Analyze user tests with eye tracking

Analyze user tests

Research suggests that what we’re looking at is usually also what we’re thinking about – or at least closely related. That’s why eye tracking is a useful tool for understanding human interaction and user behavior.

Eye tracking takes you behind common interaction patterns like clicks and scrolling and allows you to discover the reasons behind these interactions. It helps reveal how the information is processed and the motivations behind peoples’ actions, and of course it lets you see what they see – or don’t see when interacting with your product or prototype. Basically it removes a lot of the guesswork.

Here's how you do it.

Steps to take when analyzing your recordings

To obtain quality insights and get the most out of your user tests it’s important that you develop a suitable method.
This is a suggestion on how to structure the analysis of your test recordings.

Analyze - Dive into the recording

1. Don't dive straight into the recording

Take a moment to write down your first thoughts and observations from the user test.

This could be things you observed during the test and wish to clarify with the recording, or it could be any initial observations you had upon looking at the recording. 

Analyze - First 20 seconds

2. First 20 seconds

First impressions are everything. The first few seconds should give you a solid indication of whether or not you’re doing your UX right and meeting users’ expectations. What do they notice first? What do they do first? What elements do they notice? Do you get your message across, and what entices them to stay or causes them to leave?

With the help of eye tracking, you can measure all the visual attention given in those first crucial moments.

What to look for

  • The most attractive/important elements on your website and how they perform
  • The conversion steps and what engages the user.
  • Whether or not users look at the things you want them to see; like brand and messaging.
Analyze - Full user journey

3. The full user journey

The journey is everything. Understanding users on their journey as they complete and succeed with tasks, browse your site or join your community, should guide everything from design decisions to positioning in the market.

Eye tracking is one of the most detailed and efficient ways to understand your user journey. It can show you what users see and do, but more importantly it is able to tell you what they did not see or understand where other tools and methods fall short.

What to look for

  • Steps taken by the user
  • Visual anchors and what guides the user forward
  • Ease of use and the ability to “process” the information presented
  • Pain points and drop offs, where in the flow is the user getting interrupted
  • How easily the outcome was achieved rather than just a simple success rate (i.e. how many steps/hurdles).
Analyze example - Into the details

4. Get into the details

After you’ve made all the preliminary steps and covered the basics, ask yourself, what is it that we are interested in understanding in detail?

It’s important that you establish the main objectives and that they effectively relate to the test goals and tasks completed by participants.

We will give you some examples of details you can obtain from your user testing recordings.


Examples of details within your test recording that you can analyze and gather insights on.

Analyze - Images and campaign content

Images and campaign content

In an era of information overload, the steady growth of Instagram and fierce competition for attention, a good image can be the deciding factor for success. But what defines a good image?

By using eye tracking, you can move beyond the clicks, scrolls and interactions and understand what genuinely catches users’ attention so you can optimize content, images and ads.

What to look for

  • Which elements of the image are viewed
  • Could you tweak specific elements of an image to increase conversion?
  • Is a smile always effective or could another reaction work better?
  • How large should the product package be?
  • What if you minimize the brand logo?
  • When is the image used in a different context (like on a page)?
  • What elements in the image perform the best (and lead to conversion)?
  • Does the image receive a lot of attention? Do users return to the image?
Analyze - Reading your text

Are people reading your text?

How willing are users to read a text? We spend a lot of time crafting product text, but how do people really consume it?

Getting your message across in an efficient way is now more important than ever, but how can you understand the experience attached to reading content?

Eye tracking can indicate how easy the text is to digest and identify any pain-points that might lead to drop-off or a missed chance to convert.

What to look for

  • Is the text easy to read or do people have to review it several times?
  • What words do people get stuck on?
  • How does it flow?
  • How long do you retain users’ attention when they read?
  • How does design and the content of text and textual elements impact the user experience?
  • Can you identify any recurrent drop-off points?
  • How does the placement and design perform?
Analyze - Navigation and menu

Navigation and menus

Navigation is not only about the steps the user takes, but also the content that leads them to the right place.

What makes a good menu? How do you achieve user goals and make the experience as easy as possible?

By understanding visual navigation, the performance of content like text and icons, and the use of search boxes and filters, eye tracking can give you an in-depth understanding of user behavior.

What to look for

  • How long does it take for content and cues to be understood?
  • How straightforward is the visual path of the user?
  • The level of user-friendliness and preferred interactions with different functions on the page such as menu and search fields.
  • Icons and wayfinding
  • Search vs navigation - what do they choose?
  • The visual journey taken once a menu is opened.
Analyze - Checkout and purchase

Checkout and conversion

The often fickle behavior of online shoppers can cause many virtual carts to be abandoned at the checkout.

Regardless of how positive the user experience is and how many visits a page receives, the failure to buy means lots of lost revenue and customers. Eye tracking will tell you exactly what happened in those final moments and indicate what could have caused the loss of the sale.

What to look for

  • Visual attention and patterns of movement.
  • What’s seen or not and how this impacts the final conversion step.
  • If visual elements impact the final decision.
  • How you evaluate the importance of content.