See what others see?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a graphic record of what you see, or view where you’ve been looking? What caught your attention?

Do you know what your customers are looking at? Does it matter? Would it help if you knew?

Here is an introduction to the interesting subject of Heat Maps. It is perhaps a slightly misleading name in this context, since we also used actual maps for this experiment.

eye-looking-at-heat-on-mapYou’ll remember in the eye tracking study discussed in another page that participants in that study were asked to sit in front of a computer screen and, using their eyes only, plan a route from the starting station shown with the green hand to the destination station shown with the red target. That was an active task.

In the passive task of the Heat Map experiment, participants were only required to just look at each of the maps in turn when presented on screen. This is what was called the ‘Open Question’.

The system collected the gaze data and aggregated it into the heat maps you will see in the document you can download in the link below. Warning, it is only a collection of subway maps but for those uninitiated into the amazing science of eye tracking it could be a useful stimulus to think about how you might use this particular science in your own area of responsibility.

In our case we wanted to test the accuracy of the designs and ‘see’ what participants were looking at, and ‘how’ they were planning their journeys. This is the first stage. More studies would be required to fully understand the effectiveness of the designs for the purposes they have been created for.

We found that the accuracy of the designs was 100% so a very good result.

We invite you to download the full document with all the maps here: all-heat-maps-combinedrobinworldwide

Here’s an example of what you can see in the document (higher resolution in the pdf).


‘Clean’ map before and viewing ‘heat’ applied below