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:
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?
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.