Tag Archives: data

Eyetracking Metrics for Usability Studies

Eyetracking Metrics for Usability Studies

Eyetracking has been a heavily debated subject within the field of User Experience Design and in particular within the Usability community.  Some argue that eye fixations don’t necessarily equal attention or understanding, and question whether eyetracking should be used to support traditional usability findings.  However, the other side argues that when eye tracking data is used in conjuction with traditional usability techniques, it can provide deep insight into where participants look during a task which can help us determine why usability issues are present within an interface.

If you’re interested in reading more about the various arguments regarding eye tracking’s use in usability studies, take a look at these great articles:
Assuming you’ve bought into the value that eyetracking can bring to usability studies, the rest of this post will explore the specific eyetracking metrics you can use to best support usability findings.

It is our responsibility to to have an ironclad rationale to support our design decisions

“We have to arm ourselves with data, research, design patterns, and a clear understanding of our users and our content so our decisions are not made out of fear but out of real, actionable information.  Although our clients may not have articulated reasons for why they want what they want, it is our responsibility to to have an ironclad rationale to support our design decisions.” – Debra Levin Gelman

This quote is from Debra’s article “The Very Narrow Bridge.”

Thanks to @aaroni268 for pointing to this article and quote!

Designers can use data to yield better products and new ideas

“It’s becoming increasingly hard to do large-scale digital product design without integrating an understanding of data... Data analytics can help create and optimize opportunities. Designers versed in data may uncover trends or insights that not only yield better products but new product or business ideas as well.” - Luke Wroblewski

“It’s becoming increasingly hard to do large-scale digital product design without integrating an understanding of data… Data analytics can help create and optimize opportunities. Designers versed in data may uncover trends or insights that not only yield better products but new product or business ideas as well.” – Luke Wroblewski

This quote is from Luke’s article “Data in the Design.”

Designs should be informed, but not solely determined by user experience data.

“Smart graphic design is always some balance of current expressive trends, information architecture, classical layout aesthetics, and detailed research on user preferences and motivations. You should never ignore solid user experience data, but mountains of data won’t auto-magically build you a successful site. Design is a synthetic activity. It can be informed by the results of analysis, but the tools of analysis don’t create beautiful designs.” - Patrick Lynch

“Smart graphic design is always some balance of current expressive trends, information architecture, classical layout aesthetics, and detailed research on user preferences and motivations. You should never ignore solid user experience data, but mountains of data won’t auto-magically build you a successful site. Design is a synthetic activity. It can be informed by the results of analysis, but the tools of analysis don’t create beautiful designs.” – Patrick Lynch

Patrick’s quote is from the article “Visual Desision Making.”

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Solve problems by moving from data, to information, to knowledge, to wisdom

"As the designer moves from data, to information, to knowledge and then to wisdom, the problem being solved changes from a single dimensional issue of aesthetics or organization to one of selective contextualization, and then to one of experience." - Jon Kolko"As the designer moves from data, to information, to knowledge and then to wisdom, the problem being solved changes from a single dimensional issue of aesthetics or organization to one of selective contextualization, and then to one of experience." - Jon Kolko

“As the designer moves from data, to information, to knowledge and then to wisdom, the problem being solved changes from a single dimensional issue of aesthetics or organization to one of selective contextualization, and then to one of experience.” – Jon Kolko

Read more about the process of “Design Synthesis” that helps us understand design problems in Jon’s article “Information Architecture and Design Strategy: The Importance of Synthesis during the Process of Design.”

Designers need to get better with using data

“There are many near-term benefits to applying analytics to user experience design. And the long-term promises so much. So there needs to be a wedding of web analytics and user experience. Designers need to get better with data to finally be able to design for finding, as well as to better communicate with managers, business analysts, and, to a degree, information technologists and developers. Designers will have to learn a foreign language to win them over. That language is data.” - Louis Rosenfeld

“There are many near-term benefits to applying analytics to user experience design. And the long-term promises so much. So there needs to be a wedding of web analytics and user experience. Designers need to get better with data to finally be able to design for finding, as well as to better communicate with managers, business analysts, and, to a degree, information technologists and developers. Designers will have to learn a foreign language to win them over. That language is data.” – Louis Rosenfeld

Read Louis’ article “The road to finding is paved with data: Web analytics and user experience” for more thoughts on the importance of data driven design.