The Impact of Advertising Location and User Task on The Emergence of Banner Ad Blindness: An Eye Tracking Study



The purpose of this study was to explore the emergence of ad banner blindness in the viewing of e-commerce home pages. By using an eye-tracking methodology, the study supported a more granular analysis of user behavior. Building on the literature on inattention blindness and banner blindness, we assess the gaze path of users in goal-directed and free-viewing tasks when viewing pages with advertising banners on the right side of the page or on the top of the page above the main navigation menu. The results support existing literature that banner blindness is strongest for advertising banners on the right side of the page and for goal-directed tasks. The eye-tracking results provide new insight into the cognitive principles underlying these differences.