Eye Tracking Review of GazeHawk – A Useful Website Marketing Tool

Since we are one of the 1st companies to use this new, affordable eye tracking solution, I thought I would share some of the results. During our usability testing studies we ask users to tell us what catches their eye first. However, this is a subjective response.

That’s where eye tracking comes in. GazeHawk has figured out how to use webcams to track the eye and create a heat map. A much cheaper solution than using specialty equipment.

On our test we asked for female users because of the nature of the site. GazeHawk warned us that they could not promise any demographics at this point but we decided to take our chances.

In the end we received both males and females—and there was a big difference in what they looked at. If your website is skewed to a specific demographic you may want to wait until they can offer tester segmentation.

Here are some highlights of our test:

  • The eye tracking confirmed what we thought would get the most attention. What was surprising was how extreme this was. Other elements were hardly looked at. A heat map like this can go a long way to convincing clients what people look at
  • The other surprise was the amount of attention our small flash slide show attracted. Conventional wisdom says that flash is usually ignored. It could be that our site is exceptional because there is a small amount of text which continues from slide to slide
  • We were puzzled when we saw that many people fixated on the left side – but there was nothing there. When we checked on the live site we realized that for some reason the heat map was missing the side menu


This composite heat map shows that people focused on the center of the site. We have blurred the map to protect our client’s privacy

GazeHawk was great to work with:

  • The tests came back a little later than promised but I would chalk that up to startup pains
  • Their website should have more information. Many people don’t know all the subtleties of reading eye tracking heat maps and they can come to the wrong conclusions
  • They included brief feedback from the testers. That is a nice addition

Eye tracking  is one more tool to use in conjunction with usability testing and web analytics. It would be more useful if eye tracking  was combined with a task. Hopefully, that option will be available soon.

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