To investigate online communication as a true human activity, with a long term, comprehensive and holistic approach.
In particular, stressing human growth and quest for meaning in touristic experiences - eTourism.

Eye-Tracking Lab

Eye tracking Lab in collaboration with eLab

Introduction on eye-tracking:
Understanding the behavioral patterns behind users’ online navigation could be useful in order to better comprehend the usability of a website and/or a mobile application. In this field, eye-tracking is an effective, efficient and intuitive way to understand how people relate to a web page.

Our approach:
Our approach integrates the eye tracking technique to traditional usability techniques (user testing and think aloud techniques) on websites through a PC and/or mobile navigation.

Findings from this approach allow to better formulate heuristics (= guidelines to be applied in order to find possible design problems), the related user scenarios (= vivid stories about a successful interaction with the application, it describes an experience that is desirable for both end-users and publishers), and testing end-users behavior.

Facebook Positiva gazeplot 2 sec.
Facebook Positiva heatmap 2 sec.
edoardo cantoni

A user-test with the eye-tracking is generally structured as follows:
- After an eye tracking calibration procedure for each user test participant, a user will be left free to navigate the application thanks to a great freedom of head movement and/or will follow specific tasks according to the design of the test.
- Heat maps are then generated by summing the eye tracking data taken from all users/participants in the test, and this analysis will help to underline what application’s features captured the respondents’ attention.
- The eye-tracking technique allows also for a Gaze Plot analysis, displaying the eyes movement sequence, order, and duration of gaze fixations.
- That information will help designers to better structure the navigation of the web/mobile application and identify potential user experience risks.

Moreover, it is possible to extrapolate a wide range of data on eye movements according to specific metrics, for example:

- Areas of Interest: Tobii Studio gives the possibility to create Areas of Interest, denominated “AOIs”. Areas of Interest are artificial labels that can be created over specific parts of the page that need to bee studied. AOI can be either static or dynamic. Static AOIs maintain a fixed shape while dynamic ones change shape during the navigation. That function allows to study for how long users fixate such areas and with what sequences of actions.
- Time to First Fixation: this metric is defined as “The time from the start of the media display until the test participant fixates on the AOI or AOI group for the first time (seconds)”. This means that, with this metric, it is possible to see which of the AOI has been fixated first, which last and in what order.
- Total Fixation Duration: defined as the “Duration of all fixations within an AOI, or within all AOI belonging to an AOI group (seconds)”. This metric indicates the total sum of the duration of all fixations within the AOIs, indicating for example, which AOI has been fixated for the longest time and which for the shortest.
- Fixation Count: this metric measures the “Number of times the participant fixates on an AOI or an AOI Group (count)”. With this metric it is possible to see which AOIs received the biggest number of fixations and which the least, ranking them accordingly.
- Mouse Click Count: this metric measures the “Number of times the participant left-clicks with the mouse on an AOI or an AOI group (count)”. Thanks to this metric, most AOIs it is possible to see which AOI received more clicks and which less, making possible to rank AOIs according to number of clicks.

Infrastructure available at the Lab:
The Tobii X2-60 Eye Tracker and the Tobii Studio Professional edition are both available at Lab., in collaboration with eLab, work closely with USI’s students, teaching courses on eye-tracking and developing eye-tracking tests.

tobii mobile

webatelier carries out different projects in collaboration with various public and private entities. Here you find a list of the undergoing progects:
- Usability analysis of the Repubblica e Cantone Ticino website with the eye-tracking tool (Area dei servizi amministrativi e gestione del web, Cancelleria dello Stato, Repubblica e Cantone Ticino). Stefano Tardini, Giorgia Mora, Christian Milani, Lorenzo Cantoni.
- sCOOL Job: Developed in collaboration with Fondazione Cometa of Como (Italy), and with the participation of three state high schools, the project aims to share knowledge on issues related to usability when it comes to deal with tourism-related web pages. The project consists of both classes and laboratory sessions, in which students can test eye-tracking and learn its outcomes.
- Cues Affecting the Recognition of the Dominant Topic and Sentiment Expressed on Social Media Pages. Elena Marchiori, Edoardo Cantoni and Lorenzo Cantoni.
- Teenagers' perceptions of Canton Ticino’s through the offici destination website: an eye-tracking investigation. Master's Thesis of Edoardo Cantoni (Elena Marchiori and Lorenzo Cantoni).
- Usability analysis of eLearning Applications through Eye-Tracking: a Study on iCorsi2, a Moodle-Based LMS,
Master's Thesis of Maria Elisa Ferritti (Christian Milani and Stefano Tardini).

Are you interested in collaboration?
Contact us: elena.marchiori [at] and/or stefano.tardini [at]