How much of web design is art and how much is science? According to German firm EyeQuant, it’s mostly the latter. Fast Company states that they are “using machine learning to train their AI to recognize bad aesthetics and poor website design.” Leveraging eye tracking studies that measure attention, they believe that they can algorithmically predict which websites people prefer.
Let’s move behind website design to think about how we can optimize any online creative. Keyword optimization has already moved from SEO and into social media creation and image optimization isn’t far off with improvements in measurement and computer vision. But don’t worry humans, Creative Directors won’t be outsourced to machines…at least for the time being.
The MRC has lifted its advisory on viewable impressions, encouraging the industry to transact based on the metric. A recent blog from the IAB has also officially announced the standard for viewable impressions – 50% of pixels in view for at least 1 sec. While it still does not guarantee ad exposure, it does revalue inventory below the fold and makes us consider new proxies for attention. Viewability has been around for quite some time, but the lack of standards would lead to quite a bit of chaos when it came to transacting with the data. The IAB anticipates viewable video to come by this summer but viewability is just the start. I’d imagine we can expect viewability to be calculated based on total time and perhaps priced on a sliding scale in the future.
This is another flavor of a technology we’ve seen pop up from similar vendors, in the US in particular. Although the data is anonymous, to be fair, you can determine the make and model of a device from the MAC address. It’d be interesting to know what sorts of findings came out of the experiment other than that there are a lot of people in London (which we knew already).
According to a recent patent for XBox One’s Kinect, the tech may be utilized to measure viewing behaviors and monitor user engagement. This use case could be powerful for ad tracking and can also be leveraged to reward users for ad views. We’ve seen third party developers utilize Kinect for Out-of-Home measurement, but this would mark the first time Microsoft would be bringing it to the millions of Xbox homes on their platform. Privacy concerns abound however, so expect some backlash if they do decide to implement the tech.
Marketers have used impressions and viewability as a proxy for engagement, but the real question remains as to whether or not the consumer actually saw at the ad. Well, it appears eyetracking company, Sticky has created a solution to do just that. By monitoring consumers gaze through a standard webcam, Sticky can quantitatively measure how an ad was viewed. The product has been tested on 350,000 consumers by the likes of P&G among others, and while privacy concerns abound, it could have serious implications for pricing models in the future.
The Lab has utilized eye tracking to measure attention but startup PredictGaze is taking that a step further by using the technology as way to interface with TVs, iPads and more. Predictgaze’s software leverages everyday webcams to let users control various devices through their eye movements alone. While we haven’t seen the technology in the wild, the findings from the demo look pretty impressive.
Unilever, P&G Use Eye-Tracking For Product Design And Placement At Shelf