Case Study, Eye-tracking, Printing Software

Visual Attention During Photo Terminal Usage: A Case Study

A case study about detecting usability issues of a new photo terminal software before rollout by means of in-lab UX interviews, supported by eye tracking.


Detect usability issues of a new photo terminal software  before rollout


User Experience interviews in lab, supported by eye tracking glasses


Insight in usage behavior, as basis for optimization of the new software

From its beginnings in 1912, CEWE became Europe’s leading photographic processing company.  This is reflected in the multiple award-winning CEWE PHOTO BOOK, which sells more than six million copies a year and many other personalized photo products that are available to customers.

In addition, CEWE provides photo terminals in many drugstores, photographic retailers, supermarkets, and electronics stores in Germany and other European countries.

A photo terminal is a self-service photo station, which allows customers to print their digital pictures directly at the point of sale or to order photos for later pick up in the store. The photo terminal’s interface consists of a touch display and ports to connect memory cards or smartphones.

Before CEWE was going to launch their new photo terminal software in we tested a prototype of the software to identify usability issues before rollout.


Test setup

In our lab in Hamburg we set up a photo terminal and tested a realistic usage situation, which covered the full process of direct printing:  transferring pictures, product selection and the printing of photos. To keep the setting as realistic as possible and to engage participants, we asked them to bring their own pictures and of course, they got to keep the prints!

During the test we explored the first impression, overall orientation and clicking behavior, as well detailed questions regarding the recently implemented start screen, product structure and distinction of delivery options (instant print/ shipping).

Seeing through users’ eyes

To enrich the research data, gathered through observation and interview, we used eye tracking glasses to assess users’ visual attention. The glasses record a video of the participants field of view as well as their eye movements. The data is processed on a laptop which allows live viewing and stores the generated data. This setup allows the eye tracking glasses itself to be lightweight and mobile and thus not bother participants or limit their natural behavior.

Afterwards the video material was combined with the data generated during eye tracking, to be analyzed for different KPI’s, such as time to first fixation, attention time or eye movement on the screen.  These insights complemented the findings from UX testing, as they allowed to visualize subconscious behavior, as eye movement and visual attention.



The application of the eye tracking glasses offered following advantages:

  • Eye movement measurements could be used to register both, sequence and intensity of user attention during usage.
  • This allowed objective conclusions to be drawn about largely unconscious perception, attention, and information processing processes.
  • Combined with observation and survey data, eye movement measurements support the interpretation of user behavior.


Optimized UI before rollout

During testing we identified some usability issues as well as further potential for optimization. Based on results of the UX test and eye tracking, e.g. issues in selecting delivery options were addressed and this selection was completely reworked.  
Thereby CEWE was able to fine-tune their software before rollout, which increased the overall UX and made life much easier for their customers.


About CEWE

The CEWE Group is Europe's leading photo service and online printing provider. In 1912, the foundation stone was laid by Carl Wöltje and his wife Helene with the founding of the "Photographische Anstalt". Today, it’s supplying award-winning products to retail partners in 26 European countries. The CEWE Group is oriented towards sustainable corporate management: Economically oriented in the long term; in a spirit of partnership and fairness with customers, employees as well as suppliers; socially responsible and environmentally friendly as well as resource-conserving.


Lisa Umbach

Lisa has 8+ years of experience in qualitative and quantitative user research projects, my responsibilities covered study design, session moderation, analysis, reporting, presentations, and workshops. She has extensive knowledge of user centered design methods (UCD) and the design thinking approach, including different creative techniques and prototyping tools (e.g. AXURE RP, Adobe XD).

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