Kern, Dagmar; Marshall, Paul and Schmidt, Albrecht
Gazemarks: gaze-based visual placeholders to ease attention switching.
In: 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '10), 10-15 April 2010, Atlanta, USA.
Many tasks require attention switching. For example, searching for information on one sheet of paper and then entering this information onto another one. With paper we see that people use fingers or objects as placeholders. Using these simple aids, the process of switching attention between displays can be simplified and speeded up. With large or multiple visual displays we have many tasks where both attention areas are on the screen and where using a finger as a placeholder is not suitable. One way users deal with this is to use the mouse and highlight their current focus. However, this also has its limitations -- in particular in environments where there is no pointing device. Our approach is to utilize the user's gaze position to provide a visual placeholder. The last area where a user fixated on the screen (before moving their attention away) is highlighted; we call this visual reminder a Gazemark. Gazemarks ease orientation and the resumption of the interrupted task when coming back to this display. In this paper we report on a study where the effectiveness of using Gazemarks was investigated, in particular we show how they can ease attention switching. Our results show faster completion times for a resumed simple visual search task when using this technique. The paper analyzes relevant parameters for the implementation of Gazemarks and discusses some further application areas for this approach.
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