What Captures Gaze in Visual Design? Insights from Cognitive Psychology

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Andersen, Emil; Maier, Anja
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: DTU, Denmark
Section: Design, Emotion and Philosophy
Page(s): 083-092
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


Visual information is vital for user behaviour and thus of utmost importance to design. Consequently, tracking and interpreting gaze data has been the target of increasing amounts of research in design science. This research is in part facilitated by new methods, such as eye-tracking, becoming more readily available. Visual attention is the principle mechanism that governs where we direct our gaze. Understanding the factors that influence how attention is directed is therefore necessary for understanding user intentions and gaze patterns. In this paper, we provide an overview of the characteristics and factors that have been experimentally shown to capture attention, as well as those factors that modulate the capture and direction of attention. We do so by drawing on the large body of evidence provided by cognitive psychology, as we believe this research area could potentially provide a source of untapped potential for the design science community.

Keywords: Attention, Design, Gaze, Eye-tracking, Visual Communication


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