Skimming and Scrutinizing: Quantifying Two Basic Patterns of Visual Behavior in Design

  • Quentin LohmeyerEmail author
  • Moritz Mussgnug
  • Mirko Meboldt
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 34)


In design research recently an increasing number of eye tracking experiments have been conducted. The evaluation of the recorded data usually bases on analyzing a set of individual scan paths. In order to gain more value from the data and thus, to better explain human behavior in design, the authors proposed a differentiation of two basic scan path patterns. The first, skimming, is applied when a person wants to get an overview of a visual stimulus, while the second, scrutinizing, indicates that a person tries to understand its details. Although these patterns of visual behavior describe basically different cognitive processes, their differentiation still bases on personal judgment. This paper presents the results of an investigation that aimed to quantify the patterns of skimming and scrutinizing. It introduces an algorithm that, based on numerical criteria, allows an automated detection of both skimming and scrutinizing sequences in eye tracking data.


Human behavior Eye tracking Scan path pattern Design representation 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quentin Lohmeyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Moritz Mussgnug
    • 1
  • Mirko Meboldt
    • 1
  1. 1.Product Development GroupETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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