Eye tracking aids council website redesign

City of York Council has used eye-tracking technology to design a new website configured for touch devices.

Using eye tracking devices, 40 people joined sessions to view examples of typography, colours, calls to action and input areas for a short period of time.

The users looked towards the areas which drew their attention the most and was their preferred colour or style, with the results used to guide the information architecture and visual design of the website.

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Matt Culpin, creative director at Jadu Spacecraft, which ran the sessions, said: “We are real believers in the Government Digital Service / gov.uk mantra of understanding user needs.”

“We’ve created a number of research tools including eye tracking technology to provide us with the qualitative data on how users interact visually as well as emotionally to content and tasks.”

City of York Council ICT officers organised a series of design discovery workshops, firstly with stakeholders from within the council and then with members of the public.

One of the customer engagement sessions was spent within the customer service centre asking users visiting the council to help with feedback on the initial designs, by participating in feedback sessions.

Pauline Stuchfield, assistant director in customer and business support services said: “Our residents have told us what was needed from their perspective and have helped us design and build a solution for York.”

Jadu’s eye tracking technology provided data on how pages, content and tasks were organised and what areas of the design users were most attracted to.  This was combined with a paper prototyping exercise Jadu calls ‘the Jadu content rating game’. 

Content rating helps organise a page layout by what users feel are the most important tasks.  

Colin Marrs

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