Eye-tracking UX technology is a measurement that defines how your customers look at your website & consume your website content. It gets a lot easier when you can understand your targeted audiences viewing patterns & online behavior. It helps to improve your overall website, which meets your business goals and customer expectations.
Eye-tracking UX technology has been around for a while but is still not very common in the web design industry. Website designers can use it to improve their design and improve user experience.
The most important benefit of eye-tracking UX technology is that it helps website designers understand what parts of the website the user is looking at and how long they are spending there. This information can help them design more effective navigation menus, understand which content gets more attention, and so on.
Eye tracking is necessary for web design when you want to know the why or when you want to gather tangible feedback on user interaction that normally isn’t possible from other test methods. Andreas Olsson, UX designer and educator at Stockholm’s Nackademin, says, “eye tracking is a tool in the toolbox, and it’s not always needed for everything; that’s not to say it’s not a good tool; it’s just important not to overcomplicate your tests.”
In this article, we will share seven smart ways of eye-tracking UX technology that help you to enhance your website design & overall usability.
In simple words, eye tracking is a technology that tracks eye movements. It measures and analyzes visitors' visual attention patterns when they land on your website. Fixation of eye movements is considered a typical metric of an eye-tracking system. This approach helps business owners & marketers have comprehensive insights into their customers toward the website.
• Where is a visitor looking?
• What exactly is a visitor looking for?
• How long are they looking at a particular website element?
• How is a visitor navigating through a particular page?
• How do the size and placement of various page items affect their attention?
Modern eye tracking involves a camera or webcam that measures the user’s head's relative position and then calculates the average eye's gaze direction. When Infrared light reflects off the retina it allows the eye tracker to identify the position of the pupils. Area of interest (AOI) helps to determine what areas you need to calculate metrics for. While you are using any eye tracking device, it has its own dataset that gathers records of movements which actually helps to determine customer behavior. There are another two concepts used widely for eye-tracking technology-
• Fixation: It determines when the visitor’s gaze stops moving and focuses on one element.
• Saccade: Rapid movements in between fixation points
There are mainly two ways to visualize eye-tracking results. The first one is a heatmap which is a color-codded screenshot of the specific area where users focus on. The second one is Gaze plots- a series of different sizes of dots that depends on the duration of the total time spent at a certain fixation.
A point to be noted is that though the usage of eye-tracking technology in the website improvement process is new the actual concept was developed back in the 1800s. So, what’s the point of using this tech process in recent times? Eye-tracking technology provides us an insightful perspective that no other research method can provide. By leveraging a modern eye tracking-based UX testing tool, designers & marketers can get unique insights that show how people engage with your product or design in real-time. Furthermore, this detailed insight can help you at various factors like in the design process. In a nutshell, the eye-tracking process helps to track how your users consume video, advertisements, mobile/web UX, and product shelf placements on your website.
Eye-tracking technology prioritizes what your users can see & avoid. While you can understand how they navigate your site, and in which pattern they are consuming your content, you can track those insights & leverage them for further content creation & design implementation. According to research, most readers scan a page into an F-shape pattern. Also, through this pattern you can place high-priority content in the upper left of the content area & which maximizes content reading efficiency.
While visitors are on board your site, you have a maximum of 10-20 seconds to grab their attention towards your website elements. Hence, eye-tracking allows which elements of your website are dragging attention through fixation. It indicates how difficult or easy an element is to find. While you can track the number & length of the fixation on any particular task, you can easily calculate how useful, comprehensive, and difficult an element is. We can call it in another way elements usability testing, which indicates which area of your website is running smoothly & which one needs improvement.
Eye-tracking UX technology has already been used in many fields like marketing, advertising, and education to better understand the user's behavior. It allows us to track how people read or scan the content on a webpage or mobile device. This technology can help us to make better design decisions for the future. According to research, only 20% of the users actually read an article on an average web page. By analyzing users’ scanning behavior you can highlight the important keywords, headlines, scannable list,s or short paragraphs.
A call-to-action button is indeed an important part of any website as it increases conversion & collects valuable leads. While you know which part of your website people have been looking for the long time, it becomes easy to place any lead generation button. Eye-tracking technology tracks a user’s eye movements and sees what they are looking at. This helps to optimize the placement of the call-to-action button to increase conversion rates. This is because the human eye is naturally drawn to the center of the screen. So, it makes sense to place call-to-action buttons in the center of a webpage. Through heatmap or fication length, you can determine the AOI(Area of interest). So, you can optimize the placement of the call-to-action button.
Audience segmentation is important to provide a consistent service. Segmentation depends on the user's behavior. While you can collect users' scanning behavior, reading patterns, and accessing elements through eye-tracking technology, you can easily find a multiple groups. By segmenting your audience, eye tracking helps you compare different scanning patterns between user groups. Analyzing differences in your user groups’ behavior will guide you to cater service to the targeted audience.
Sometimes, users see a lucrative content banner & access the content. But, in between, they find useless lists or points that can be avoidable. Most of the time, people start reading content & middle of the content, they just leave the site or go back to another page. By leveraging an eye-tracking dataset, you can determine from which point readers stop or drop the page. Hence to maximize the conversion, you can add any call-to-action button using any interesting offers.
When you develop your existing site, you do it based on the assumptions, or you will find some tricks or methods that you want to apply. But eye-tracking technology directly indicated some real points or issues of your website that you should further redesign. If you want a positive impact on success in conversion rate optimization, you must think according to the real issue rather than assuming unnecessarily. Keeping in mind the eye tracking dataset is likely to show you, that people are focussing on which areas & which feature is more useful to your audience.
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