Eye Tracking Architecture: A Pilot Study of Buildings in Boston

Abstract: In a collaboration between architecture, interior design, and cognitive science, we conducted an eye tracking study at the Institute for Human Centered Design, a non-profit in Boston. Our thirtythree volunteer viewers, ages 18 to 80 and from various occupations, looked at 60 images on a computer screen for 15 seconds each. Half of the images were photos or renderings of Boston buildings, interiors and exteriors. Remaining images included faces and landscapes. We tracked volunteers’ eye motions using an off-the-shelf Eye Tribe eye tracker and iMotions analysis software. Our aggregated data created compelling graphic representations: heat maps and spotlight images which revealed common looking patterns, and videos of individual gaze paths. Other metrics recorded included “Time To First Focus” on an element, and “Revisits”: the number of times volunteers looked at the same area.

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