An increasing number of technology tools highlight the incorporation of eye tracking and reveal necessary adaptations in researching the effectiveness of 21st century tech innovations. Therefore, complex and time consuming measures were conducted in a study to identify the usability of tools such as the explainer engine of simpleshow.
Various studies including eye tracking tests, partly in combination with attention tracking methods and questionnaires, were conducted to better understand how viewers focus on video and why they are attracted to certain content, and to apply that knowledge to mysimpleshow, to make the experience as beneficial as possible.
As the research method is time and money consuming and requires extensive materials, the main study was of more qualitative nature, including 11 participants between the age of 20 and 30; 3 female and 8 male participants.
How does the method work?
The study used a specific eye tracking engine, called Tobii, that monitors the movement of the eyes of the recipients with the aid of a webcam and then uses its program to grasp such information and store it. Thus, a video is created with fixation and saccades of the participants including dots and lines from watching the original video. The longer a viewer focuses on one specific area of the screen, the more the size of the orange dot increases and thus represents the fixation. The method required further clarification methods through a questionnaire to minimize possible interpretation errors that may mislead to false conclusions as to why participants spent more time on specific areas, including factors of confusion, interest, etc.
The orange circle indicates a strong fixation on the dollar bills on the screen.
What has Eye Tracking revealed?
The results of the combined eye tracking method are as follows:
– there is a strong influence of the approaching hand on attention and perception of the audience
– in general, motion is considered the strongest attention stimuli in regards to the simpleshow format
– slower and non-immediate recognition of stop motion animation supports the positive effect of the guided appearance of scribbles by the hand
– the simultaneous appearance of figures through the hand motion in addition to the auditive information reassure successful tracking and minimize overstimulation and irritation
Contradicting literature indications identifying an attention increase or favored examination of colored images, the test revealed no indication of such preference by a non-existing fixation on those images. Thus, colored images seem to play a submissive role as the hand motion as well as the auditive support and the order of appearance seem to be sufficient structure for the participant. However, the survey following the eye tracking test revealed a positive attitude towards the implementation of colored images to counteract monotony. The eye tracking test further reflects the conducted data from the survey and thus serves as a form of validity of the research as well as indication of peoples’ attention in regards to the tool.
Applications, Implications, Further Research?
The eye tracking method indicates the high number of external factors that play a role in the interpretation of data and thus may not be used as solely a method of conducted research but a supplement to validate the data and visually explain preferences and irritation to optimize the different factors of the explainer engine. Instead of gaining the subjective view in forms of speech (surveys, questionnaires), evidence is gained through a tool that elicits the conscious answering process and allows for a more unconscious, and thus more reliable data. The tool aids in testing certain applications such as the hand motion, and serves as an indication for positive future usage or allows for re-evaluations of wished implications.
To sum it up, the eye tracking method is considered a supporting evidence conducting method that served the purpose of identifying the influence of hand motion in the study. It further acted on, the choice of black and white scribbles and the less frequent usage of color identified its positive effect. Other effects such as the boxing away of scribbles were further cleared to not be disturbing to the viewer by the eye tracking test.