Users work differently with mobile phones, iPads, and their laptops. They use them under different circmstances and in different ways. Understanding these differences gives you the ability to develop the right applications and tools to meet your users needs and keep them engaged. Use the following infographic as a guide.
For additional information, see the Slideshare below. For a printable copy of this infographic, go to http://bit.ly/mobileuser
When and Where do People Use Phones, iPads, and Laptops?
- Mobile phones start up immediately and are carried everywhere. Hence, users access the web with their phones even if they have only a few moments to use it. Mobile phones are used for some business, but more for personal use.
- iPads take longer to start and are larger. They won’t be carried everywhere. But consumers will use them when they have 10 minutes or more and expect to be sitting for a period. iPads will be used increasingly for business, but will remain largely a personal, entertainment tool.
- Laptops are heavy, have to be set up, and take longer to start. Users will access the laptop when they have 30 minutes or more to sit and work. Laptops are primarily for work and school, though also for personal use.
UI: Phones versus iPads versus Laptops
- The UI for phone apps and mobile sites should allow people to do tasks with one finger or the thumb. People will do limited typing, such as texting and quick posts. The phone is a single-user device.
- The iPad can be designed for a single hand. The user holds the iPad in one hand, and manipulates the screen with the other. People will type longer posts and do ecommerce checkouts and other sequences. The iPad can be used by multiple people, and is likely to be passed between users.
- People use both hands for the laptop. Hence, they will reserve the laptop for creating content and doing extensive typing. The laptop is still primarily a single-user device.
Entertainment on the Phone, iPad, and Laptop
- Mobile phones are ideal for listening to music because of their portability. Consumers will continue to use well-designed apps and games on the phone, and surf the web. They will also watch videos, though the small screen makes them less than ideal, so they will be third choice.
- iPads are the most versatile device for entertainment. Well-designed apps will continue to be popular. The iPad is great for surfing the web, and ideal for single-user video viewing. They aren’t ideal for listening to music, but can be used for that purpose.
- The laptop will continue to be used for powerful applications, surfing the web, and watching video. Consumers will listen to music when working on the laptop.
How Consumers Use Mobile Devices when Traveling
- Mobile phones are always with the traveler, so they are used even on local trips to get directions, find amenities, etc.
- Travelers plan to take their iPad with them on longer road trips or vacations. They may plan the trip on the iPad. They use it get directions, find amenities, book hotels and make reservations, etc.
- Laptops are rarely used for trips except on trains or planes and in the hotel room.
How Consumers Use Mobile Devices when Shopping
- Consumers pull out their phones to do quick price checks on even small items, check reviews, look for coupons, and consult with friends.
- The iPad will be increasingly used for shopping, especially as cameras are added to it. They may be used to create shopping lists for back-to-school or Christmas shopping, and to do research ahead of time. This is especially true for large purchases, such as large appliances.
- The laptop is used for pre-shopping research only. They are rarely taken into the store.
How Consumers Use Mobile Devices for eCommerce
- Consumers will do limited eCommerce on their phones. eCommerce sites need to be optimized for targeted purchases and quick checkout. The mobile phone is still too small a device to be a first choice for extended online shopping or comparing items.
- Expect the iPad to become the preferred method for shopping online. It is lightweight, but the screen is large enough to provide a rich experience and make searching, comparison shopping, and checkout convenient.
Laptops will also continue to be used for ecommerce. They will likely become secondary to the iPad, but consumers will shop with their laptops when they are on them.
- Feature Design Principles for the iPhone, iPad, and Web
- User Experience Principles for the iPhone, iPad, and Web
- Business Model Principles: iPhone, iPad, and Web
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