Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Eyetracking: Worth The Expense?

Should you do eyetracking? ...

"Is eyetracking a valuable usability tool? I’m not sure.

One benefit, recently pointed out to me, was it is eye opening for clients to see how a user’s eyes bounce around the page. Clients believe that people read the content on pages in an orderly fashion. Seeing users’ gazes meander across the screen like a drunken sailor, hopping from one element to another, can convince the client their users don’t view the content the same way they do.

And Maria Stone, from the User Experience group over at Google, told me, of the two labs they use for usability testing, the developers prefer to use the lab equipped with the eyetracker because it’s more fun. She believes the developers pay more attention to the test when the little dot is bouncing around the screen.

I do agree that it’s always good when your clients and developers become aware of how users behave. And an eyetracker is a great demonstration of fine grain behavior. In just mere moments, you can easily see how users gaze at the screen. So, I agree eyetrackers have demonstrative value.

But do they have diagnostic value? Can we actually learn what to change in our designs from them?"   continued ...   (Via UIE Brain Sparks)

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