Looks Can Kill Your Design Effectiveness
When you use a human model in an email campaign, print / banner ad or landing page - does it help or hinder usability, persuasion and conversion?
Research from eye-tracking specialists Bunnyfoot and Think Eyetracking show that a model's eyes influence your eye movement:
Bunnyfoot, via GrokDotCom
Think Eyetracking, via GrokDotCom
When conducting email tests, often the variables considered are subject lines, headlines, time/date of delivery, offers, call to action buttons, prices or featured products. But as Bryan Eisenberg suggests, you should treat a model's gaze as a testing variable.
Though this research has been known for a while, most ecommerce creative using human models use the "here's looking at you" approach:
Or the "looking in the opposite direction":
With the occasional "looking at something":
While I find the research fascinating, I'd like to see eye-tracking studies that compare when a model looks head-on vs. at a headline vs. at a featured product vs. at a call to action button -- combined with actual impact on conversion and average order value / revenue.