The most intriguing thing which stuck my mind till the end of the class was the application of Eye Trackers!
Eye tracking has become an increasingly popular method that answers array of endless questions of the researchers in the area of market research, usability testing, advertising research, neuroscience and sports research. It uses eye tracking visualizations such as gaze plots, heat maps and area of interest analysis to evaluate how consumers experience and perceive different media and communication messages.
Particularly in the area of Market research, Physical shelf -tests allows the utmost realism. Here, the testing takes place directly at the point of the sale. Places where POS is not possible, virtual test-studios are created to perform the evaluations. This also makes it possible to test a relatively high number of different design alternatives efficiently at a low cost. Then there is a mobile eye-tracking system which allows you to divert attention to the most relevant areas in POS thus making it possible to test the shopper’s orientation at the point of sale in an optimum fashion.
Many times we happen to encounter displays, posters, danglers, shelf branding, shelf talkers etc in front of a shop. These are either tested directly or via physical mock-ups at the point of sale. Eye tracking plays a vital role here to test how often people take a view of these, at what points and for how long.
At the early stage of a project, marketers usually organize concept workshops to ensure that the right target audience has been targeted. Various advertising campaigns are analyzed be it print, television or online media and with this analysis using eye tracker technique, it is ensured whether the right target audience is being getting addressed and what are the points on which the audience focuses on. This information majorly helps them to modify and refine the ad structure of the company. Websites of the companies as well as e-commerce sites share the similar need to identify where the information is presumed to be, which page grabs attention/distraction and which information is perceived and understood.
Social media has become lifeline for online advertising with 1.5 billion people users being on facebook alone. Surprisingly 58% of the total population on internet use social media. This makes it an important platform for not only providing opportunities for classical advertising but also a good interacting medium for a company with its target group. Eye tracking here gives us the evaluated feedback by determining the distinctiveness, attractiveness and the tendency of any post /ad to get chosen by the target user.
However there are many limitations of eye tracking technique. It is found to be misleading in some cases since it does not capture our peripheral vision which constitutes 98% of our vision field. This is an important aspect since it’s the peripheral region which helps us to decide where to fixate our fovea next. Fixation doesn’t represent attention or understanding nor it conveys any meaning. Considering the high cost, complexity and the effort that it requires, many people argue it to be a not-so-worthy process. Eye tracking is not the essential process but if you can afford it and know its effective use, it is definitely worth it!!