What captures gaze in visual design - insights from cognitive psychology

Emil Andersen, Anja Maier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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Visual information is vital for user behaviour and thus of utmost importance to design. Consequently, tracking and interpreting gaze data has been the target of increasing amounts of research in design science. This research is in part facilitated by new methods, such as eye-tracking, becoming more readily available. Visual attention is the principle mechanism that governs where we direct our gaze. Understanding the factors that influence how attention is directed is therefore necessary for understanding user intentions and gaze patterns. In this paper, we provide an overview of the characteristics and factors that have been experimentally shown to capture attention, as well as those factors that modulate the capture and direction of attention. We do so by drawing on the large body of evidence provided by cognitive psychology, as we believe this research area could potentially provide a source of untapped potential for design research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding of the NordDesign2016 Conference
EditorsCasper Boks, Johannes Sigurjonsson, Martin Steinert, Carlijn Vis, Andreas Wulvik
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2016
EventNordDesign 2016 - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 10 Aug 201612 Aug 2016


ConferenceNordDesign 2016
Abbreviated titleNordDesign2016


  • attention
  • design
  • gaze
  • eye-tracking
  • visual communication


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