Insights on interaction patterns using mobile devices

After having a look at how users hold their mobile devices, how they interact with their mobile devices, which hand they use to interact with their smartphones, and what their attention span might be…. let’s have a look at how this all plays out through time.

As discussed in a previous post, when observing how long users interact with their mobile device in a certain way, we find that proportions are similar to those observed through discrete observations. In this post, we will look at the detail of how interaction sequences are decomposed.


Users change interaction about twice a minute

When looking at the details of our data, the average time spent in any one position ranges from 23 seconds, to 35 seconds.

Average Maximum
Idle 00:00:07 00:01:01
1 pouce 00:00:35 00:04:54
2 mains 00:00:23 00:04:16
Cradle 00:00:35 00:04:31
Cradle index 00:00:33 00:04:05
Total 00:00:26 00:04:54

Device orientation has a strong effect on how long users interact with their device in a single way.

Orientation Average Maximum
Vertical 00:00:25 00:04:54
Horizontal 00:00:54 00:04:07
Total 00:00:26 00:04:54

Gender has no effect on how often users change from one interaction mode to another

Gender Average Maximum
Women 00:00:26 00:04:54
Men 00:00:27 00:04:31
Total 00:00:26 00:04:54

The user’s position has little influence on how often they switch from one interaction to another.

Position Average Maximum
Sitting 00:00:26 00:04:54
Standing 00:00:27 00:04:07
Total 00:00:26 00:04:54

The task has an effect on the user’s interaction behavior

Note, the total on task takes in account only 365 records out of the 887 total, as we were unable to record the activity for all of the observed users.

In terms of activity, the duration of single interaction modes vary slightly. For texting, users spend 10s less on average per interaction mode, than other activities. On the other hand, playing users have a shorter maximum time in one interaction mode.

Activity Average Maximum
Texting 00:00:21 00:04:16
Reading 00:00:33 00:04:54
Playing 00:00:33 00:03:52
Total 00:00:27 00:04:54

Statistical significance

Factor .p
User gender 0,883
User activity 0,018
Device orientation 0,002
Interaction mode 0,000

Gender has no effect on user interaction patterns. On the contrary, the user’s activity (task they are performing), position (sitting or standing) and the device orientation has an impact in interaction patterns.

Switching from one type of interaction to another

Depending upon the way users interact with their mobile device when they are observed, they are more or less likely to switch between specific interaction types.

vers\de idle 1 pouce 2 mains cradle cradle index
idle 13% 3% 8% 4%
1 pouce 13% 2% 7% 2%
2 mains 3% 2% 6% 0%
cradle 9% 7% 6% 4%
cradle index 4% 3% 0% 4%

After a period of being idle, users are more likely to start using their phones with a one handed interaction, or to craddle their mobile. Users are also more likely to switch beween craddle and two handed, and between one handed and being idle.

In an upcoming article of the metro studies, we will have a closer look at interaction sequences, and how they are influenced by the user’s task and the properties of the interface they are interacting with.

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