Eye Tracking: The Power of Heat Maps
When you write about eye tracking as regularly as Eye Tracking Update does, you tend to see a lot of heat maps. To some, heat maps seem like the holy grail, while at other times they’re described useless eye candy that really only points out what’s wrong with your web design without offering much in the way of fixes or qualitative data as to how users make decisions, and so on.
In a recent post at Doppelpager, a web marketing site, they talk about heat mapping and the benefits an accurate reading can offer a company or designer. Usability is always in imperfect science, and to calculate the amount of time and effort people spend on watching shows, reading articles, checking out ads – it’s quite difficult to get a good reading.
For those not in the know, a heat map is essentially a color-coordinated image that’s similar to a topography or weather map. It displays the areas of focus where a consumer’s eyes are most often found. A good heat map can help marketers realize which areas of their web page people look at more. But deducing qualitative and useful data from a heat map is a bit more difficult.
Advertisements that are placed near the navigation ads, researchers have found, tend to perform better than when placed in other locations. Advertisements that are placed near the end of an article can also be more successful as some consumers look for more resources as they’re finishing whatever article they’re reading. Advertisements that are placed above the fold, as we know, tend to perform better than ads below the fold.
The article discusses the prices of heat maps – not that the heat maps are expensive themselves, but the expertise often needed for an eye tracking consultation can be cost-prohibitive.
One nice thing about the rising popularity of eye tracking is that it’s resulting in lower costs for everyone. There are now open source eye tracking and heat mapping software’s that, when employed correctly, can make themselves quite useful to a designer.
The article points out a few simple rules to remember when constructing a site. Simple text is best. Avoid clutter if you can. And be direct and concise with your message. Heat mapping can help push a site forward when you’ve reached a wall. Perhaps looking at a site in a new way can make for a fresh start.
Heat Maps: It’s getting hot in here!
- Eye Tracking and F Patterns: Recurring Theme in Web Usability
- Framework for Eye Tracking Patterns and Usability Problems: Pt 2
- Eye Tracking and Style Guides
- Eye Tracking Shows We Start At The Top
- Eye Tracking: Helpful Tips For Your Site Design
- Eye Tracking: Where and When To Market on Your Website
- GazeHawk Makes Eye Tracking More Affordable
- Text 2.0 Uses Eye Tracking to Customize Reader Experience
- Eye Tracking: Evaluating Landing Page Usability With Surveys