Writing up and presenting eye tracking results - commercial reports

Consumer insights Human–computer interaction User Experience

Get a few tips on how to write up and present the findings from your eye tracking study.

After you’ve completed the analysis of data and uncovered key insights and findings, the next challenge is reporting your work in a clear and persuasive manner. While eye tracking researchers have, in the past, approached this step by showing tables of eye tracking metrics and the obligatory gaze plots and heat maps, audiences have become more sophisticated and demanding. As such, nature of eye tracking reporting has also advanced.

Here are some key points that Tobii Pro has learned from working with our eye tracking customers and research consulting clients.

  • Frame the work in a compelling narrative. Everybody loves a good story, especially people who need to understand why aspects of visual attention during a task is important to their goals. Establish that there is a person behind each pair of eyes and use their journey as the backbone upon which to contextualize your insights.

“Marcia’s mother always used Brand X detergent. As a new mother and the primary shopper in her household, her last trip to the grocery store was bewildering. Should she buy what her mother   used to buy? Or should she try out Brand Y with amazing stain dispersing technology? What guides her decision making? Here’s the story of how Marcia and shoppers like her deal with the challenges of navigating the detergent category.”

  • Present eye tracking findings together with findings from other techniques. The participant’s experience is holistic in that they’re often asked to just do what they typically would do in a given situation. They may not be cognizant of the fact that they are being subjected to multiple, diverse tools and techniques. Accordingly, effectively communicating the coherence and supportive value of these data streams is a key to masterful reporting. It also makes a good finding an undeniable insight.

“In this gaze plot, we see the user scanning back and forth looking for the “add to cart” button, which unfortunately doesn’t clearly announce itself as a call to action. An increase in galvanic skin     conductance over the same 12 seconds prior to abandonment suggest increasing frustration until they just give up and leave.”

  • Present the voice of the user. One user saying how terrible a particular page or package is worth a dozen data tables.

“While the system usability scale data and eye tracking metrics for the current website were consistent in characterizing the difficulty in finding out where to proceed to checkout with the existing design, user “Joe X.” said it best: “I tried and tried but in the end I just got fed up and left. I wouldn’t use this site if you paid me.””

  • Use graphics, images, and data visualizations effectively. Use the right graphic, at the right time, to make the right point. For example, to show accumulation and distribution of looking, one could use heat maps. To show sequence or order of looking, it’s better to use gaze plots.

As always, keep in mind that, more than likely, your audience will not be eye tracking experts. For researchers, there is beauty in the method and art in the interpretation. For the audience and stakeholder, the message is the value. Being able to communicate the meaning, implications, and actions stemming from the work is no less important part of the research process than running the actual study.

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