This article delves into the concept of of “eye tracking” and the practical use it has in usability testing. Eye tracking observes a user’s behavior as they view a web page and follows the movement and focus of their eyes. The purpose of eye tracking is to measure where and for how long a user is looking at something as well as how they switch focus to different areas on a web page. Eye tracking is conducted through eye tracking devices and software which are able to track a person’s eyes determining the focus of the pupil. Additionally, heat maps and saccade pathways help in illustrating where a user has looked and the path their eyes took on the web page.
Eye tracking is quite a useful tool in understanding the behavior of users on your website. However, eye tracking equipment and software can be rather pricey and usability specialists are required to interpret the results of such tests. Consequently, you should determine if your website truly needs eye tracking conducted before jumping into the process. In the future, I would only conduct eye tracking on my website once it gets to be a certain size or attracts a large number of users. Eye tracking can be extremely useful in helping to decide where you need to focus your own attention within your website. For example, you might decide to make adjustments to a section of your web page which lacks completeness but attracts lots of user attention.