Ten things you need to know about eye tracking

  1. Eye tracking can help a lot, as only eye tracking tells you what people actually look at (and when). So if you’re clear that you want to measure relative levels of attention paid to different images and text, and maybe ease of reading or navigation, then you should consider eye tracking. And if you’re not, don’t.
  2. Eye tracking doesn’t always help. Measuring what people look at or not is only interesting when there’s a benchmark to measure the results against.  Without such a benchmark, we cannot tell you whether the results are good or bad.
  3. Not all eye tracking is the same:
    • We offer 2 different types of eye tracking, mobile for when you want to observe real world behaviour e.g. magazine reading and screen based for when you want to look at static images e.g. press ads
    • We don’t offer web based eye tracking simply because, while it looks superficially cost-effective, it’s hopelessly inaccurate and most of the data collected can’t be used
    • And we don’t base our results on algorithms, for the same reason i.e. the results are just not accurate enough to base marketing decisions on.
  4. It’s sometimes appropriate to use more than one eye tracking approach. Mobile eye tracking tells you how a publication is read i.e. which pages are looked at 1st and which longest.  But screen based eye tracking tells you which of 2 covers will be noticed 1st and how to maximise a cover’s impact.  Multiple objectives necessitate multiple methodologies.
  5. Some mobile eye tracking equipment is more accurate:
    • Over last few years new systems have come on to the market that, despite the hype,  aren’t really up to the job -  for example they are not as accurate as they should be or the number of respondents that can be successfully tracked is very low . For example, we have heard of one study where they were able to only achieve a 25% success rate on a sample size of 100.
    • There will always be a percentage of the population that cannot be tracked for physiological reasons.  For the systems we use we publically quote an 85% success rate (much higher than many competitive systems), but in reality it is more like 95 to 99% so we rarely ‘waste’ a recruited participant.
  6. Some eye tracking output is more useful:
    • Everyone loves heat maps. They look good. But in isolation they can be hard to interpret. For example, the ‘heat plots’ of images with no or less text can seem less intensive, but those same images can be the element that drives overall impact. So, in addition to heat maps, we provide a detailed analysis of the % of the sample looking at each pre-defined area, the average time before each area is looked at, and the average number of fixations given to each area – and then we have a full picture for analysis
    • Some people conduct eye tracking simply to provide some ‘theatre’.  Instead of analysing the data, they simply use edited clips of the eye tracking to illustrate the argument they want to make.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but eye tracking when analysed in detail can offer many more insights enabling us to make clear and actionable recommendations
    • The best insights come from using a test and control research design.  So (for example) if you want to measure the best placement for in store POS, it’s best to conduct the study twice, once with the POS in one position and another when it’s in an alternative.
    • And the best shopper insights come from real world shopping, with the participant competing a real world task while wearing the glasses
  7. Some companies know more about eye tracking.  Having grown since 2002 to become one of Europe’s leading eye tracking companies, we like to think we know the most. And we know others know less, as we’ve often been asked to re-run projects that others have tried to run without success
  8. Sample sizes matter.  Not everybody looks at the same things at the same time.  Small samples provide qualitative indications of where people look, but if you want to compare one piece of test communication with another you need a much larger sample
  9. Sample definition can matter.  For example, pizza lovers are more likely to look at a pizza image than pizza haters. Those within a store catchment area are more likely to look at a new store door drop than those outside. But sometimes a general nat rep sample will do.
  10. The best insights come from combining eye tracking with other research.  Eye tracking tells you what but not why.  For us to make definitive recommendations we need to understand both, so we generally recommend both.

Services we offer

Services we offer

Fixed Eyetracking

Mobile Eyetracking

Results & Output

Omnibus

Case studies

Case studies

eye tracking is an adaptable research tool, that may be used in many ways to monitor the human eye and to track exactly what is being looked at, and for how long. View our case studies for a brief insight into the power of this technology and its uses on varied applications.

News & Events

News & Events