Science is incredible. Our age of technology allows for some pretty darn amazing study and research. One breakthrough technology being implemented in marketing and retain (among other fields) is that of eye tracking technology.
Yes, following where the eyes go on a print ad helps to fine tune the add for maximum appeal and impact. Determining how eyes view a display, or read a brochure, online post, etc helps to make the communication more effective if you know how to position things. Here is a picture of an eye tracking of two versions of the ad for a hair product. With the simple change of having the model look at the hair product there is improvement of viewing the label of the product.
The display shows the trail of the eye as it views the ad. The deeper red (hotter) the more time was spent on that particular location. No color change indicates areas not looked at.
The technology is reaching to retail stores, and helping to determine how to maximize display exposure to catch the eye, and draw the buyer to the display.
And there are studies of how and what men focus on in a photo compared to how and what women focus on in that same photo. Sadly those photos are copy written, and I could not share them here. But it is interesting that women focused on face, jewelry and shoes or feet. Men focused on chest, groin and face. While the studies are inconclusive as to why we look at things differently I wonder if it is wired in because of our traditional roles – men sizing up the person, women studying their face. Time will tell us the real story of the differences. Mine was just a guess.
And eye tracking technology is impacting the way web sites are developed, and blogs are written. As you can see in the photo immediately above, wherever the eye focused is represented by color on the page. The more the look, the longer the eye stopped at a spot the “hotter” the color. Red is the maximum time the eye spent on that page.
So what is the take away? We don’t just look straight at anything. Our eyes wander, glance some places and gaze intently at other places. How can we use this knowledge? In my case, i would love to have the technology look at my blog to see how this plays out to the eye, and how i could improve readability and visibility.
Technology is fascinating. Truely so.