Case Study: Eye tracking & qualitative data

Session Title

Case Study: Eye tracking & qualitative data


Troy Abel, Iowa State University

Session Type: Demo

Case Study: Eye tracking & qualitative data

Usability studies currently lack the incorporation of qualitative data to measure the complete experience of the subject. This demonstration will present a case study of a proposed usability testing methodology incorporating eye tracking data and one type of qualitative data analysis, transcript coding.

A prototype usability testing methodology proposes to incorporate qualitative data analysis of coded user comments and their correlation with eye tracking data to reveal what the test subject is thinking and seeing during their task completions. This prototype methodology was incorporated in a usability study of a major electronic retailers e-commerce website.

A complete university complaint research project consisting of 35 random test subjects was completed to supply an adequate supply of data in order to facilitate the implementation of this methodology.

In additional to showing original data and the methodology which produced it, hardware to demonstrate non-invasive eye tracking will be present to spark renewed interested in this technology and how it compliments qualitative data analysis of usability studies.


Troy Abel will receive his PhD in Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State University this Summer and currently holds a second terminal degree, an MFA in Graphic Design (2008) also from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. He received his undergraduate BSFA in Graphic Design as well as a BA in Communications both from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN. He has just completed a Predoctoral Associate position at ISU and has taught abroad in their Rome, Italy design studio program for the past two fall terms. He has presented his research at design conferences both nationally and internationally. His current research is diverse, spanning the fields of Graphic Design as well as Human Computer Interaction. Currently he is interested in: innovative methodologies which include qualitative research in the usability testing realm, HCI pedagogy, experience design and e-commerce usability, perception as an indicator of usability, and the uses of eye-tracking, from a graphic designers standpoint, during usability
testing. He is currently a member of: DRS Design Research Society, ADAI Art Directions Association of Iowa, AIGA American Institute of Graphic Arts CAA, College Art Association, ACM-SIGGRAPH Special Interest Group of Association for Computing Machinery, ACM-CHI Special Interest Group of Association for Computing Machinery, IASDR International Association of Societies for Design Research, DRS Design Research Society, SEGD Society of Environmental Graphic Designers, SECAC Southeastern College Art Conference, iDSA Industrial Designers Society of America, and UPA Usability Professionals’ Association.

Jennifer Knodler received her BS in Biomedical Engineering from BU. She currently is the Applications & Sales Manager- North America for SensoMetric Instruments, SMI and has been with the company for the past 5 Years. Her early focus were on Ophthalmology/Vestibular products and working with Clinical and Research physicians. She is currently interested in integration with UX & Marketing communities. Furthermore she is also well informed concerning current standard practices, as well as tools and methodologies. She is also an accomplished individual who is helping to integrate a reliable new technology into the field (non-invasive eye tracking to monitor, record and analyze natural behavior).