I read an interesting synopsis of some eye-tracking research done on website viewing habits and the subsequent implications that provides for development of any website. There are some very helpful tips if you manage or develop websites. Here’s the link: http://www.virtualhosting.com/blog/2007/scientific-web-design-23-actionable-lessons-from-eye-tracking-studies/
I also found one on newsletters that may also be helpful if you have an on-line newsletter:
In both instances, the results speak to the importance of words’ compelling headlines that grab a reader’s attention and convey benefit-oriented information.
But these two studies remind me of an eye-tracking study done with kids. The study was showing the visual path of a mother shopping in a toy store. The second part of the study showed the visual path of a child shopping in that same toy store. As an adult watching the footage, I can tell you that the child’s eye patterns were physically difficult for me to watch. The child’s eye movements were at lightning speed compared to the adults, flitting from logos and images with the speed of a hummingbird. If you have a difficult time viewing movies that use the creatively kitsch technique I call “Shaky Camera,” then you would never have been able to keep up with this child’s view of the world. What it highlights to me is that, even when we are talking about eye-tracking research, you have to think of who the target audience is. I know I get boring by saying it over and over and over, but you must know your consumer; you must know your consumer; you must know your consumer. Read the tips provided in the articles highlighted above; but if your target audience is a child, you need to think about how to visually appeal to someone with the energy and timeframe of the cartoon character “Road Runner” or “Speedy Gonzalez.”