Y Combinator Backed GazeHawk Heatmaps With Web Cams

You’ve normally got two choices in site heatmapping (figuring out where eyeballs land on your site),  you can either buy costly specialized equipment ($40K) or pay a consultant to use their own equipment, which costs upwards of $5K. Y Combinator funded GazeHawk has figured out a more pared down and innovative solution; Why not use webcams?

Co-founded by Brian Krausz and Joe Gershenson, newly launched GazeHawk is less expensive than most already existing eyetracking services at 1/10 the price. And heatmapping, something that required custom hardware and bringing people into a lab, now requires simple consumer hardware and proprietary software.

GazeHawk has its own network of test subjects; All you need to do as a website owner is give them a url or a screenshot and you get back a site map of the most active viewed places on your website, instead of having to got through the unwieldly and costly processes described above.

Though similar in concept to UserTesting, GazeHawk is disruptive in the sense that we’ve never seen a low-cost, low-effort eye tracking service before. According to Krausz, GazeHawk’s future plans include a number of extra features, better visualizations, allowing people to use their own test viewers, and eventually expansion in to the UX industry — Creating product based on tester feedback,  i.e. what people want to see.

Weary readers have learned to ignore ads, especially those placed in the bottom right corner. Say Krausz, “People are so good about identifying ads nowadays that if anything looks like one you lose the entire area.” Below is a GazeHawk heatmap of our homepage — most notably people are looking at our story rotator, ING ads and not our events stuff.  So quick look to the bottom right! Look!

Aside from being fascinating, accurate heatmapping is crucial to informing online ad placement, cost per click and cost per impression are just not as accurate when measuring brand conveyance. For those interested in trying it out, GazeHawk is offering a 50% discount for TC readers, just enter TECHCRUNCH10 at checkout.