Libraries participate in eye movement study to improve usability

Kokkola and Kauhajoki public libraries are participating in an eye movement study conducted by Åbo Akademi University to improve the usability of libraries. The aim is to find out how users find books in the library and how well different signs guiding the library users are working. Researchers are tracing the test users’ eye movements with special glasses that has a camera filming the surroundings and an infrared camera recording the details of the eye movement. In addition to the cameras, the test subjects will be presented with a questionnaire and they will be interviewed after the test.

The research is hoped to shed light on how people use the library, how collections are located and presented, how signs function, and how it is to find materials in the library space. The study is part of public libraries’ regional development project.

The preliminary results have already shown in Kokkola public library that new titles are difficult to find in the library space, and that there is a need for floor plan of the library to guide users. More results from the study are still expected.

You can read the original news on YLE’s website in Finnish.