Eyetracking metrics (book chapter)

I wrote this book chapter to provide a comprehensive listing of eye tracking metrics and what they mean in the context of HCI and usability.

Download the pre-print version: Poole&Ball EyeTracking.

Publication information

Poole, A. & Ball, L. J. (2006). Eye Tracking in Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Research: Current Status and Future Prospects. In Ghaoui, Claude (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction. Idea Group


Eye-movement tracking is a method that is increasingly being employed to study usability issues in HCI contexts. The objectives of the present chapter are threefold.

First, we introduce the reader to the basics of eye-movement technology, and also present key aspects of practical guidance to those who might be interested in using eye tracking in HCI research, whether in usability-evaluation studies, or for capturing people’s eye movements as an input mechanism to drive system interaction.

Second, we examine various ways in which eye movements can be systematically measured to examine interface usability. We illustrate the advantages of a range of different eye-movement metrics with reference to state-of-the-art usability research.

Third, we discuss the various opportunities for eye-movement studies in future HCI research, and detail some of the challenges that need to be overcome to enable effective application of the technique in studying the complexities of advanced interactive-system use.