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New Eye-tracking tool helps businesses Boost their online profile

A new system which tracks and analyses people’s visual interaction with websites and other media is helping businesses improve their online presence to increase market share and drive up profits. 

The University of Nottingham’s Linguistic Profiling for Professionals (LiPP) unit, based in the School of English, has launched a business unit offering in-depth psycholinguistic analysis of companies’ web presence including a secret weapon which assesses how people visually respond to websites.

The system uses advanced imaging software coupled with high-speed infra-red cameras to allow researchers to track every movement of the human eye as it moves across a webpage. The combination of movement and time spent focusing on an area are used to create ‘heat maps’ which form part of a detailed report supplied to the business after in depth analysis. The report also takes into account qualitative feedback from the participants to supplement the quantative data gathered by the eye-tracking software.

Founder and Director of LiPP, Professor Louise Mullany, said: “People talk with their eyes and there is a lot businesses can learn from how customers respond to and interact with all sorts of media in front of them. We have discovered a new way to mine this highly useful bank of information to help companies improve the readability of their digital content and the effectiveness of their communication.

“We are proud to work with local SMEs in delivering high quality workshops and consultancy through the European Regional Development Fund. The unique, pioneering services we can offer to businesses of all types and sizes are our newest additions to our portfolio, and I’m really looking forward to working alongside new business partners.”

Magnetic North Travel is an East Midlands-based travel specialist that has already used the service. CEO Laura Greenman said: “Linguistic Profiling for Professionals has given our business a valuable insight into how people perceive and interact with our online shop window so to speak. We found the feedback provided in the package extremely useful in informing future development of our online presence and customer interface.”

Tripti Gyan, Managing Director of TG Physiotherapy Care, said: “LiPP’s findings have been extremely useful and invaluable to both myself as the business owner and my website designer, in ‎assessing and enhancing my website’s presence and impact to my current and future potential clients.”

The LiPP team are currently working on the early stages of a large project with a high profile legal firm which they hope will further their links with businesses in and across the East Midlands.

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