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Feng-GUI Heatmap: what are people look at?

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feng-gui-screenshot.jpg

Ever wondered what the “focal point” of your site was? The Feng-GUI Heatmap generator is an awesome web-based tool that gives you an idea of where the eyes of a typical visitor tend to focus on. Essentially, it tells you where the “hotspots” are on your website. The Feng-GUI doesn’t use click-based heatmaps or eye-tracking methods (obviously), instead it uses a unique algorithm to determine your site’s hotspots. Simply visit Feng-GUI and enter your site’s URL into the text box and click the “HeatMap” button. Alternatively, if you don’t own a website, you can upload a photo to generate a heatmap for it. You can then download a screenshot of the output. Black indicates an area that is ignored, followed by blue, green, and then red. Red spots mean that it is a heavily looked at (focused) area.

The only thing where I can see this tool being useful is in determining where to place product or advertising units. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how accurate the Feng-GUI really is. According to the tool, my lastname in the header and the RSS buttons on the right side are this blog’s hotspots. See the screenshot below:

markpascua-feng-gui-heatmap.jpg

To further test the “accuracy” of the Feng-GUI, I generated a heatmap for Digg.com, which is one of numerous sites I visit regularly.

Before I mention the results, the screenshot is missing portions of Digg’s page, like the advertisements and “Top in All Topics” side panel on the right. It seems to be a problem with the way the generator takes a site’s screenshot, because Digg was loading properly. Also, for me, Digg’s hotspots are the “Top in All Topics” panel and the “Integrating with Digg” section that hightlights new available widgets — I don’t know why, but every time, my eyes just glance over there . The results?

digg-heatmap.jpg

Unfortunately, I can’t test if the “Top in All Topics” panel is a hotspot since it wasn’t captured by the generator, but look! The “Integrating with Digg” is a hotspot! Coincidence? I don’t know. You judge.

While doing all of this, I realized a flaw with the Feng-GUI heatmap. It only analyzes a portion of your site, specifically, the top half. What about the rest of the site? Still, the Feng-GUI Heatmap generator is worth a try, regardless of its accuracy.

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Via: Core77




One Comment

  1. Posted March 26, 2008 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Hi Mark,
    thanks for sharing Feng-GUI with your readers.
    regards Feng-GUI accuracy.
    we improve the ViewFinder algorithm in order to achieve the highest accuracy, but is it impossible to get to 100% ?
    Let me answer by asking a question: how accurate is the “Magic Wand” in Photoshop?
    Part of the answer can be found at the “image segmentation and boundary detection” benchmark conducted by Berkley. Its a 1000 photos test suite for algorithms that try to find the boundaries of elements inside pictures.
    In the test suite results you can see how real people and computer algorithms, marked the boundaries of segments inside photos and how accurate they are.
    The current score is:
    Real people: 79%
    Machines algorithms: 67%

    http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Research/Projects/CS/vision/grouping/segbench/
    results:
    http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Research/Projects/CS/vision/grouping/segbench/bench/html/algorithms.html

    We recently published a comparison report between Feng-GUI results and eye-tracking results of 40 people, 90 images, 15 seconds per image.
    http://www.feng-gui.com/faq.htm#quality
    The results were 70% of matching hotspots regions.
    If you compare Feng-GUI results to random groups of 10 people (out of the 40 people), the match to 80%.

    Feng-GUI will keep on improving the ViewFinder algorithm while maintaining two important requirements: accuracy and speed.

    stay tune. and thank you very much.

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