School of Communication and the Arts


Doctor of Philosophy


Robert Mott


augmented reality, perception theory, eye tracking, user experience, visual communication, mobile augmented reality, human computer interaction




This research explores how mobile augmented reality experiences are perceived and interacted with by using a quantitative eye-tracking study to record user eye movement behavior. Visual communication is vital in today’s increasingly visual society and current technology gives evidence of much promise in adding additional engagement, information, and interactivity through augmented reality. Though smartphone technology allows all smartphone users to access and experience browser-based augmented reality, there is little research on design aspects from a user experience perspective, such as the influence of layered depths in an augmented scene. The purpose of this study was to explore the variable of augmented reality depths and their impact on user engagement and interest within the framework of perception theory. A quantitative research method of eye tracking was used to measure fixations, and a user experience Likert-style question was used to assess the level of interest between single-layer and multiple-layer augmented reality experiences. The results found that total gaze time was increased for one of the multilayered stimuli, and participants ranked the multilayered experiences as more interesting than the single layer. This study has theoretical implications within the visual communication perception theory and methodological implications for eye tracking and user experience. This study also has practical implications for content creators that seek to enhance visual communication engagement and interest through augmented reality and suggestions are offered for future research.

Available for download on Saturday, October 12, 2024

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Communication Commons