How People Use the Web on Mobile Devices

Mobile Web
mobile web growth
A paper by Yanqing Cui, Virpi Roto of the Nokia Research Center.

This paper describes a series of user studies on how people use the Web via mobile devices. The data primarily comes from contextual inquiries with 47 participants between 2004 and 2007, and is complemented with a phone log analysis of 577 panelists in 2007. We report four key contextual factors in using the Web on mobile devices and propose mobile Web activity taxonomy. The framework contains three user activity categories identical to previous stationary Web studies: information seeking, communication, and transaction, and a new category: personal space extension. The new category refers to the practice that people put their content on the Web for personal access, therefore extending their personal information space.

Insightful paper but like many papers like this suffers from the simple fact that by the time they are published they become somewhat dated. Their activity taxonomy still seems relevant — mobile behavior may be changing but these broad categories should still hold.