Top Posts of 2016

What happened in 2016?

2016 has been a great year for Conversion-Uplift as I now offer conversion rate consultancy services to a range of organisations. I also migrated from Tumblr to a WordPress and published a Glossary of Conversion Marketing. This has over 250 pages of definitions and examples from the commercial world..

But what caught your imagination most in 2016? Here are my most popular posts of 2016:

1.  How to use card sorting – Card sorting tools to improve website navigation. This post made it to the first page of Google and attracts a lots of visitors to the site.

2. Customer ratings – 6 top E-commerce rating and review platforms to build trust and credibility. This post also got to the first page of Google and is currently the most popular article on the site.

3. Optimisation solutions – Digital marketing toolbox – with over 300 solutions. A regular favourite with anyone wanting to optimise their site or app.

4. Competitor analysis – 10 website audience comparison tools for competitor benchmarking. A popular post since it was published in August.

5. Testing solutions – Which A/B & MVT testing solution should you choose? Now includes AI solution from Sentient Ascend.

6. The EU referendum result – They psychology of Brexit – Why emotions won over logic? A topical subject and a psychological perspective of why the UK voted to leave the EU.

7. Cultural dimensions of optimisation – Cross-cultural website optimization. Cultural differences in visitor preferences can seriously upset the standard template approach to website design.

8. Address look-up solutions – 11 free and paid for address look-up solutions. A must for any sign-up form or check-out process.

9. Referendum & democracy – Referendum a device for demagogues and dictators? Another Brexit post, this time about using referendum to make such important decisions.

10. Psychology of incentives – The psychology of reward and how to motivate your customers. What psychology tells us about creating automatic responses for marketing purposes. 

Many thanks for visiting my website during 2016 and I hope you will continue to return in 2017 and beyond.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, see his LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.


Why is auto-play bad for conversions?

Why is auto-play bad for website accessibility?

Do you find it annoying when someone who is playing music or a video in a public place doesn’t use headphones, but expects you to listen to their music or movie choice without you having a say in the matter? Well, how do you think your visitors might feel when they land on your site and they are greeted by an auto-play video of your latest ad, music or at Christmas time, continuous falling snow?

I love Christmas decorations and lights but a few years ago I got the nickname of the Grinch after I asked for falling snow to be taken off a website I was helping to optimise. It had broken an A/B test I was running. But more importantly it can be very distracting and make a site inaccessible for those visitors using a screen-reader. For some users it can even cause  migraines and seizures. This can significantly harm your conversion rate.


What kinds of auto-play can reduce conversion?

Animated visual effects, such as falling snow or other moving images that go across or down the screen.

  • A music player that begins playing once a page has loaded.
  • Animated GIFs that automatically play when you arrive on a page.
  • An auto-rotating slider or carousel.
  • Anything else that moves or flashes automatically on a page can be considered auto-play. So, why can auto-plays reduce conversion?

Movement is distracting:

Image of a nuclear bomb exploding as movement is the nuclear option

Conversion expert Tim Ash from Site Tuners refers to movement as the “nuclear option” because our brains are hard-wired to be drawn to any kind of movement in case it is a threat to our existence. We can’t help but look towards anything that moves. If this is your call to action then it may be appropriate, but if it is anything else then the risk is that it will take your visitor away from your conversion goal.

It can obscure vital assets or information:

Falling snow or other visual effects that result in random sections of your page being covered with moving images can make it difficult to read information or instructions. In addition it can actually prevent users from interacting with clickable images (e.g. Add to basket CTA) because the effect temporarily covers the asset concerned. This can result in cart and site abandonment.

Trigger migraines & seizures:

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, around three percent of people with epilepsy find that exposure to flashing lights or certain visual patterns can trigger seizures. These kinds of visual effects can also cause migraines which are a much more common for web users. Moving content and blinking can be a severe distraction for people with certain health conditions such as attention deficit disorder as they find it difficult to focus on other parts of the screen.

Image of Tweets complaining about falling snow on websites

Audio-auto-play reduces accessibility:

Audio or video auto-play can be especially intrusive as the sound will either cancel or conflict with other audio tracks the user is listening to at that moment. This can be very annoying for a user who is listening to music or someone in a quiet zone. However, for someone using a screen-reader an audio track can make the site unusable as they won’t be able to continue with their task until the audio track has finished playing.

Auto-sliders suck:

Image of auto-slider on homepage

Auto-sliders or carousels are so common it is easy to assume they must work because so many sites use them. Unfortunately this is the kind of herd mentality that many business people use to justify adding an auto-slider to their site.

The evidence from many A/B tests and usability tests is very different because visitors lose control of the user interface when assets are automatically moved around by the slider. Further, low literacy and international users often don’t have enough time to finish reading the slider before it is removed.

As auto-sliders move and they look like banners many users assume they are ads. This means they are more likely to ignore them and as a consequence interaction levels on many auto-sliders are miniscule. Auto-sliders that I have analysed generally have a low level of clicks (less than 1% of visitors) and the vast majority of clicks are on the first position.

Erik Runyon’s analysis of sliders also shows very low levels of click through on these assets. Further, he confirms that most clicks (between 54% and 89%) are on position one of the slider.


Apart from being distracting, auto-plays make sites less accessible and can trigger or exasperate certain medical conditions. It is also perceived as aggressive and annoys people because they have lost control of the user interface without giving permission.  Once you have annoyed visitors their perception of your whole site and your product will be negatively impacted.

Auto-play advice:

  • Give back control to your visitors. Display a prominent play button (i.e. above the fold) and make your slider user controlled with obvious icons (i.e. not small dots that few users will notice). Even better, remove your slider as they generally don’t engage users.
  • Silent explainer videos can sometimes work as it is the audio element that is usually most disruptive. But make sure there is a prominent button to pause or stop it for returning visitors or those customers who want to continue to browse.
  • Short video clips (i.e. 5 seconds or less) can work, but again have a skip or stop button for those impatient visitors who want to continue with browsing.
  • Avoid any random moving images or flashing assets (e.g. falling snow) as this can seriously reduce accessibility for some visitors and is generally distracting.
  • When users are informed beforehand that a link will take them to view a video clip it is acceptable to use auto-play as this meets their expectations.


Thank you for reading my post and if you found it useful please share using the social media icons below.

You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, see his LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.

11 Strategies From The Paradox of Choice To Boost Conversions!

Why More Is Less!

In his book The Paradox of Choice – Why more is less, Barry Schwartz challenges the myth that giving people more choice is positive and makes people feel in control. Rather, he suggests that too much choice creates anxiety and reduces satisfaction with the choices we make. Choice overload also results in people freezing and not making any decision because they fear making a bad decision.

To cope with the problems created by choice overload Schwartz suggests eleven strategies for reducing the amount of time we spend making decisions and being happier with those decisions. In this post I examine these ideas and outline what conversion optimisation can learn from these insights.

1. Chose when to chose:

Identify which choices really matter to you and concentrate your time and energy on those opportunities. There are costs associated with decision making. If you do not feel any better for using the time to make a decision you should consider what you have gained from the experience. Limit the number of options you give yourself and reduce the time and energy you invest in making less important decisions.

Strategy for conversion:

Use anticipatory design techniques to simplify decision making by using data you collect on customer behaviour to predict user needs. This allows you to restrict the number of options you present to visitors to minimise cognitive strain.

Spotify uses this approach to build a weekly personalised playlist for each customer. They achieve this by collecting data on past behaviour to build a taste profile for each customer. This allows them to apply an affinity score for each artist as an indication of how core they are to your tastes. It then uses a machine learning algorithm to analyse on-going behaviour to predict which genres you are most likely to be willing to explore new music.

Image of Discover Weekly play list as an example of anticipatory design
Image source:

The algorithm then looks for users who have created playlists featuring songs and artists you also enjoy to identify songs that have been added to these playlists but that you have not listened to before. It then applies your taste profile to adjust its findings by areas of affinity and exploration to produce a personalised weekly play list – Discover Weekly.

For e-Commerce provide prominent  filters to enable selective browsing. Ensure your primary call-to-action is prominent and compelling.  A clear visual hierarchy also helps to draw attention towards the decision you want the visitor to make.

2. Be a chooser, not a picker:

A chooser considers what makes a decision important and if none of the options meets their needs they look to create different options. People become pickers when they experience choice overload.  To become a chooser we must be prepared to rely more on customs, norms and rules to make less important decisions automatic.

Strategy for conversion:

Provide guidance, such as links to how to posts, and buying tips to allow customers to simplify and shorten the decision making process. Customs and norms are important drivers of behaviour so ensure you use them to your advantage. This means complying with basic  web conventions as people are creatures of habit and you are likely to increase cognitive load if visitors can’t find things where they expect them to be.

Similarly research the market before launching into a new country to understand cross-cultural dimensions in website design and optimisation. Don’t fall foul of different web conventions because you don’t understand cultural differences in new markets.  For example, Vehicle hire company Hertz uses the same domain ( for all countries that it operates in but uses different languages, visuals and appropriate copy to ensure it allows for cultural differences.

Singapore                                                   Chile

Image of homepage for Singapore and Chile
Image source:


3. Satisfy more and maximise less:

People that maximise worry about regret to a greater extent and are also more disappointed when the consequences of decisions are not as positive as they hoped. Being willing to aim for a “good enough” outcome simplifies decision making and improves satisfaction.

Strategy for conversion:

Recognise for most decisions people are happy to satisfy rather than maximise. Avoid using phrases such as “ideal” or “perfect” solution as this is out of step with what your customers are looking for. Offer free trials or money back guarantees to reduce the risk from the customer’s perspective.

4. Think about the opportunity costs of opportunity costs:

The more time we spend comparing alternatives when evaluating our most preferred option the less satisfied we tend to be with our final decision. This is because thinking about the best features of something we rejected will distract us from the satisfaction we receive from the selected item. This is why satisfiers tend to be happier with their choices as they see less need to undertake lots of research.

Strategy for conversion:

Reduce the need for customers to do their own research by including a table of your product’s features compared with your main competitors. Ideally use an independent source and ensure it is a balanced comparison so that you show where competitors may have a better feature. People appreciate honesty as this helps build trust in a brand.

5. Make your decisions non-reversible:

People like the ability to return items they have purchased but what they don’t appreciate is that knowing that this option is available increases the probability that they will change their mind and reduces their satisfaction with the outcome. Agonising over whether we have a made the best decision is a recipe for misery.

Indeed, when we are unable to change our minds we are more satisfied because our brains use a number of psychological processes to convince ourselves that we have made the best decision.

Strategy for conversion:

Ensure you congratulate customers when they complete a purchase and remind them of why your product or service is one of the best on the market. In your confirmation email include testimonials or awards to provide evidence that customers are generally delighted with their decision to buy from your site. Don’t assume the process ends when a customer makes a purchase.

6. Practice an attitude of gratitude:

Everything is relative and how feel about the choices we make is strongly affected by what we compare them with. Schwartz suggests that we can significantly improve our subjective experience by consciously being more grateful for the good aspects of what we purchase or experience. We are more likely to be happy with our choices if we reflect on how much better things are than they might have been rather than putting our focus on areas where alternatives might have delivered better outcomes.

Strategy for conversion:

Gratitude works both ways. Ensure you show appreciation for your customers by giving them regular feedback on how they are doing. If they open an account, add something to their basket, download software or make a purchase congratulate them and make them feel important. Emphasize your strongest features in communications to reinforce the benefits of their purchase.

7. Regret less:

Regret is sometimes necessary, but given the complexity of life today it is rare to come across any single decision that has the life-transforming power that we might thing it has. Further, when regret becomes so dominant that it pollutes or prevents decisions, we should seek to reduce it. Schwartz suggests people become a satisfier rather than a maximiser, limit the number of options we consider and practice gratitude for what is good about a decision.

Strategy for conversion:

Regret is often caused by broken promises. Ensure that you deliver what you promised and align all your behaviours with your value proposition so that customers see that you practice what you preach. Customers show most loyalty to brands that demonstrate they have similar values and aspirations to themselves.

Image of Tesco cancer research race-for-life partnership

The best way of showing this though is in your behaviour towards customers and employees. Support good causes that are consistent with your values and avoid policies and practices that are inconsistent with these standards and principles.

8. Anticipate adaption:

Psychologists have noticed that people over-estimate how much pleasure or difference decisions have on our lives as we adapt more quickly than we anticipate. When times are hard this helps us to avoid the full impact of hardship, but when life is going well this places us on a “hedonic treadmill” which takes away much of the satisfaction we expect from a positive experience.

Schwartz suggests we develop more realistic expectations about how perceptions change over time and reduce the time and energy we expend researching and deliberating over decisions.

Strategy for conversion:

Allow for adaption by not over-promising or making out your product will change customer’s lives as few products or services achieve this. Be realistic and customers are less likely to be disappointed and return or cancel their subscription. Also use post-purchase communications to provide tips and suggestions on how customers can get the most out of their purchase. For example Music apps like Spotify and Deezer inform customers about new tracks, artists and playlists that they might like.

9. Control Expectations:

Our perception of an experience is heavily influenced by how it compares with our expectations. Eliminating excessively high expectations is the quickest route to increasing satisfaction, but this is not helped by a world that encourages high expectations.

Strategy for conversion:

Managing expectations is about clear and timely communications. London Underground improved satisfaction with its service not by running more trains but by installing LED screens on station platforms to inform customers about how long they would have to wait for the next train. Ensure that you keep your customers informed at each stage of the process and provide a range of genuine testimonials about how your product or service helps solve your customer’s problem.

10. Curtail social comparisons:

We often can’t help but compare ourselves with other people, but as Schwartz points out social comparisons may reduce our level of satisfaction with what we have. The old saying “you can’t take it with you” comes to mind when comparing what we have with the wealthiest in society. Schwartz suggests that we minimise social comparison because it can be so destructive.

Strategy for conversion:

We are social and interconnected animals and as a result are heavily influenced by what we think other people are doing. Evidence that your brand is popular and trusted can be very persuasive for prospective customers. Social proof, such as testimonials, customer numbers, customer ratings and reviews give people the confidence they may need to transact on your site.

However, social proof can also simplify choices by helping customers explore and try new options. For example Spotify displays how many people follow each artist, song and playlist. This is a great way of encouraging people to listen to music they haven’t heard before as people often use popularity as a proxy for safety and avoiding disappointment.

Image of Spotify app with social proof
Image source:

Always display some evidence of social validation on your site as people love to associate themselves with brands that are popular and are supported by similar minded people.

11. Learn to love constraints:

Schwartz argues that freedom of choice can become a tyranny of choice due to the ever increasing number of daily options we are faced with. However, many people conform to rules, standards and norms established by society and create habits to speed up decision making. These strategies allow us to free up time and energy that we can spend on the more important decisions in our lives.

Strategy for conversion:

Much of what we call brand loyalty is actually the result of customers forming habits. The most successful brands minimise friction and deliver a great customer experience to encourage habit formation. Examine your value proposition and your customer journey to identify ways to encourage habit formation or try piggy-backing off an existing habit as this is easier than creating new habits. Marketing communications should focus on disrupting existing habits rather than simply telling a story.


The Paradox of Choice reminds us that sometimes when we think we are improving the customer experience we might in fact be doing the opposite. Don’t assume that you understand how your customers will react to a change. A/B testing and bandit testing are tools to be used to reduce this uncertainty. Use them appropriately and they can save your organisation a lot of money.

Thank you for reading my post and if you found it useful please share using the social media icons below.


You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, see his LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.

How Does The Backfire Effect Shape Beliefs?

Why do facts not change opinions?

There is a general misconception that by presenting facts and figures that contradict a person’s existing beliefs we can change their opinion. In reality the backfire effect suggests it can have the opposite effect.

Hilary Clinton certainly tried to use facts and figures in the 2016 US presidential election. However,  she failed to win enough votes in the states where it mattered despite Donald Trump running with much more emotive and populist agenda.  Why does this happen and how does fake news (or “alternative  facts” as Kellyanne Conway refers to them) influence our existing beliefs?

The backfire effect is a psychological bias which is a tendency for people to reject evidence that contradicts deeply held beliefs. As a result our opinions become even more entrenched than before we received the new information.

This may explain why the attacks on Trump’s suitability to become US president during the 2016 campaign had no impact on his popularity among his core supporters. They rejected the information as unreliable.

What causes the backfire effect?

The experience of receiving evidence that is inconsistent with our beliefs causes cognitive dissonance. This makes us feel very uncomfortable and as a defence mechanism our brain creates new memories and neural connections that further strengthen existing beliefs to dismiss the new information and eliminate cognitive dissonance. Over time we also become less sceptical of those ideas that support our beliefs which are often the very same concepts that may be incorrect.


In 2006, Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler (PDF), two leading researchers of political science, created fake newspaper articles on politically sensitive issues. They were written in a way that would support a widespread misconception about a specific idea in US politics.

Once a person had read the fake article they were given an authentic article which outlined a more accurate view of the story. One fake article for instance indicated that the US had found weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. The genuine article clearly stated that the US never found such weapons in Iraq.

Participants who had been opposed to the war or who held strong liberal attitudes tended to disagree with the fake story and accepted the second article. However, those who supported the war and held more conservative beliefs tended to accept the accuracy of the fake article and strongly disagreed with the second post. Further, after reading the authentic article which stated there we no WMDs ever found, conservative leaning participants indicated that they were even more certain than before that Iraq had held WMDs.

Did fake news help Trump?

Emotional factors played a big part in the outcome of the US presidential election.

Research by Ipsos suggests the backfire effect is especially problematic when fake or incorrect news is circulated in the public domain. The danger here is our tendency to be more likely to accept something as true the more times we are exposed to the same information (see Availability Cascade).

During the 2016 US election fake news stories circulated on Facebook and other social media platforms. The Ipsos survey found that fake news headlines were accepted as true by those who were exposed to them around 75% of the time.

Further, people who gave Facebook as their major news source were more likely to perceive fake news headlines as genuine stories compared to those who were less reliant on the social media platform.  This dispels the myth that people can tell what is genuine information on Facebook.

“The 2016 election may mark the point in modern political history when information and disinformation became a dominant electoral currency,” – Chris Jackson of Ipsos Public Affairs

Republican leaning voters were more likely than Democrats to accept fake news as being accurate (84% compared to 71%). Similarly Clinton voters were less likely than Trump voters to perceive fake news as being true (58% compared to 86% for Trump voters).

This is probably because most top-performing  fake headlines during the campaign were pro-Trump or critical of Clinton. This would support the backfire effect being triggered by the fake news stories. It is also worrying that a majority of Clinton voters who saw the fake news stories considered them to be very or somewhat accurate. The backfire effect appears to benefit those organisations and people who are most willing to communicate inaccurate and false information.

Alternative Facts:

Sean Spicer’s accusation of “deliberately false reporting” by journalists of the numbers attending Trump’s inauguration suggests that Trump intends to try to put doubt in the minds of his supporters about the accuracy of media reports. “Alternative facts” as Kellyanne Conway refers to them are lies.

However,  the backfire effect means this can be a  very effective strategy for making existing beliefs even stronger among those who support the political party   concerned. Fake news can also put a seed of doubt into the minds of others who have no political allegiance.

Trump has not changed his style of leadership since he became President. He relies on creating social media storms to get his points across and is unlikely to want to lose this weapon going forward. He has changed the rules of politics and his opponents need to realise this and begin to adjust their approach accordingly. That should’t mean using fake news, but they should simply their messaging and speak directly to people about their hopes and concerns.

Journalists also need to be careful not to allow President Trump to use such media storms to obscure other more important news. Over the weekend following the inauguration so much attention was given to the disputed numbers  relatively little time was given to Trump signing an Executive Order to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act.  This will potentially remove medical care for around 1.8 million US citizens. No credible plans are in place to provide these people with replacement cover to a comparable level.

Threat to fair elections:

One of the most worrying lies that Donald Trump has consistently promoted is that there were between 2 to 3 million votes illegally cast during the 2016 presidential election. There is no evidence that there was wide-spread voting fraud at polling stations. Most fraud tends to be carried out with postal voting.

However, Trump’s aim may be to simply make it more difficult for people to vote by increasing the onus on voters to prove their identity. The evidence suggests that these kinds of measures often reduce the likelihood of people from the ethnic minorities to cast their vote. As Trump lacks appeal to many in the ethnic minority community this may be a simple ploy to improve his chances of being re-elected for a second term.

 Did fake news influence Brexit?

Image of the UK Leave campaign website

The Leave campaign in the EU referendum  also used the backfire effect to their advantage.  According to a source at the BBC the Leave campaign in particular tended to submit statement of debatable accuracy either very late of very early in the day in order to get them communicated in morning new programmes. They understood though that amendments or having to retract inaccurate stories would only occur later in the day and by then the content was already circulating and had done its job.


The backfire effect demonstrates how the human brain instinctively and unconsciously protects your beliefs from harm when confronted with information that is inconsistent with those same beliefs. It does this by making those beliefs even stronger and so more resistant to change.

The danger here is that fake news stories will inevitably lead to  beliefs that don’t stand up to rational scrutiny becoming more entrenched. This could result in even more polarised positions for the two camps in American politics.  Whether fake new stories were the difference between Trump  winning or losing the US election is impossible to know. However, as most fake news was supportive of Trump it is possible that it had an insidious influence.

Marketing Implications:

Clinton should have avoided attacking Trump on a personal level as this just reinforced his supporter’s beliefs about both candidates.  The Democrats would have been better to focus on how they could persuade the undecided voters and engage Clinton’s own supporters.

The backfire effects suggests that we should not try changing people’s deeply held beliefs as they won’t respond to rational argument. For marketers this suggests changing habits (e.g. a free trial) or using an emotional trigger to engage competitor’s customers.

However, the backfire effect indicates that marketers should concentrate on trying to win over people who don’t have strong beliefs that run counter to their argument. This means running a positive campaign that projects both emotional and rational benefits. Inspire people rather than attacking your competitors as the latter is likely to be counterproductive.

Thank you for reading my post and if you found it useful please share using the social media icons on the page.


Related posts:

EU Referendum – Why emotions won over logic?

Brexit campaign – 7 marketing lessons from the Brexit campaigns.

Referendum – Are referendum a device of dictators and demagogues? 

US opinion polls – Why did the polls get it wrong again?

You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, check out the Conversion Uplift  Facebook page or connect on LinkedIn.

A Closer Look at iMotions Eye Tracking

Eye Tracking with iMotions

Guest post by Philip Mahler:

As  previously covered on Conversion-Uplift, eye tracking is a tool that is becoming increasingly popular for a host of digital marketing issues, including conversion rate optimization.

The original post covered specific eye tracking and facial recognition solutions that have sprung up in recent years. Here we’ll go more in detail on one of the several eye tracking technology solutions that were mentioned in order to take a closer look (no pun intended) at how eye tracking technology can be useful for boosting conversion rates.

The software is called iMotions.

One of the primary things that sets iMotions apart from other human behavior research solutions is its ability to integrate across various different technology platforms and different data collection methodologies.

In our previous post on eye tracking solutions, one of the main points that was made is that while the ability to track where an individual’s eyes are moving is very valuable, it is not enough to provide the full picture per se.

Even when combined with facial recognition technologies that code for emotional response, eye tracking is not a perfect predictor of sales or of other behavioral outcomes of interest.

With iMotions, however, one of the most attractive features is that the technology includes an integrated software platform that allows for simultaneous recording of a variety of different biometric sensors.

The iMotions platform specifically covers eye tracking, facial expression analysis, EEG, ECG, EMG, and galvanic skin response (GSR) as primary data collection sources, but it also allows for cross-platform integration with over 50 additional sensors.

Additionally, iMotions allows for both mobile and remote use of several of these different biometric sensors. For example, in the image below, you’ll see research participant equipped with multiple different biosensors performing a live, in-store test, presumably for marketing purposes.

Image of eye tracking monitoring and eye tracking glasses
Image source: iMotions

While the use of EEG and eye tracking are specifically mentioned in the image, the test could just as easily be expanded to include skin conductance or other biosensors. Such a methodology would be even simpler when transferred over to the world of web-based human behavior research.

Uses for iMotions

With both mobile and remote tracking, as well as the ability to easily integrate across a variety of different biometric data sensors, iMotions provides researchers the opportunity to perform human behavior research across a variety of different platforms for a variety of different purposes.

On the website, iMotions lists applications including human behavior research, neuromarketing, psychology, human-computer interaction, medicine and health, virtual reality, neuroscience, and engineering. Also, as iMotions has headquarters in both Copenhagen, Denmark, and Boston MA, United States, the technology has been utilized in research laboratories across the world.

For the purposes of conversion rate optimization, the usefulness of iMotions extends primarily to its ability to provide information that goes above and beyond the eye movements themselves.

One of the main themes at Conversion-Uplift is the idea that the consumer is not always aware of what they are feeling and of the psychological forces that are acting on them at any given time. iMotions helpfully simplifies the process of collecting data not only on where an individual is looking and when, but also provides data from sources like facial coding, EEG and skin conductance that give an idea of the individual’s level of arousal and their emotional state when they look in a particular place.

In conclusion, among the several options listed in the previous post on eye tracking and facial coding solutions, iMotions is one of only a handful of solutions that has the ability to integrate across various different biometric sensors and give a more holistic picture of consumer decision making.

In the ever-expanding toolbox of the digital marketer, iMotions can be a useful tool for answering a variety of different in-house human behavior research questions, including conversion rate optimization and others.

For additional information on the iMotions eye tracking capabilities, check out the infographic below. Look for information on the specifics of the human eye, different specs for contemporary eye tracking technologies, as well as some tips for performing effective eye tracking research.

Image of iMotions infographic
Image source: iMotions

Bio: Philip Mahler is the Head of Marketing for iMotions, a biometric research software platform. Philip specializes in software and SaaS marketing and believes data is the key to success and will go to great lengths to find the right insights. In his spare time he will probably be playing with his Rubik’s cube trying to beat the world record.

Thank you for reading this post and if you found it useful please share using the social media icons on the page.

You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, check out the Conversion Uplift  Facebook page or connect on LinkedIn.