In today’s business world, BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) models are an indispensable tool for documenting and modeling complex business processes. BPMN models provide a standardized and intuitive representation of business processes that enables companies to optimize their processes and make them more efficient. However, there are still some challenges in creating and implementing BPMN models, especially in terms of their understandability and usability.

One way to address these challenges is by using eye-tracking technology, i.e., recording the eye movements of subjects for different tasks, so as to study the perception of BPMN models by users.

In January 2023, a study was conducted by the Institute for Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in cooperation with St. Gallen University. The study aimed at understanding the process flow and the interactions of employees with the BPMN system and, as a result, at improving the comprehensibility and usability of BPMN models and in this way supporting users in the creation and implementation of these models.

The study participants, recruited according to defined criteria, were informed regarding the procedure, the tasks to be performed, and the eye-tracking methodology. The study itself consisted of various business process questions and tasks, with comprehension and explanation recorded in addition to eye-tracking.

The analysis of the results should give information about the following areas of the BPMN models:
  • Identification of bottlenecks and blockages that require an increased use of resources
  • Improvement of BPMN design for identifying central elements
  • Optimization of user interface for intuitive use
  • Identification of training needs to increase efficient and productive use
By using eye-tracking technologies, companies can better understand how users perceive BPMN models and how to design these models to be more user-friendly. As a result, eye-tracking technology provides promising opportunities to improve the usability and effectiveness of BPMN models, identify weaknesses, and increase usability in order to optimize business processes.  

Author: Ana Paula Rivas