The Revolution in attention measurement

Attention measurement with 1,000 people within 3 days? Half of them in rural areas all over Germany? And at a reasonable cost? A few years ago this is something we would not have thought possible.

Today we can measure eye movements online with people who are home sitting in front of their PCs. They allow us temporary access to their webcam, and with the webcam we measure their eye movement. This is revolutionary and is a huge saving in costs and time.

Many participants, short time, low costs

With the help of Eye-Tracking 3 phases of the viewing process can be measured:


1. Contact

2. consolidation

3. Exploration


The Contact Measurement indicates how strongly an element draws our eye. It measures how likely it is that we contact an element and how determined we are in it’s selection. It is used for processing the following questions and optimizations:


Learned look and learned overlook (disregard)

Eye Tracking identifies trends in viewing behavior of your target group. A statistical analysis over various times shows that whether format, placements and creatives are preferred or shunned is dependent on previous user experience. Based on expectations and viewing behavior, intuitive content, preferred display formats and motifs can be selected.


Salience and purchasing decisions

How striking is your product? Does it differentiate itself from the environment of your competitors? The art of being visually different and attracting attention early often determines whether a product is purchased.


Measure and optimize visual layout

Is it possible to draw attention to a certain element of a design? The ability to quickly find information requires a definite visual organization. This can be measured and optimized with the aid of Eye Tracking.


Only after the viewing can we clearly see a motive. A continued focus reveals that it is relevant for our purpose or speaks to us emotionally.

The characteristics of focus are as follows:


Relevant or disturbing?

We decide in less than 2 tenths of a second whether what we notice from the corner of our eye corresponds to our expectation and goals. Short contact with eye catching, but not relevant elements, negatively affect our media experience. On the basis of an Eye Tracking measurement information and motifs can be selected and positioned optimally for the relevant user experience.


Communication needs introduction and motivation

Introductory picture motifs and lines of text should not only hold attention but also generate motivation for viewing connected content. A corresponding transition of the gaze marks an important deepening of attention of the viewer to active exploration of the content.


Memorable highlights

Images and scenes that repeatedly bind and forward the attention can become an anchor and a highpoint of your communication. The deepening of the central theme has a decisive influence on how sustainable and influential contact with your brand is.


The Exploration parameter indicates how completely the visible information of a media element has been processed. It is a measure of the viewer’s interest in the content of the media element.


Message transfer or termination of the communication?

A premature termination of viewing or skipping of information are indications that content has not be transmitted as planned. Eye Trakcing shows the points at which content viewing was cancelled and what information has been skipped.


Successful contact can be short

Eye Tracking studies show that successful brand communication can be achieved in 2 seconds of visual processing. Eye Tracking enables the selection of a suitable media context and consideration of the communication efficiently.


Attention measures interest more accurately than interaction

Our interest in content or an object appears most directly in a complete visual processing of all associated visible information. Whether we make up our minds with a click or an interaction with an object, it is strongly influenced by situational factors. Eye Tracking data enables us to react to the interest of the target group and to encourage that interaction.


1. How many images should I show the participant?

We nearly always recommend a monadic design when using online eye tracking as this avoids participants playing spot the difference and looking at the images unnaturally trying to find differences between the designs they have seen.

2. How many participants should I consider needing to take part?

We normally recommend n100 per stimuli for the eye tracking.

3. How long should we show the participants the image?

Generally, we try to ensure a biotic environment and show the stimuli in as realistic setting as possible. This means that ideally, we want to give respondents as many degrees of freedom as possible. If it's a slideshow presentation of a magazine, respondents can navigate and browse pages as they wish. For a pack or shelf testing project we tend to (but not always) show an image of the shelf or product for around 10 seconds. It is possible to easily alter the duration based on the complexity of the stimuli and normal viewing duration though.

4. What instructions is the participant given before they see the image?

This varies based on the stimuli we’re showing the participant. When we show a shelf image, for example, the participant is told to pick a pack they would want to purchase and click on it.

5. Can you record click data about what the participant clicked on when shown the image and how long it took them to click on it?

Yes, all click data and timing can be recorded and saved.

6. Does webcam eye tracking work on mobile devices?

Technically yes but not in the reality of usage by a panel. Currently, we only recommend allowing participants to take part in webcam eye tracking on laptops or PCs, not mobile devices.

7. What browsers can participants use on their PC to take part in webcam eye tracking?

The participant needs to take part using Chrome or Firefox browsers.

8. Are there any specific requirements about the participants' webcam to allow them to participate in webcam eye tracking?

No. The participant must simply have a webcam connected to their PC and allow access to their webcam for the eye-tracking task.

9. What percentage of participants, when invited, will allow access to their webcam for the webcam eye tracking task?

Acceptance rates vary a lot by country and panel. They have increased recently as many more people are taking part in video calls with colleagues, friends, and family.

10. Does the webcam eye tracking software record a video of the face of the participant?

No. The eye tracking software does not record a video, it simply processes the gaze coordinates of the participant’s eye on the participant’s device and transfers these x and y coordinates back to eye square. No video is recorded or transferred to eye square.

11. Do you have any other requirements about where the participant must be located to take part in the webcam eye tracking?

The webcam eye tracking requires that the participant is seated in a well-lit room where their face and eyes can be seen by the camera. If there are multiple faces in the camera view, the eye-tracking software will not work effectively.

12. Does the webcam eye tracking software work everywhere in the world?

Yes. The software works everywhere except mainland China.

13. Does webcam eye tracking work without a survey?

No. The eye square software requires that the webcam eye tracking task is wrapped up in a survey sent to participants to ensure we get consent and to ensure pass back and forth of the participant. The survey does not need not be extensive or ask many questions but a survey is always required.

14. Does your software work with specific Survey Platforms?

The software works with any survey software that is able to pass a participant out to an external URL and receive them back again. If required, eye square can assist you with scripting and setting up a survey using our own survey software which includes this link to the webcam eye tracking task.

15. Can I show the same stimuli in multiple languages for the same costs as one language?

If the image is tested in different languages each language is deemed a separate stimulus.

16. You recommend at least 100 participants per stimulus, can I show the stimulus to more than 100 participants and what is the cost for that?

The number of respondents shown a stimulus is not a cost factor, e.g. showing the same image to 1 or 500 respondents costs the same.

17. If I show more than 1 stimulus to the participant can you randomize or control the order the stimulus is shown?

Yes. Furthermore, if the stimuli are shown with other stimuli, the order that the image or video is shown does not affect the costs, so counterbalancing the order of presentation would not incur increased costs.

18. Can you provide data for individual participants that I can tie back to my survey data?

Yes, we can provide the respondent level eye and click-tracking data along with aggregated data for the total sample.

19. If we provide data about subsamples can you provide eye tracking metrics for these subsamples?

Yes. We can provide subsample data for the key metrics (as long as group sizes are robust enough).

20. What key metrics do you provide?

As a minimum, we provide heatmaps of dwell time. We also provide data on 3 key eye-tracking metrics: Percentage noting; Dwell Time & Time to First Contact.

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