Sunday, 31 August 2008

Feng GUI: Free Heatmap Service

Feng GUI is a free heat map service which unlike other services, generates its heat maps using algorithms. A heat map is visual representation of how people interact with a website, it shows areas where people pay more attention to as being 'hot' and low attention grabbing areas as being 'colder'. There are several ways to generate a heat map; you can track peoples eye movements, track mouse clicks or, as Feng GUI does it, use algorithms which try to predict what a human might look at.

"Feng-GUI empower designers and advertisers to effectively analyze Attention and Attraction in visuals."

They created the algorithms from research in neuro-science, Feature integration theory, Salience, visual Attention, eye-tracking sessions, perception and cognition of humans. The algorithm tries to determine what someone will look at within the first 5 seconds of image exposure. They claim that the technology is 70% accurate when compared to eye and mouse tracking. If this is true then Feng GUI is a very effective and cheap, ie free, way of analyzing placement of content or ads.

The website is very easy to use, you simply upload a picture of your site or anything you like and you will then be presented with a heat map after a few seconds. Below you can see two heat maps of my site.

This is definitely a very interesting idea and can be a cheap and quick alternative to some paid heat map services. I hope they can improve the algorithm further. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think about it.

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