Art Meets SciencePublished: Monday, 16 March 2009
The School's Human Centred Web (HCW) Laboratory is currently working in conjunction with the Manchester City Art Gallery to investigate the ways in which people access visual information within art.
The School's Human Centred Web (HCW) Laboratory is currently working in conjunction with the Manchester City Art Gallery to investigate the ways in which people access visual information within art. The experiment builds on previous research into how internet users access information on web pages, and aims to inform the development of text-to-speech technology.
Throughout April, the HCW Laboratory team will be conducting experiments, with both art experts and the general public, to gain an understanding of the sequence in which sighted users focus on areas of a visual resource. Eye-tracking technology will be used to investigate visual sequencing in different kinds of art work and to analyse how an individual's visual attention is allocated during a task. Eye-tracking technologies can detect the sequence in which the eyes gaze on specific areas and can record the number of fixations an area receives.
By looking for similarities and patterns in the way that sighted individuals focus on visual resources within works of art, the HCW Laboratory team hope to be able to more accurately predict a user's path through visual resources such as web pages. These predictions can then be used to determine the order in which information should be provided to non-sighted users. It is hoped, therefore, that the research findings will inform the development of technology that offer blind, visually disabled, or mobile device users an improved experience the World Wide Web.
The Red dot indicates sighted users gaze movements over the painting in real time and the heat map shows the combined data from different viewers.