(Mirror Daily, United States) – Customer service might be getting a huge upgrade in the future, as your cursor movement shows your emotions which will help website owners understand your reactions. That means that they will know when an update is favorable, when pages are loading frustratingly slow, or when their layout is just plain messy.
Whatever makes users click the ‘x’ button in frustration and never come back, they will know.
A new research from the Brigham Young University (BYU) found a user’s negative emotions could be track through their cursor movement. Whether it’s smooth and long motions, or short and abrupt, there are signs which could help developers understand. Professor Jeffrey Jenkins from the university conducted three rounds of study to reach his conclusions.
The total of participants involved 271 people who would be tested in the face of some annoying stimuli. Their patience was put to the test, and their mouse movements tracked. They were asked to navigate across a website, with pages that either loaded too slowly, changed too quickly, or many other little annoyances we encounter in day-to-day web browsing.
It was enough to bring forward confusion, anger, or frustration. These emotions were the target of the research.
According to professor Jenkins, most people believe that when they’re angered they move their cursor fast. That’s counterproductive though, and you quickly realize it. So, most people actually start moving their mouse much slower when they’re experience negative emotions. The same could be said when you’re inaccurate in clicking or moving the cursor in short strokes.
The study found that those were telltale signs of anger and frustration. Instead, when the users were calm, data points indicated that their mouse movement was straight, in an arc, smooth, and very accurate. The gentle paths quickly change into jagged movements the moment you become frustrated. This was found through something called attentional control theory (ACT).
ACT implies that people who experience negative emotions, such as frustration or anger, change their behavior from being goal-driven to becoming stimuli-reactive. Essentially, you will change your focus from what you have to do to what’s truly annoying you. For example, if a page loads too quickly, you concentrate more on the frustration of its delay more than the actual purpose of that site.
While this might not result in websites suddenly playing soothing music when you’re frustrated or showing pictures of adorable kittens to calm you down, it may help. It could be very useful for web developers. It could aid them in understanding how quickly visitors get frustrated with their website layout, speed, updates, or many other aspects. The technology has already been patented and it’s in the process of being refined.
Soon, a similar technology could be applied to smartphones, by tracking the swiping and pressure taps across the screen. That is still in early stages of development. However, soon enough, web developers will know how you feel when you visit their websites.
Image source: observationdeck.kinja.com
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