Skip to content

Eye Tracking Case Study


A proposed design for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Web site was evaluated against the original design in terms of the ease with which the right starting points for key tasks were located and processed. This report focuses on the eye tracking methodology that accompanied other conventional usability practices used in the evaluation. Twelve ASCO members were asked to complete several search tasks using each design. Performance measures such as click accuracy and time on task were supplemented with eye movements which allowed for an assessment of the processes that led to both the failures and the successes. The report details three task examples in which eye tracking helped diagnose errors and identify the better of the two designs (and the reasons for its superiority) when both were equally highly successful. Advantages and limitations of the application of eye tracking to design comparison are also discussed.

Practitioner’s Take Away

  • One of the ways eye tracking can benefit user experience research is by providing additional measures that help compare alternative designs of the same interface.
  • Time on task and error rate do not always tell the whole story. Eye movements help reveal the process, often not fully conscious, that led to these observable outcomes.
  • Eye tracking should be used when a detailed evaluation of visual search is required to make recommendations. The number of times the target was looked at and the number of fixations prior to the first fixation on the target provide information about the attention deployment stage of search (Did users see the target? Did they have trouble locating it?) and about the target processing stage (Did users have difficulties comprehending the target?).

Published in: in Volume 1, Issue 3,

Eye-tracking gives us a truly quantified view of both online and offline browsing (we can’t get this data anywhere else).

Thanks to the evolution of technology, marketers who make use of eye-tracking solutions can glean a world of data relating to how consumers interact with words and digital content. After collecting that data, they can make informed changes to the layout of their websites and digital content in order to ensure their audiences have a more pleasant experience. Digital media itself is nothing short of a hotbed for consumers. In fact, a survey of college students showed that only 50% could go up to 30 minutes without using digital technology.

There are truly endless possibilities when it comes to using eye-tracking data to enhance the layouts of your website and other digital content. Let’s take a look at seven small case studies relating to eye-tracking and what they mean for your small business.

1.One of the most prevalent areas of opening revenue streams online is selling advertising space with access to eye-tracking data, selling that ad space becomes a whole lot easier.

It’s one thing to think your customers are engaged with your content; it’s another thing to be able to prove it. By making use of eye-tracking technology, you can back up your claims with irrefutable data and thus more effectively sell ad space to companies.

According to a case study on, one client was able to measure viewer engagement with their programming by putting four specific commercials in programs from several different television programs. At the end of the day, the client was able to provide objective data that showed viewers were most engaged when watching their specific channel. That data can then be sent to advertisers who will be willing to spend more money on a commercial that viewers are more likely to be paying attention to. A suprising number of websites that classify as a “small business” run into advertising and sponsorship deals.

  • It’s a good thing because it’s an additional revenue stream.
  • It can be a bad thing if your site is undervalued.

These niche websites generally have a loyal and targeted audience, which is incredibly valuable to advertisers who usually market to a more generalized pool. Don’t sell yourself short! You can combine data from Google Analytics (free) and eye-tracking tools like Crazy Egg or EyeQuant  (paid, but affordable for small businesses).

The takeaway? Facts speak for themselves, and the better and more sophisticated the data you have, the more likely you will be able to convince your audience – whether it’s customers, advertisers or just the public – that what you’re saying is the truth. Advertisers want the most bang for their buck, so if you can prove customers are engaging with your brand, it’s safe to say sales will pick up.

2. Have you ever redesigned your website or the packaging of your products? Have you changed your logo? From time to time, reinventing yourself and updating the designs on your products is necessary in order to modernize or appeal to a larger market.

Rolling Optics is a company that makes materials that can be used when creating 3D labels. The company claimed that because they stick out, 3D labels on your products are more likely to attract the eyes of shoppers, which means you’re likely to make more sales.

Unsupported claims are usually just hot air. But armed with irrefutable data, those claims take on a whole new meaning. According to this case study, Rolling Optics was able to prove that 3D imaging placed on packages was responsible for its client’s impressive 90 percent increase in sales. The eye-tracking study showed that after implementing 3D labels, 87 percent of customers were likely to choose their product over one that had a normal label.

via Tobii

The takeaway? From time to time, it might be necessary for you to change the packaging on your products or overhaul your website. Markets with little competition can become crowded places very quickly, making your brand less prominent than it was originally.

3. Do you know exactly how your customers consume your marketing collateral or read your website? If the answer is no, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on potential sales opportunities.

When you know precisely how your data is being digested, you’re able to reorganize your website or marketing collateral in a way that will be more effective.

In a recent case study, Oriflame leveraged eye-tracking technology and was able to synthesize the data it collected to form actionable insights to improve their business. You can learn more about their situation in the video below:

The takeaway? Make decisions that are rooted in data. How will you ever know if something on your sidebar is being seen? Are people actually noticing the discounts and deal below the fold?

4. For years, we’ve heard about how important Search Engine Optimization is. Thanks to eye-tracking data, we’re able to prove that importance with facts.

Eye-tracking data shows web users are much more likely to look at the first few search results that come up than those lower on the list. While the talk and chatter about SEO was already there, by studying the movements of the eye, those whispers have all been confirmed.

via Loop11

The takeaway? Small businesses need to start paying attention to and integrating SEO into their business strategy. Plain and simple.

An easy way to do that is by moving forward with comprehensive content marketing strategies. By carefully selecting keywords – think: What are my customers going to type into the search engine when they are looking for my product? – and naturally incorporating them into the content you create, you are able to improve your rankings organically.

5. Just like in a newspaper, different locations of ads on your website are more valuable than others. On top of that, with so many different options for what kinds of ads you are creating, it’s certain your customers will prefer one format over another.

But just how can you measure these differences effectively?

These factors were all tested in a recent case study, which found customers respond differently to different kinds of ads that are located in different places on a website, depending on where they are positioned, how big they are and how they are presented.

This can help with up-sells, especially when a prospective advertiser learns you actually implement eye-tracking on your website.

A critical application of eye-tracking data is increasing conversions. Here’s an eye tracking study exemplifying how visitor interactions influence big design decisions:

In this example, we’re looking at a massive site redesign. The older version shows that visitors ignored the middle stream of logos – which is prime “real estate” – so it was replaced with a stream of featured products in the new version. The “select your vehicle” feature was maintained and moved into a more detailed sidebar in the new version. Interestingly, the “specials” section in the older version was frequently seen. In the new/current version, we can see a variation of the special has become a header – a sort of self-advertorial. All of these big design decisions are rooted in eye-tracking data.

6. Do you know how well your ads are performing? There’s a good chance the answer to that question is no, especially if you’re a smaller business.

Thanks to eye-tracking, though, you are able to gauge the response from your audience across a variety of different demographics. You can then take that information and use it to influence your future marketing campaigns, targeting your customers more effectively.

A recent case study by EyeTracking recorded exactly how customers responded to ads, how long they viewed them and their ability to recall them compared to the ads of their competitors.

The takeaway? The Japanese concept of Kaizen (for “good change”) speaks to continuous improvement in the business world. Most notably, this study demonstrated how different personas results in different ad interpretations.

If we have a single female mother and a young male programmer, they both might be interested in an advertisement for a new diet plan. But if one ad has a female in it and one ad has a male in it, we can only tell if the gender correlation is true with eye-tracking.

7. Do you know how effective your digital banner ads are? If not, don’t sweat it: eye-tracking can also help you design your brand’s ads more effectively.

A recent case study commissioned by Valassis helped collect data relating to the best way to lay a banner ad out, the best place to locate it on the page and what kinds of design elements attracted more eyes.

By gathering all of the pertinent data, the company was able to conclude how to communicate with its audience more effectively and directly. Armed with that intelligence, it’s safe to assume future digital advertising campaigns were more successful.

via Tobii

The takeaway? Numbers, large product names and clear color combinations improve the actual effectiveness of banner ads. Interestingly, the commonly used “FREE” was hardly noticed (only 1%).

Filed Under: All Posts, Online Marketing