User experience is becoming increasingly important in gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. One way to improve user experience is by including images of faces. People are drawn to faces because paying attention to faces has played a significant role in human evolution. Hence, areas on a web page that typically receive less attention from users, such as the right side or below the fold, may benefit from the inclusion of images of faces. Although faces may be useful in attracting attention to particular places on a web page, they may also distract attention from key information. To test this possibility, we conducted two eye tracking studies in which images of faces were placed on areas of a web page that are shown to receive less attention. The results indicated that faces did not increase the number of people who viewed the areas where the faces were located, but that faces affected fixation patterns on these areas. Our results also showed that faces located above the fold of the web page negatively affected the performance of those who were completing tasks.
Tullis, T. S.
Faces and Viewing Behavior: An Exploratory Investigation.
AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 4(3), 190-211.
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