1 January 2014
Creating a highly usable site, portal or Knowledge Community is one of the most central challenges we face during the characterization process. If the site is unclear and difficult to use, if the content organization is unintuitive and incoherently distributed, its usage will remain low and will be essentially redundant.
Therefore, testing the site's usefulness, which allows us to examine how easy and comfortable the site is for use, is a vital stage of the Knowledge Management process. Up till now, the available usefulness tests relied on inspecting the pilot worker following his/her use of the site or inspecting the pilot user at work in a usefulness laboratory. Eye Tracking, on the other hand, follows the user's eye movements and documents them in real time work situations.
Eye tracking is a process of assessment, documentation and examination of eye movement while scanning websites. It enables us to understand what the user notices and looks at when scanning the site, what he/she ignores, the pattern or direction of the reading and the reaction of the eye to different stimuli. The eye tracking technology does not require the user to use any special equipment. It uses an infra red camera that receives the light reflected from the user's eye. It hardly relocates the user from his/her natural work environment.
The information analysis yielded from this process allows a more precise understanding in comparison to other methods that examine the usefulness of different components of websites. This preciseness can focus on an in-depth examination of specific areas, items or areas of the website and can easily maximize the site's usefulness for a low price (mainly in comparison to changing the site after its launch and embarking on a long adventure of high risk, expensive developments following the feedback from users. This is a likely scenario in many organizations) and thus increasing its use and enabling the realization of its potential.