Now, let's add another layer to this narrative. As eye-tracking tools evolved in parallel, they collided with the world of heatmaps. The result? Eye-tracking heatmaps offer crystal-clear insights into dynamic processes. This technological marriage provides a powerful lens to enhance our comprehension of the ever-expanding landscape of data.
What is an eye-tracking heatmap?
Discovering the user's visual journey, an eye-tracking heatmap
showcases areas of attention during exploration. It reveals the most and least attention-grabbing parts of a visual space. Using warm colors (red or orange) for high focus and cool tones (blue or green) for low focus, it traces eye movements.
Through this, it tracks how often viewers focus on elements and for how long, presenting it in a visual heatmap. This tool helps UX designers, CRO practitioners, and marketers understand viewer attention. It identifies what's interesting, engaging, redundant, or confusing in a given space.
Similar to Mouse Movement Heatmaps, which track cursor activity, both aim to decode user attention and interaction, recognizing that cursor movements may not always precisely mirror gaze direction.
These eye-tracking heatmaps can be mainly used to predict how much attention a creative will get. Imagine that back in the day, when AI was not known, eye-tracking used to be a long and costly process that could only be conducted by scientists who had experience in it. Even though it would give insightful and accurate results, using it for marketing or a website was not efficient. Luckily, we have moved past that strenuous process and have merged eye-tracking with AI to get the maximum benefits in minutes and from anywhere in the world, avoiding the hassle of finding a lab to conduct research.
AI accumulates huge sums of data from eye-tracking studies, and through this information, it can formulate attention heatmaps on new data, which are nearly as precise as in-person eye-tracking research. Junbi.ai
are two great examples of using AI and eye-tracking data together. We will dive deeper into it in the upcoming sections.
What can eye-tracking heatmaps be used for?
- Insights into attention patterns: Eye-tracking heatmaps reveal the focal points on a webpage, shedding light on what attracts user attention and what might go unnoticed. This information aids in emphasizing vital content and refining the overall page layout.
- Enhanced readability: Delving into the user's gaze, adjustments such as font size, color contrasts, and text placement can be fine-tuned to elevate the overall readability and comprehension of the content.
- Highlights distractors: Through the heatmap, one can see if the small distractors are gaining more attention compared to a page’s main links, buttons, opt-ins, and CTAs
- Optimal visual hierarchy: Functioning as a visual guide, eye-tracking heatmaps pinpoint the most effective design, ensuring users swiftly locate essential information with ease.
- Screen size and device: A creative or a website is perceived differently on different screen sizes or devices. Placements of important elements such as CTAs, buttons, etc. might get attention on a desktop but might not be easily visible on a phone device. Heatmaps can help solve this problem, as one can run their creative or website through eye-tracking to make content according to the device.
- User-centric design: Unveiling how users visually navigate a site contributes to the creation of a website that not only meets but exceeds user expectations in terms of intuitiveness and enjoyment.
- Highlights the best content format for you: Advertisers or influencers display content in different ways, such as pictures, videos, banners, or posters. One can test for attention by using the same content but in different formats and running it through eye-tracking platforms to see what content formats are predicted to get the most attention.
- A/B testing: Eye-Tracking Heatmaps serve as invaluable tools for comparing different designs, aiding in the determination of which version more effectively captures user attention and guides their focus.
An example of a company that provides eye-tracking heatmaps
You might be reading this article because you are either curious about heatmaps or you are planning on using them but would like to know more about what they offer. The information above gives you an idea of what a heatmap is and the things you can use it for. Now comes an important question: How do I even create a heatmap?
Data points, statistics, and diverse colors might seem overwhelming to indulge in, but would you believe if I said that all you have to do to create your heatmap is to upload your content on an AI platform, and within minutes you will get your attention heatmap with insights? It sounds too good to be true, but AI has simplified our lives, so why not make use of it?
No more needing experience to read data results or a fancy lab and tons of money, Alpha.One, a science-driven company that has two AI products, Junbi.ai
, is simplifying and adding insights through their eye-tracking-based heatmaps for marketers, UI/UX designers, and anybody that requires measuring attention for their products.expoze.ioexpoze.io
is an AI platform where you can upload an image or a video for which you can get an attention prediction heatmap. An important feature they have is that you can select your own ‘Area of Interests’ (AOIs). This means you are able to mark important elements in your design where you would specifically like to see how much attention those elements will get.
For example, the billboard shown below was uploaded on expoze.io
to predict attention. This advertisement would have no value if one could not recall what brand and message it represented. Such a creative billboard can become distracting from the main message; hence, to see if the brand name is getting enough attention, we highlighted that area to check how much attention it would get. As can be seen on the left under the “Area of interest” column, the brand name is able to get 18.1% attention. Good, but it could be better! Even though the billboard was creative and eye-catching, the viewers might not have noticed the brand name that well.
Therefore, using this option for your heatmaps is vital, as it gives you major insights that are usually unconscious and not the easiest to spot.
Now, if we were to ask you, how would you read this heatmap? Take a minute and think about what these colors represent.
Simple answer: The dark tones like red show where the most attention of a viewer would go, which is the face, brand name, and message. The lighter tones, like yellow, show that it would receive attention, but a lot less. The areas that show no color mean that no attention will be directed there. If your brand name shows no color on the heatmap, that means you will have to change its positioning right away!