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First of all if you haven't heard of this service here's the link: https://vas.3m.com/

This online app generates heatmaps:

  • you get 5 credits free at first, with which you can analyze the pictures of

I would like to ask that if you have tried this app, what are your opinions of the results? Does it really reflect real eyetracking results?

It would be great if we could compare 3M VAS results and real eyetracking results.

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Your app is interesting, but bear in mind statistics are still statistics; better judgment on the developer just overrules everything. Even if someone were to do a exhaustive eye tracking test with a large group of users that's only useful for "first impressions." If you take the same group and go at it again the results may be different, possibly random by comparison. It's a question of are you fishing for users or catering to users; eye catching design isn't necessarily a indication of usability in the long run. –  srcspider Feb 18 '11 at 8:32
    
You get 10 credits free now –  Michael Lai Sep 13 '13 at 2:10

3 Answers 3

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I was able to work with them for a class project redesigning a website. The project manager is great and he understands that some usability testing is better than none.

The system works well to give you a good sense of what your users will see (and not see) on your interface. However, I'm not sure that it is especially useful for designers as much as it is for explaining and rationalizing design and usability critiques. Most usability designers can identify points of interest, but it's a great objective/quantitative way to start discussions with managers and clients. It thoroughly fills the niche between full-on usability testing and none (and the Photoshop plugin is great for lo-fi prototypes).

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It is an interesting application, and I would be interested to see what the research behind it. My first impression was that it provides a good baseline to consider the areas that you want people to focus on, and some key areas of information presentation and design. However, a static image doesn't provide enough context especially on a web page where many interactions are happening and it changes where people look at and focus.

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At first glance, I'd say it's pretty awesome. As far as I know, the only way you could have gotten feedback like this (instant or not) would have been to submit it to a usability lab!

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