The Scrutinizer is a web browser, based upon the Adobe AIR toolkit and the WebKit browser, that offers a simulation of the human visual system. Specifically, it illustrates the distinction between foveal and peripheral vision in visual acuity and color perception. Using this simulation, you can get a better idea of how users interact with your site design. It’s also a great tool for observing users interacting with your pages. By slowing them down, the Scrutinizer makes it easier for you to figure out what information the user is consuming and what actions they are considering.
The Scrutinizer browser applies a visual filter to where the mouse is located, simulating foveal vision centered around the mouse. For parts of the screen far away from themouse, the display deteriorates into lower resolution, both in detail and color. You can use the browser to get a better understanding of the low level mechanics of how users interact with your site design. Attempting to accomplish a key task on your site using the Scrutinizer can be very enlightening. Watching a user unfamiliar with your site attempt a key task with the Scrutinizer is even better at revealing how your site design affects the way the user extracts meaning from your presentation.