Placement Matters: How Eye-Tracking Helps Improve Display Advertising — SES New York 2011

Running from session to session today. This is cray-cray.

Kate Kaye, Senior Editor, ClickZ News

Kim Krause Berg,
Leslie Chacon, Founder, User First

Eye tracking

Nothing is working right now. The wifi is slow, so is WordPress and my computer. Argh. On the other hand, this is the first all female panel I’ve seen at this show. Happiness is me.

Okay, Kim is up first. She’s presenting in place of Shari Thurow using a modified version of Shari’s presentation.

Why we care about eyetracking?
Developers can’t do testing. They already know how to use the product. Eyetracking allows you to get a real user’s POV. Eye-tracking actually measures where someone is looking on the page, why and how long.

Fixations: a static gaze fixed on one specific ares lasting 200-300 milliseconds. More fixations on a specific area means that it’s more noticeable to users.

Dilated eyes in humans indicate trust.

Eyetracking reveals

  • Where do people look?
  • What people don’t look at?
  • How people separate or “chunk” information on the screen
  • Sequence in which people look at the page

People look at search results by jumping down to the images and then back up.

You cannot always assume that where people are looking is what they are paying attention to.

-we all use our peripheral vision

-It is possible for people to be looking at one thing and paying attention to something nearby **why we need user personas and mental models

Bryan Eisenberg did an eyetracking study on men and women looking at a photo of a baseball player. Women focused mostly on the face and only slightly lower (upper chest). Men focused head and then ….lower than that. Bryan suggested it was a male competition thing. Hee.

What do people look at? It depends what they’re doing on the page.

People look at images. Put an image on your news story. It’s more likely to show up becaseue Google tries to catch people’s attention.

Shopping results really benefit from images.

Where do people look on Facebook?

What does it mean?

People read L to R and T to B. People ignore stock images and large images (mostly). Hero banners are often ignored for whatever’s beneath it. Headers and footers.

Check out “What Makes Them Click?”

Leslie Chacon steps up after Kim’s presentation.

Eye-tracking has been around since the 1870s. In the 1950s they got less terrifying. But it’s only recently it’s become a consumer thing. (Used to be the military)

SES: Eye-Tracking Session

To track eye movements, infrared lights track your eyes.  To be a successful, you need to ask questions and know what the questions asked were. Different tasks return different results.

Example: Who won the Superbowl?

People do sort of notice ads thought they don’t recollect them.

Follow up “did you notice the ad?” People will say no but the answer is actually yes. Your mind will discard what’s not relevant.

“Free” catches the eye.

You can’t recommend the appropriate design remedy unless you disambiguate the cause.  Scan patterns can reveal confusion or distraction.

Does banner blindness exist? Definitely. Should you be scared of it? No.

We can only see 2 degrees out of our visual field in detail at a particular time. However we take in more and it’ll leave a subliminal impression.


What works: Cleavage, Face, Plain Text [Hee, it’s a shot of the Old Spice Guy]

The more an element looks like part of the site design, the more attention it gets. Don’t distract people.

If you sell users one thing, and then serve them another, they’ll get confused and upset.

Plan > Do > Check > Act/Adjust > Plan

Use your analytics to optimize your user experience. Take  advantage of Rich Snippets, Bolding of Keywords, good descriptions

Now they’re going to do a live demo. I’m going to take a break.

(Interestingly, Leslie says that eyetracking doesn’t work so well on Asians, people with droopy eyes or long lashes. That makes me wonder if those markets end up under-served and biased against.)

Susan Esparza is former managing editor at Bruce Clay Inc., and has written extensively for clients and internal publications. Along with Bruce Clay, she is co-author of the first edition of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

See Susan's author page for links to connect on social media.

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