We were researching the best eye-tracking devices to run user research studies on both desktop and mobile in 2022. It was a bit of work speaking to all the sales folks and evaluating options, so we thought we'd summarise our learnings to save you some time.
This article covers what we chose and why.
I'm guessing that you invest a lot of time into designing apps and websites, but you never truly know what customers actually look at when they use your product. Do they notice your special offer button? Or do their eyes get drawn to the bright red Terms and Conditions link instead?
Eye-tracking devices help you answer questions that are key to customer satisfaction and conversion. They are a helpful tool for understanding your users' behaviour in "real-life" surroundings. With the help of a researcher, you can understand how participants view and interact with your product in a more realistic setting. During user testing, eye tracking devices can provide valuable insights to reveal what users do and where they look rather than what they say.
As an end result, you can optimise your product to make sure people see and tap the parts of your app you want them to.
If you don't know how to do eye-tracking, a researcher can help gather and analyse eye-tracking data, which in turn allows you to draw useful conclusions from it.
Next, let's look at why you might want to buy an eye-tracking device.
There are lots of uses for eye-tracking devices, from understanding how people look at printed adverts to understanding how people interact with an eCommerce website.
As a mobile app development company, we design and develop desktop, mobile and web apps that are pretty mission-critical. These apps serve millions of users and generate millions of pounds for our clients, so it's important that people find them easy to use and actually notice the important things. So, for us at least, we looked into buying eye-tracking glasses to get more visibility of where our clients' apps were working for users, and where they weren't.
Fun fact. Eye-tracking devices actually went viral because YouTubers were using them to set "eye tracker challenges". They'd set themselves challenges to watch something distracting and prove that they wouldn't look at it. Google it!
Right, let's explore the devices we considered buying.
Below you can find a list of pros and cons for the products we looked at more in-depth.
Disclaimer: there are plenty more options out there, but these were the ones we thought were worth investing more time in based on reviews, pricing, and fit-for-purposes.
Around £3K - £10K depending on renting/buying/options.
Price around £400 a month, pay for what you need it when you need it.
Free tier and from £21 per month
Price around £3,000.
In the end, we felt this product hit the right balance between data quality, support and cost. Also, it works on Mac which was important to us.
This photo shows Adam, one of our talented developers and product owners, setting this up in preparation for our first eye-tracking sessions in Virginia USA.
There are many options out there, and our suggestion would be to make a list of what you need:
Note that you probably won't find any cheap eye-tracking glasses, they are specialised, precision devices.
The learning curve can be pretty steep, so ensure that you have more than one person available to train you on using them.
Don't be afraid to ask for support, as it can be rather costly to just run at them with trial and error, and you might miss out on some valuable data.
By Anna Scandella, UX Designer, Data and PO
Leave comments below or contact Anna to chat about it over a coffee.