“I finally get it!” – Eye Tracking

Next Bank Sydney 13 brought banking experts from around the World to a wonderful venue in The Rocks, Simmer by the Bay.  As a speaker, I was set a challenge by Rob Findlay, Next Bank Founder, “Shake it up”. So I did. Next Bank Sydney Logo

Instead of my run-of-the-mill presentation, I fearfully told a story about the things that piss me off in banking and the broader enterprise marketing realm and how eye tracking can dramatically improve the situation. I really want to help people discover that:

  • Data from poor market research methods add no value to business decisions and are ignored by senior execs
  • Understanding human unconscious is critical in marketing and no, you don’t know much about what really drives your customers. Certainly nothing about how or why they do what they do.
  • Marketing budgets are simply wasted if no-one looks at your stuff and this is avoidable.
  • A shit ad is a shit ad, no matter where you stick it.

My presentation was a resounding success and at the end a client of 6 years approached me and said, “You know I have worked with you for more than 6 years and only now do I really understand eye tracking!”

Here’s my presentation, enjoy and let me know what you think?

Here’s the slides with text for your reading pleasure.

Free Tobii Webinar:Introducing the Tobii UX Live solution for usability testing

In this free 30-minute webinar we will discuss the value of eye tracking-supported usability testing and how to incorporate it in your development process. You will also learn more about the Tobii UX Live solution and how you can use it yourself when testing web pages and software.

In this webinar you will learn more about:

  • The value of usability testing and how to incorporate it in the development process.
  • The benefits of eye tracking-enabled usability testing.
  • How to set up and run a study using Tobii UX Live.
  • Overview of the Tobii UX Live solution.
  • Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions via chat after the webinar.

Audience and prerequisites:

This webinar is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the Tobii UX Live solution and usability testing. Pre-registration is required.

About the instructors:

This webinar is taught by Johan Koch, product manager at Tobii Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and Tommy Strandvall, global training manager at Tobii Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dates and registration:

Date & time: Friday, September 20, 2013, at 17:00pm Sydney time
Price: FREE
Registration: Pre-registration is mandatory: Click here to register.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!



OD FAQs I Are personas really valuable?

Yes! Personas as the outcome of research will blow your mind!  No really, personas bring together all the outcomes of user research – interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media studies and field studies. They make the lists of proposed content and features for a website come alive for everyone involved in the project – designers, developers and business people alike.

What do we mean by a persona?

A persona is a description of a fictional person who represents a major user group. A typical persona includes:

  • Name and picture
  • Demographics (age, education, family status)
  • Job title and main responsibilities
  • Experience online, in the industry and with the site offeriing
  • Social media experience
  • Goals and tasks in relation to your site
  • A quote that sums up what matters most to the persona with relevance to your site

It helps to base Personas on someone you know, as this keeps them grounded and more realistic.  Often the quote comes from real person in an interview or focus group –  something that really makes the persona zing!

We have been on projects where the developers begin to talk about the personas as though they know them. “Jane wouldn’t use that function. She’s an expert user – she needs a short cut.”

Personas are a great research tool. They provide a reference point for design decisions during a project. They are a powerful way to communicate knowledge, activities, interests, influences, and goals. Here’s a useful quick personas description from Wiliam Web Design, Sydney. Even Ford Motor Company uses them!

Feel free to check out our other Usability FAQs on the Objective Digital website.

Eyetracking + Enthusiasm = richer insights into kids’ behaviour

OD FAQs | Can you do eye tracking with kids?

Of course!

Kids and teens love being asked their opinions. They freely share their ideas and criticisms (especially if they think an adult has designed something) in a direct manner that’s a delight I never tire of. Testing with kids and teens can be great fun as they are genuinely interested in helping you make things better. 

When it comes to reviewing websites they’re only ever limited by their imagination and whilst practically their ideas maybe hard to implement their suggestions will clearly reflect their most important needs. In a recent study we took kids and teens aged from 6 to 15 years through a newly developed entertainment site. The aim was to optimise the website by gaining an appreciation on how they interacted with the interface. The age of the test audience made the project ideal for utilising the Tobii Eyetracking technology. As any researcher knows when interviewing younger kids factors such as limited recall, language limitations and the heavier reliance on non-verbal behaviour are common downsides. So too is getting teen boys to more readily express themselves! However these issues were largely mitigated with the use of the Tobii Eyetracker. So with eyetracker + enthusiasm = deeper insights into kids behaviour are more accessible.


Analysis of the Tobii Eyetracker data in our study was conducted both within age groups and across age groups. The data was particularly powerful in demonstrating the effect of age and cognitive development on the extent to which an individual interacted with the website. Kids typically are positively predisposed to any new stimulus or presentations. The Tobii EyeTracker technology was able to clearly identify genuine points of attraction, comprehension and confusion.


Some of the eyetracking data revealed:

  • The older the kids were, the more they explored the home page before choosing to investigate certain areas of choice;
  • Younger kids were captivated by the icon links. They could also explore the site even without having the skill to scroll; and
  • Some elements of customization functionality were by and large ignored even though individuals expressed liking it.

Overall the data was able to clearly demonstrate that functionality appeal depended on age. The Tobii Eyetracker software is also able to produce heats maps, gaze plots, videos and more of kids interacting the website which is very compelling in the boardroom!


You can even do eye tracking with babies 😉

This is just another application of the Tobii Eyetracker technology and it has many more uses that would play a valuable role in kids’ research. Next time you’re considering kids in your research brief perhaps eyetracking can take your insights to the next level?

For more insights on eye tracking check out our website FAQs.


Qualitative researchers + usability testing = heavenly match?


In order to create great user experience there is an essential need to not only understand the functionality of the website interface but also the dynamic of the user. And it is this second element, the user, that gives rise for the qualitative researcher to come into their own with website usability studies. You might very well expect that a client would approach a quantitative researcher for this task but there is more to usability domain than meets the eye. Lets take a new view. 

Understanding human behaviour and motivations have always been the territory of qualitative researchers, understanding how user interact with a web interface is no different. Experienced qualitative researchers can bring a wealth of skills to usability testing. Qualitative researchers bring with them a richness of information. They can draw out user beliefs and motivations which translate into the way they interact with a website. They can sort through reactions and responses and probe on a user’s state of mind. Experienced qualitative researchers have the ability to succinctly hypothesise potential reactions to web functionality gleaned by deep insight from personal and direct moderation. And then interrogate that behaviour efficiently in the immediate situation.        

A qualitative review will always deliver a richness of understanding that will make a lasting impression. A recent study involving a health website demonstrated the need for designers to be fully aware of the potential anxiety parents might be feeling as they interact with the site. Emergency procedures and contact numbers were shown to be too hard to find and whilst they appeared on the home page users acknowledged they maybe distracted when engaging with the site. The information needed to be obvious and clearly differentiated with standard medical icons. These insights revealed themselves through discussing the context surrounding the usage. Keeping the parent users state of mind at the forefront of the designer agenda ensure they will create a site which is useful and therefore valuable.

There seems to be an impression that any consumer behaviour relating to the online environment typically falls into the territory of a quantitative researcher. Whether rightly or wrongly there seems to be demarcation line when technology comes into play. But here I would encourage qualitative researchers to break into the usability area as their skills would be invaluable. Perhaps qualitative researcher are traditionally more comfortable interacting simply with people and being technology free but it’s time to break out of that thinking and consider the opportunities that their skills can be applied in the online environment.

If you’re ready to take up the challenge and want to learn how to be a great usability practitioner why not join us at Objective Digital on 14th April, 2010. We are running a Usability Course to help get you up and running with confidence. Everything you need to know to get started!