What can we learn from eye-tracking? (resources list)

Amy Alberts and I hope you enjoyed our talk at #data17 about eye-tracking and what it can teach you about building better dashboards.

This post is a list of links and resources we talked about in the talk:




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re Study 3: the “tasks” just scratch the surface of the issue. I work in the Federal government, and most of our dashboards try to inform managers whose schedules are filled, and whose decisions are critical and time-sensitive. “Training your users”, as Andy says, is essentially non-existent; most of these people “manage by exception”. The task of the dashboard is inform them NOW: where the “exception” is, and what is its magnitude, in cost and schedule. I think the BANs help, can you suggest more?

hi guy. Thanks for the comment. I guess the trick is to drive the flow to those three tasks you describe: Summary, magnitude, cost, with a Next Action very obvious. Also visually encode the steps that need action to drive focus. Like this?

A quick sketch

I have a question regarding eye-tracking that I haven’t seen covered (though I haven’t read the Big Book of Dashboards cover-to-cover yet!)

My question is about visualization vertigo. For example, on complex combination line and bar charts (dual axes) my eyes are trying to go left-to-right following the line graphs, but are also being pulled up-and-down for the bars of the barchart. (It’s akin to the split-attention affect when referring back-and-forth to a color legend.) Similarly, with some circular graphs, my eyes do loopty loops. I also have a hard time viewing some bar charts that seem to wiggle (moiré effect?). Do you know if anyone has studied this type of eye tracking on data visualizations/dashboards?

Hi Terry – that’s a good question. To be honest, I don’t know the answer. My hunch is that this hasn’t been studied. If not, it would be an interesting path to follow.

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