Usability Testing: Eye Tracking and Control

Usability testing is becoming an important participant in designing and developing web sites and application. Good usability can save a company thousands of dollars either in customer satisfaction, reduced time for company employees in performing everyday tasks and so on. Most of the usability testing today is performed using a combination of screen sharing software, screen capture software, voice recording software to capture what the participant is doing and thinking (think aloud) while using the application which is being tested. But, does a participant move a mouse where his eyes are looking? Most of the time no! This is where Tobii Eye Tracking and Control solutions help to realize what is user looking at and how long is the user looking at something. And that is very important for several reasons: maybe a call-to-action button isn’t “bold” enough, maybe some text is too long and user doesn’t have time to read it, maybe the search isn’t visible enough and so on. This Tobii solution can give answers to those questions much better than “classical” software-hardware combinations. Tobii says that: “Tobii Eye Tracking solutions provide you with indisputable, objective and convincing data describing user behaviour and usability problems. Through eye tracking data visualizations such as gaze plots, heat maps and gaze replays, findings can easily be presented in your report. Additionally, Eye Tracking data often provides a hint about how to solve usability problems.”

Tobii eye heat map

According to Tobii: “It has been shown in a number of studies, that replaying the participant’s gaze during an interview that takes place after the task, will in fact lead to the uncovering of significantly more usability problems than using other known usability methods. What has also been discovered is that when using this method, a significantly higher task-completion rate is achieved than when applying the conventional think-aloud methodology. This supports the notion that standard think aloud methodology inflicts upon the user’s behaviour, hence giving biased results.” Among other, Tobii Eye Tracking and Control is being accepted and used by many usability companies. Tobii claims that 12 out of 13 major usability companies are already using Tobii solution in their usability testing. On Tobii usability testing page a case study from Ciao Group (purchased by Microsoft in 2008) is published which states that Live ID registrations increased by 253% after the page has been redesigned according to results from usability testing performed using Tobii solutions software and hardware. Case studies can be downloaded here: Ciao Commerce usability testing and Ciao GmbH usability testing.

So, how does it work?

Qualitative usability testing set-up and performed using Tobii Eye Tracker and Tobii Studio

Quantitative usability testing set-up and performed using Tobii Eye tracker and Tobii Studio

If you need more information you can download their Usability brochure, Market research brochure, RTA White paper and RTA Methodology Guideline.

What do you think, is this a good investment in usability testing or the same results can be achieved without using this solution?

Qualitative usability testing

One thought on “Usability Testing: Eye Tracking and Control

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