Eye tracking is the recording and evaluation of eye movements in relation to a certain surface (e. g. a screen). The moments in which the gaze stays longer at a certain point are recorded in particularly, or at points in which the eyes move back and forth quickly or slowly. Eye tracking uses so-called eye trackers. Today, eye tracking is used in science, online marketing and neuromarketing. The results from eye tracking are often visualized in heat maps. For example, F-shape patterns can be created here.
The analysis of eye movements is not an invention of the 20th century. Research was carried out in this area as early as the 19th century – mainly analyzing the movements of the gaze during reading. With the invention of the film camera at the beginning of the 20th century, new possibilities for eye tracking arose.
Various methods of eye tracking have been used since the 1970s, which differ in that they either evaluate reflexes on the retina or cornea of the eye, or measure movements using special contact lenses or attachments.
Today, there are usually two basic types of eye trackers:
There are many applications for eye tracking – the most important are listed here:
When buying in an online shop, the design of the shop plays a major role. Where product information is placed can be a decisive factor in terms of triggering a conversion. The placement of banners or other display advertising is just as important. This is not only a question of possible interaction with the user, but also the price paid for an ad item.
Eye Tracking is also used to analyze website design using different display systems such as browsers, screen sizes or different end devices. Google also uses eye-tracking methods to design its SERP advertising space around the SERP in order to create optimal conditions for advertising customers.
With the help of eye tracking, those responsible can determine how content affects the visitors of a website and where users' glances are. Thus, eye tracking offers a well-founded analysis method that can meaningfully support web design and delivers more than just the fact that content "above the fold", i.e. without scrolling, is better perceived by users.