Usability is key in all e-commerce applications. All usability problems will have a negative effect on how many visitors become customers and how much they buy. This fact is one of the challenges that meet the students at the e-commerce manager program at Hyper Island. In order to better deal with this kind of issues I was invited to provide some insights into the field of eye tracking and usability studies.

Hyper Island is a school of digital media that started its journey as early as 1995 in the small town of Karlskrona, south of Sweden. Since the start the methodology has been truly successful and today, Hyper Island runs a whole spectrum of digital media programs in both Stockholm and Karlskrona.

I have been interested to teach at Hyper Island for quite some time now, and this week I finally got the opportunity as I got invited to present how eye tracking and usability testing could be applied to e-commerce. The students all attended the e-commerce Manager program in Stockholm. This 40-week educational program is aiming to teach how to lead and develop projects and businesses within the e-commerce field.

From my perspective creating successful e-commerce applications is a really complex task, demanding to communicate a clear value proposition to impatient users in a very limited time frame. Providing logical means of navigation and intuitive tools for finding is essential for the user in order to find the desired products. Finally, to get through the check out process all the demanded steps needs to be kept to an absolute minimum.

All usability problems will have a negative impact on both the order value and conversion rate in the application. As it turns out, the only way to get to know how your application actually works is to actively invite your users to take part in usability tests. If you choose to use eye tracking to support your tests, you will get clear cut instructions on how to improve the experience. Not only usability issues, but also if your graphic design is guiding the user to focus on the right things within the interaction.

Here is my presentation. Enjoy!

/ Mårten


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