What do Users Actually Look at During ‘Zoom’ Meetings? Discovery Research on Attention, Gender and Distraction Effects

George, Joey
Mirsadikov, Akmal
Nabors, Misty
Marett, Kent
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During the pandemic, mandatory shutdowns of schools and businesses forced people to communicate almost exclusively through computer-based video communications tools. The transition brought challenges, as users adjusted to the new environment, wading through various distractions, all the while learning the new technology on the go. The existing research into Zoom meetings says little about what users actually observe during these meetings. This discovery-based study explores what users attend to in remote meetings by employing eye tracking technology. Study participants joined an interactive meeting and then watched a recorded Zoom video. We found that participants do pay attention to others in the meetings, and their gaze patterns differ between small and large groups. For small groups, they look away from the screen about one-third of the time. They look at their own video, but women look at themselves more than men. Participants notice distractions but spend little time looking at them.
Human-Computer Interaction in the Digital Economy, eye tracking, gender, zoom meetings
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