Friday, October 06, 2006

Microsoft on eye tracking

Eye tracking being used by large companies to perfect UI's ...

"Jensen Harris, Lead Program Manager of the Office User Experience Team, talks to CNET about how Microsoft employed eye tracking "to come up with a perfected UI experience" (Video / Requires Flash plug-in).

The interview is short, so you don't get to see too much of the technology in action (or its outputs), however it constitutes further proof that large companies are beginning to take eye tracking seriously...

...Harris remarks that the last radical changes to the Office user interface were made prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The cascading menus and toolbars that were introduced back then have survived the 17 years since with little alteration. However, in recent years, user feedback has raised questions about the efficiency and usability of these elements (Indeed, Microsoft's mailbox is bulging with requests for the company to add features to Office that have already been added versions ago. This suggests that the existing menus and toolbars aren't helping users to find the features they need.).

Extensive use of eye tracking technology has helped Microsoft pinpont the problems with the existing user interface and uncover new insights into user behaviour. These findings are driving a complete overhaul of Office that has already seen the cascading menus and toolbars of old replaced with "ribbons", "galleries" and a whole host of other innovative design features."    (Continued via Etre)    [Usability Resources]

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