Eye tracking is another tool advertisers and marketers can use to better reach and engage with consumers. Knowing what your consumers are “seeing” is an important part in making a connection with them. And that connection can ultimately mean conversions.
Eye Tracking and Tablets
This week, we learned about research conducted by Poynter on how people read news on tablets. There are basically two different types of tablet users: intimate and detached. Intimate users are highly focused, keep constant contact with their tablet, and swipe often. Detached users are more likely to set up an entire screen of text and sit back and read. It didn’t surprise me that the research showed more people are “intimate” readers, because that seems to correlate with the research showing many of people have short attention spans when it comes to technology. Are you an “intimate” or “detached” user when reading news on a tablet?
The research also looked at how many stories users read and for how long. An average of a minute and a half was spent on the first story a person selected to read. I know I often don’t even get through a full story. I usually read the first couple of lines or paragraphs to get the gist of the story and move one to something else. Again, going back to that short attention span. I know I’m not alone in this type of behavior! The research showed visual elements or design helped to keep readers engaged. Do you often jump from story to story before finishing it? Do things like images or pullout quotes keep your attention?
An important thing the eye tracking research revealed was the importance of responsive design, since people switch between vertical and horizontal views often depending on content. Have you ever thought about the way you hold your tablet? Do you prefer a more vertical orientation over horizontal or vice versa? What kind of content are you viewing?
Eye Tracking and Facebook Graph Search
We also read about the new Facebook Graph Search this week. I had heard about it before this week, but didn’t really know about the specifics of the design and capabilities of this new element. It makes sense that query results are generated depending on a user’s likes, interests, and network. Unlike with regular search engines, “likes” serve more as SEO for Facebook. I think users will appreciate this aspect of the search, because obviously they’ve “liked” a page for a reason. Having that page show up in a search result would make sense for that specific user. It’s another way to filter information better.
When it comes to eye tracking, I was a little surprised that more users weren’t drawn automatically first to the images (profile pictures). People do seem more attracted to the information, which is good. It was just surprising how little a profile picture or logo played a role. Maybe users don’t fixate on the picture because they already know or “like” the brand? Just a guess.
I just received the Graph Search look last week. Has Graph Search popped up on your profile yet? If so, what do you think? Have you done any searches? What has been your experience?