What do you see when you're surfing?: using eye tracking to predict salient regions of web pages

Georg Buscher; Edward Cutrell; Meredith Ringel Morris
In: CHI '09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on human factors in computing systems. ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-09), April 4-9, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Pages 21-30, ISBN 978-1-60558-246-7, ACM, 2009.


An understanding of how people allocate their visual attention when viewing Web pages is very important for Web authors, interface designers, advertisers and others. Such knowledge opens the door to a variety of innovations, ranging from improved Web page design to the creation of compact, yet recognizable, visual representations of long pages. We present an eye-tracking study in which 20 users viewed 361 Web pages while engaged in information foraging and page recognition tasks. From this data, we describe general location-based characteristics of visual attention for Web pages dependent on different tasks and demographics, and generate a model for predicting the visual attention that individual page elements may receive. Finally, we introduce the concept of fixation impact, a new method for mapping gaze data to visual scenes that is motivated by findings in vision research.



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