Eye Tracking

Software for Collecting and Analyzing Data from Eye Tracking Usability Studies

Summer 2014

What Is It?

Eye Tracking is my intern project at Epic Systems in the summer of 2014. It is a desktop (Windows) application with 3 parts:

1. Create eyetracking usability studies

2. Conduct the studies to collect data

3. Analyze the collected data via visualizations

Eyetracking usability studies are similar to standard usability studies, but with the additionality of recording where participants look on screen.

What Was the Motive?

The purpose of this project was to provide an affordable and accessible alternative to the Tobii suite, which costs $30,000 per unit. We used another device called The Eye Tribe which only costs $100, but did not come with its own software, hence why we had to create our own.

How Was It Made?

We started off with only The Eye Tribe's API reference, and built up the rest of the application from scratch. We used C# for the bulk of our application, WPF for the frontend, and SQL for data storage. We used Visual Studio and SQL Management Studio.

What Did I Do?

I worked with one other person on this project. We were given a large control, so we got to decide on exactly what and how to make our software. To achieve this, first I extensively researched the applications and weaknesses of eyetracking studies, and how to analyze data collected from them. Next, I designed and wrote the backbone data structures, and created APIs to interact with them. Thirdly, I created visualizations for the data collected. Fourthly, I designed the SQL database and wrote the data access layer which interacts with it. I also helped my teammate brainstorm and design the GUI while she wrote it. Finally, we conducted usability studies with our software in actual test environments.

What Did I Learn?

First of all, I learned much about usability testing, especially those pertaining to eyetracking. I also learned C# and SQL. However, what is most important is that this is my first experience building a large application from the ground up. Structuring large amounts of code in a meaningful way that does not confuse my teammate required a lot of thought (since she uses my API). Any change I make could break everything, so getting the structure right is paramount. I also learned a lot from working with my teammate. We communicated constantly to make the best decisions, and to make sure everyone understood the flow of the entire software.


No screenshots of our application can be shown due to legal reasons. The thumbnail in the portfolio (green eyes) is from theyetribe.com, which is the website of the hardware and API that we used for this project.