Sat in a cinema, at a casino was a first for me. In fact, sitting in a casino is a first for me… and not to mention, sitting in a cinema, in a casino, watching an eye tracking presentation is a first for me.
So the guy stands there and put a video on with an orange dot flying around all over the screen. He wasn’t talking much and the cinema was fairly empty… a fairly dull situation really. But alas, what I am looking at is the eyes movements around a website. What amazes me is how fast we look from item to item… I was always under the impression that my eyes waded from item to item, rather than flying around at a Mach level that even astronauts would struggle to achieve. The other thing that fascinated me is how little we actually read.
When you’re browsing the website, more re to the point, when I’m browsing a website, I tend to scan read everything while saying “yeah, i read that”… but it would seem I am not alone! We scan over web content at such a great rate, milliseconds become very important. You don’t want to waste any of the visitors time, and make sure you get all your USPs to the users eye as quickly and as clearly as possible.
A good example, and probably one of the better things I took from the presentation was that if one has a strong, bold navigation system, and then a call to action underneath the navigation, chances are the users will not see your call to action, despite it being right in front of them. It’s almost like we have an inability to take in lots of key items all at once and we automatically filter out thing we consider to be “junk”. As Roy said on the IT crowd once, we have automatic filters!
To summarise, I already knew that the hierachy of elements on the page will greatly influence your CTR and what your visitors will target, however it was great to actually see it with your own eyes. I definitely recommend taking a look at Eye Tracking sometime, however I do not consider it to be a defintive answer to what users are drawn to on your site as test/research situations can vary from reality.