Eye Tracking

What do people look at in an advertisement or on websites? How do consumers search and orient themselves on the sales racks? Eye tracking refers to a market research method, in which an eye camera measures where the viewer’s gaze falls.


Eye movements that are imperceptible at first glance say a lot about what people pay attention to. Attention is a basic requirement for advertising, store room design or websites, for example, being noticed. In the best case, attractively designed stimuli trigger a buying process.

With the help of eye tracking, eye movements and attention can be accurately analyzed and displayed. For example, the following questions in terms of user behaviour can be answered with eye tracking.

  • Which elements of an advertising display (e.g. logo, headline) are perceived most? “Eye-catcher”
  • How long and how often are these elements viewed?
  • In which order are the elements looked at?
  • Which product does the customer notice first/last?
  • Can customers orient themselves easily?
  • Which print advertisement generates the most attention?
  • What information is actually perceived by customers and what is merely “scanned”?
  • Is important information placed in attention-grabbing places?
  • Are users led effectively to content relevant to them or do they get lost in the layout of the site?

Eye-tracking works on the basis of non-hazardous infrared rays, which are directed at the subject’s face. At the same time, a video log is recorded with an eye camera. Mobile or stationary devices are available for eye-tracking.

For students who want to know more about eye-tracking, we have created an online tutorial.

For further reading (in German), we recommend:

Schröder, Hendrik, Groth, Frank and Mennenöh, Julian (2011). Innovative Measuring Methods. Eye-tracking in Retail – A Guide to View Recording. Marketing Review St. Gallen, 25 (6), 38-43. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11621-008-0106-y