Combining eye tracking and conventional techniques for indications of user-adaptability

Tzanidou, Ekaterini; Petre, Marian; Minocha, Shailey and Grayson, Andrew (2005). Combining eye tracking and conventional techniques for indications of user-adaptability. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3585 pp. 753–766.



We have captured and analysed users’ eye movements by means of an eye-tracking device to re-visit existing web design guidelines. The study reported here examines how quickly users adapt to an unfamiliar design layout and, in particular, how quickly they adjust their expectations of where to look for a given target link during repeated exposures to a new layout. Eye movement-based metrics such as time to target fixation, location of first fixation and scan path (sequence of fixations) were applied to capture users’ eye movements. These metrics were then applied to analyse the effects of repeated exposures and of design layouts of websites. More exposures led to decreased time to target fixation, indicating that user-adaptation occurred. The visual characteristics of the target link also influenced visual search behaviour. Qualitative complementary data such as the users’ frequency and purpose of internet usage, users’ expectations about the target link added value to the eye-movement data.

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