“The business of user research is changing rapidly, and nonconscious measurement techniques are growing ever more important as a class of consumer insight techniques.

Nonconscious methods are an area exhibiting rapid cycles of innovation and growth.”

(Nonconscious Impact Measurement Forum, New York)

Biometric data capture has emerged from academic institutions to become an affordable technique for commercial research.

Hardware innovation and software development has meant that the financial investment required to fund the research is much lower.

Being able to read facial expressions, track eye movements and measure subtle changes in skin moisture can help us to evaluate nonconscious reactions to field materials. The strength of biometrics is their ability to detect these reactions better than ‘traditional’ methods.

The analysis and interpretation of biometric readings is a specialist field of research. My approach is based on the best practice advice of the Advertising Research Foundation – combining biometrics with ‘traditional’ research measures.

I can offer clients a 360 degree view of system 1 and system 2 thinking, whilst retaining a completely independent and impartial attitude towards the output that biometrics provide.

There are three types of Biometric measurement, each offering a unique benefit.

Eye Tracking

Measures eye movement, eye fixations and pupil size. It provides millisecond measurement of visual focus, attention and visual search. It’s most effective at capturing attention and arousal data, but does not measure emotion.

Galvanic Skin Response

Measures changes in the electrical properties of skin, through subtle changes in moisture. This technique provides detailed data on visual attention, plus non-conscious engagement and arousal.

Facial Coding

Used to measure a range of emotional reactions to stimulus. Reactions to creative material are measured by surprise, smile, concentration, dislike, valence and attention. Very effective at measuring nonconscious emotional reactions to stimulus.

When should I use biometrics?

Biometrics can be used in conjunction with other traditional research techniques to guide product development, website and app design.

I also suggest using biometrics when survey results are confusing, or when the results of focus groups are questionable and need further explanation.


Contact me to find out more about my Biometric expertise