Eye tracking was really helpful because you saw how they [users] were visually exploring the website even if they weren’t physically taking any action, for example, if they spent 3 or 4 seconds looking at a button before they hit it, it told us they didn’t easily understand what it meantBjörn Mortensen, CEO, Bookingsweden
Preparing a website for launch with eye tracking
Embarking on a new project to take on the highly competitive sector of online accommodation booking meant Bookingsweden needed to launch with confidence. Using eye tracking allowed the team to identify and fix usability issues with the site before it went live.
Swedish startup Bookingsweden.se wanted to know how to make its platform more competitive in a tough market. The company set out to challenge the major online hotel booking conglomerates like Expedia and Booking.com in the Swedish hotel market. The company’s platform is built around the concept of offering good value hotel and holiday home rates alongside destination tips and advice from locals. This is done with a view to increase domestic tourism in the Nordic nations and help the local tourism industry.
The Bookingsweden website functions in a similar way to most other booking sites, so ensuring its functionality was comparable or better than its competitors was essential when it launched in March 2019. To achieve this, Bookingsweden wanted to better understand how users interacted with the site’s features and if it was built in a way that made it intuitive to use.
Bookingsweden.se had run dozens of user tests without eye tracking before the launch and felt most issues were resolved, however, the inclusion of eye tracking ahead of the launch uncovered several usability problems with the website.
With the help of user experience researchers at Visualix, who specialize in biometrically enhanced user testing, the team used Tobii Pro’s eye tracking based user testing software to see the gaze of test participants as they navigated the website. This revealed several pieces of previously unknown information around the misinterpretation of buttons, and a lack of awareness about one key feature of the website which facilitates accommodation filtering based on proximity to certain locations.
In the days following the tests, the Bookingsweden.se team made several changes to the platform’s features, including adding pop-up descriptions for some tools, adding new content around certain features to help explain them, and creating curser changes when hovering over some buttons.
These changes were all based on the information gathered from the use of eye tracking during user tests which saved the team time, money, and resources trying to fix these things post launch or perhaps continuing without being aware of them. The team now plans to incorporate user testing with eye tracking into future phases of the website’s development.
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