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Eyetracking Smackdown

by David Sturtz

Two headlines were ironically juxtaposed in my feed reader today: Eye Tracking Technology comes to Philadelphia from Rob Tannen on Electronic Ink’s Fresh Ink blog, and Eyetracking: Worth the Expense? from Jared Spool at UIE’s Brain Sparks. Also in the ring is Jakob Nielsen, who recently touched on eyetracking with his Alertbox column, F-Shaped Pattern for Reading Web Content.

The contrast between what people see and where their eyes are pointed is intriguing. It’s similar to the difference between what users do and what they say they do. Perhaps it’s the inverse, what people say they see is more important than where they actually point their eyes. However, finding the disconnect between the two, and determining the reasons behind the breakdown, seems to be the most useful application of eyetracking.

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