to do eye tracking studies on smartphone or tablet via selfie camera. Thanks to AI the results are accurate even on a smartphone with a small screen.

How users see my mobile web page

According to these studies, users of a mobile web page perform a reading start with a horizontal movement. This route is made diagonally, from the upper left corner to the lower right corner.

In addition, it is proven that users try (involuntarily) to avoid banners, large blocks of text, and especially those that are on a colorful background. That is why texts with black fonts on a white background are more pleasant for reading.

This system serves to know the hot spots of a mobile web page, to check in which areas it fixes more time the glance and to improve therefore the design and the machining of said page, and also in the commercial announcements. Where, for how long and the order in which the consumer observes (the trajectory of the look) are the three premises on which this system is guided.

When studying the consumption of advertising by users, a problem arises, the difficulty in trying to obtain real data and without a margin of error, either because the subject cannot and does not know how to specify his unconscious behavior or because he does not want to be sincere (surveys, Focus Group). This problem is solved with Eye Tracking.

The data obtained by this technique do not originate in prejudice, and it is a data measurement technique that contributes to something that has never been found before.

Good packaging protects the products for its storage, distribution, later sale and employment of the consumer, its main objective is to attract the attention of customers and be a good window of visual communication, perhaps the element that makes the brand image of a particular product. Aspects such as functional, reusable, and attractive design, are essential characteristics for the packaging becomes a valuable addition to the final product. Get a direct communication with the potential consumer visiting your mobile website, and through Eye Tracking, the creator of the mobile web can be guided by a series of guidelines to get ahead of the client, gain strengths knowing what will be fixed and strengthen the weaknesses.

What are the advantages of using Eye Tracking for our customers?

From advertising for companies to the design of a web page. There are many applications of Eye Tracking in the business world. Therefore, we have decided to bet on the study of eye movement as a way of knowing how people respond to everyday things such as:

• An ad in stream transmitted through channels such as YouTube, assessing their reaction and the points on which their pupil is fixed.

• A product or service advertised on a Facebook page, analyzing where visual attention is focused

• The usability or UX of a mobile web page, examining the eye movements that are made before the images, banners, or corporate logos of an individual company.

Eye Tracking in the online mobile store

Thanks to this method we know, for example, the pattern that is followed in the visualization of a web, which has come to be called pattern F, which informs about the importance of concentrating the main message in the first paragraphs of the page. Since that, as of that moment, the users do not perceive with intensity the rest of the information.

Also, Eye Tracking helps us to know the patterns of search through the internet, a prominent aspect when defining online marketing campaigns.

As we can see, it is very useful to apply the monitoring of the eye movement to marketing as a way to draw and project a marketing campaign on our mobile website, taking into account such important issues as what users usually set, or how they perceive advertising information, as stimuli, that a certain company designs.

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Dig deeper into the universe of UX insights to create an awesome digital experience on mobile. Join the community of UX experts, marketers and product owners who are curious about mobile UX findings, tips, best practices, tools, and tutorials.

Dmitry Gaiduk

Written by

Research Professional | CEO at CoolTool

UXReality Blog

Dig deeper into the universe of UX insights to create an awesome digital experience on mobile. Join the community of UX experts, marketers and product owners who are curious about mobile UX findings, tips, best practices, tools, and tutorials.

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