Eye–tracking on the influence of luminescent floor markings on users’ search path and ease in reaching the emergency exit – a pilot study

Merry Säckl

Master Digital Healthcare, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences 2023

Aim and Research Question(s)

This thesis is allocated in environmental and patient safety. This Thesis aims to determine whether the use of luminous floor markings in addition to conventional escape route markings affects and influences the search path of people finding the emergency exit.


Fire accidents remain one of the biggest challenges for hospital safety management. Available statistics show that hospital fires always result in serious injuries [1]. Therefore a safe and quick evacuation of people in case of hospital fires remains a contemporary issue. Potential results can help create a safer work environment for health professionals and patients as well.


Participants were prospectively divided into two equal-sized groups using computer-generated random numbers. Due to various incidents, the participant count for the group with additional light floor markings (Group 1) was n =13, and for the group with ceiling markings only (Group 2) was n = 8. The data obtained from the use of eye-tracking glasses provided valuable insights into participants' interaction with the safety features and the time needed to find the emergency exit as well as the effectiveness of directing participants' attention toward the emergency exit during emergencies. Following the successful identification of the emergency exit, participants were then requested to complete a short User Experience questionnaire.

Results and Discussion

The findings revealed no significant time differences in exit identification when using floor markings, indicating a moderate effect of LED floor markings (see Table 1). Table 1: Time needed to find the emergency exit per group. Group 1 (with additional light floor markings), Group 2 (ceiling markings only)

In conclusion, there is a significant difference in fixation counts between Group 1 with additional light floor markings and Group 2 with traditional ceiling markings, with Group 1 exhibiting higher fixation counts. The results of the user experience questionnaire indicate that participants in Group 1 found the emergency markings with additional light floor markings to be visually appealing (higher hedonic quality score) and effective in meeting their needs (higher pragmatic quality score).


This study emphasizes the potential of using additional floor lighting markings to locate emergency exits in emergency situations. However, the limited sample size of this study hinders the ability to generalize the findings. Future studies should consider expanding the sample size to assess the effectiveness of various floor markings and visual indicators, including illuminated exit signs and directional arrows.


[1]  Danyan, S.M. Lo, Lizhong Yang, Lijing Gao, und Jacqueline Ty Lo. „Hospital Evacuation under Fire: Risk Identification and Future Prospect“. In 2019 9th International Conference on Fire Science and Fire Protection Engineering (ICFSFPE), 1–6, 2019. Accessed: 08.11.2022. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICFSFPE48751.2019.9055882