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“In the past, specially trained people studied the facial expressions of participants and assigned them to basic emotions. Today, a software makes this possible in real time.Ilona Pezenka (Project Manager – Web Analytics Lab – FHWien der WKW)

A large part of human behavior is controlled by unconscious processes. To better understand these processes, several different biometric sensors are available in the Web Analytics Lab at FHWien der WKW. Our mobile lab can be applied in a wide range of areas and enables a combination of emotion measurement, skin resistance measurement and eye tracking.

For example, we researched at FHWien der WKW:

  • the effect of advertising media
  • the usability of websites
  • as well as service interactions such as chatbot interactions or sales conversations

Practical media impact research

The possibilities of psycho-physiological methods are extremely diverse and practical applications can be found in different areas. The FHWien of WKW operates the Web Analytics Lab primarily for research in marketing and sales management. The system, which is currently installed on two laptops, enables extensive analyses of digital content (such as static ads, websites, videos, photos and logos). In addition, six other devices are available for conducting Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) as well as Computer Assisted Web Interviews (CAWI).

The Web Analytics Lab – a laptop with the appropriate software – enables:

  • Eye-tracking analysis (Screen-based Eye-Tracking)
  • Emotion measurement (emotion tracking via webcam)
  • Skin conductance measurement (Galvanic Skin Response via Shimmer)

This setting allows the mobile use of this technology in teaching, research and practice. Current applications include:

  • Analysis of visuals, video spots and chatbot interaction
  • Usability studies

Eye-tracking analyses

Eye-tracking is used for the analysis of advertisements and websites. Eye-tracking data reveals the distribution of visual attention. Gaze patterns and fixations sequences for user-defined subregions of a displayed stimulus are subject of analysis.

Emotion measurement

With facial expression analysis you can test the impact of any content, product or service that is supposed to elicit emotional arousal and facial responses. Emotion tracking by facial expressions identifies 7 basic emotions (joy, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, sadness and contempt), 15 facial expressions and 33 facial features.

Skin Response Measurement

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) is used to measure physiological arousal (triggered by emotions or stress). The stimulus on the screen leads to positive or negative arousal. While Emotion Tracking identifies the triggered emotion, GSR provides information about the strength of this emotional arousal.

Example of measuring advertising impact

In traditional A/B testing, the participants are shown two different static ads on the monitor. Eye movement, facial expressions and skin conductance are recorded. This is followed by a short self-report questionnaire on recall, acceptance and preference.



Results of the eye-tracking can be displayed as a heat map or gaze plot on the presented stimuli or in previously defined sub-areas.


In addition to the predominant emotion, the results of the emotion tracking also provide a measure of the positive or negative overall impression, as well as the engagement and focus of the participants.

Emotional response

The intensity of emotions can be presented as a comprehensive overall result, as well as specific partial results (e.g., groups of participants or time segments).



In a business field project with BUWOG, three micro-sites were analyzed for usability to optimize the website of different objects.

The participants had to perform eight tasks (previously defined with the client). The gaze and mouse movements were recorded, and afterwards the participants were questioned in detail. Based on these analyses, the students finally worked out different creative concepts for the micro-sites.


In the project with Horizont3000, the focus was on menu navigation. Here, the main page and previously defined subpages were examined regarding the findability of information.

The participants had to perform different tasks, such as free surfing, but also finding specific information. Afterwards, they were asked about their impression of the sites, the orientation and the navigation. Based on the eye-tracking analyses and the survey, numerous suggestions for improvement were finally developed.

FHWien der WKW

The redesign of the FHWien der WKW website was also subjected to a detailed analysis. Together with the Corporate Communications team, search scenarios that applicants in particular go through were defined and finally tested.

The goal was to ensure the easiest possible orientation. The gaze and mouse movements were recorded, and the participants were then questioned about their general impression of the site as well as about usability and potential for improvement.

Possible applications...

Web Analytics Lab in publications & media


If you have any questions about the Web Analytics Lab or are interested in working with us, please contact the project manager: Mag.a Ilona Pezenka Mag.a Ilona Pezenka

Head of Competence Team
City of Vienna Competence Team Master Propaedeutics - Bridge courses in Research Skills & Methods