How People Really Use the Mobile Web: A Framework for Understanding Motivations, Behaviors, and Contexts

How People Really Use the Mobile Web: A Framework for Understanding Motivations, Behaviors, and Contexts

Carol A. Taylor (Motricity, Inc., USA), Nancy Samuels (University of Washington, USA) and Judith A. Ramey (University of Washington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-499-8.ch012

Abstract

Mobile data services offer a viable and growing alternative means of accessing the World Wide Web and have drawn significant attention from the mobile industry. However, design efforts are hampered by the fact that we do not fully understand people’s motivations, behaviors, and contexts of use when they access the Web on their phones in naturalistic settings. To help address this need, the authors conducted a study to explore the following questions for U.S. mobile phone users: (1) What motivations lead people to access the Web on their mobile phones?;(2) What do they do?; and (3) Where do they do it? We studied active U.S. mobile Web users via questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and a field diary system that participants used to record their daily Web activities. Based on the findings from Part One of the study, they constructed a taxonomy of behaviors, motivations, and contexts associated with mobile Web usage. In Parts Two and Three, the authors validated the taxonomy as well as compared iPhone versus non-iPhone user behaviors. The authors conclude this report of the three-part study by considering the design implications of their findings and future research directions for further understanding the mobile Web.
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Research Background

This study builds on and extends earlier research studies that have yielded classifications of Web usage (both stationary and mobile), descriptions of patterns of adoption of mobile services, as well as motivations for mobile technology use. Also, in designing this study, we took into account recent work on methods for studying mobile usage.

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