June 10, 2010 While most people have intuitive reactions to Web sites, a group of Canadian scientists is developing software that can actually measure those emotions and more.
Aude Dufresne, a professor at the University of Montreal Department Of Communications, led a team of researchers that are designing a new software to evaluate the biological responses of Internet users.
Simply put, the new software measures everything in Web users from body heat to eye movements to facial expressions and analyzes how they relate to online activities. The technology is now being tested at the newly opened Bell User Experience Centre, which is located at the telecom giant's Nun's Island campus. Bell will use the University of Montreal technology to investigate how people react to Web sites. Such studies will provide companies with facts on how they can improve online experiences.
"With e-commerce and the multiplication of retail Web sites, it has become crucial for companies to consider the emotions of Web users," says Professor Dufresne. "Our software is the first designed to measure emotions at conscious and preconscious levels, which will give companies a better sense of the likes and dislikes of Web users."
This research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Bell Canada.
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