Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
A10: Smartphone trends
Friday, 17/Mar/2017:
14:00 - 15:00

Session Chair: Bella Struminskaya, Utrecht University, Netherlands, The
Location: A 208

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Smartphones Uses Trends 2013-2016: A Digital Divide Perspective

Yaron Ariel1, Eilat Chen Levy2

1Dept. of CommunicationYezreel Valley College, Israel; 2Faculty of Management &The Center for Internet Research, The University of Haifa, Israel

Relevance & Research Question: Online connectedness through mobile Smartphone is increasingly replacing regular internet access. Considering the rapid growth in smartphone usage, the purpose of this study is to examine the recreating and the dynamics of the 'second-level digital divide' (Hargittai, 2002) among Israeli Smartphone users. Second-level digital divide hinges to the possible usage gap of actual activities within various Smartphone applications, rather than access alone.

Methods & Data: This study compares data gathered from trend survey of four consecutive years (2013-2016). All surveys were based on a representative sample (n=550-567, maximum sample error 4.5%) of Israeli population aged 15 and above. Each survey included several repetitive questions regarding users' accessibility, usability, and evaluation of the smartphone. A usability Index was constructed, including ten items (Cronbach's Alpha >.8) that stood for various usages of Smartphone applications (e.g. Voice calls, short text messages and multimedia messages, pictures and video, social network, surfing the net).

Results: Our primary analysis focuses on the gap of Smartphones' usability, depending on variables such as gender, age, and education. Overall, we found a significant difference (F(549)=7.4, p<.001) between the Usability Index along the years (2013 to 2016); A swift increase was found mainly in Smartphone's use for web surfing (from 55% to 90%) and watching TV through Smartphone (from 18% to 42%). Whereas voice calls and sending text messages remained stable regarding use (85%-90%). We found a significant difference between men and females smartphones' usages; men average was found higher than females average usage. Also, we found a significant negative correlation between respondents' age and the Usability Index.

Added Value: Smartphones' settings comprise of a variety of potential activities (e.g. surfing, taking pictures, playing, texting, talking). Unlike other media, this dynamic environment results in different levels of usages depending on users' characteristics. Our findings imply that despite the apparent ubiquity of Smartphones nowadays, scholars should consider actual uses of the smartphone when examining the digital gap.

Ariel-Smartphones Uses Trends 2013-2016-215.docx

Understanding mobile respondents and their importance for representative samples: attitudes, behavior, demographics and survey-taking.

Diana Livadic, Mara Badita

Ipsos GmbH, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: Consumers are increasingly accessing the internet through their mobile devices, so including mobile respondents in online surveys is more important than ever before. But a high share of surveys is still not mobile friendly which can impact the quality of the sample. Many questions regarding sampling and answer quality as well as the lack of (personal) experiences with mobile surveys, hinder researchers to optimize surveys for our mobile world. We address these questions and look into respondent profiles, answer behaviors, levels of distraction and engagement across devices. Furthermore, we will present learnings and best practices on how to design mobile friendly surveys and sampling implications.

Methods & Data: Within international research on research projects we conducted parallel tests with PC vs. mobile samples and analyzed potential differences between PC (computer or laptop), tablet, and smartphone respondents with regard to attitudes, demographics, and survey participation and engagement. We will present the results of different projects, all surveys include at least n=200 respondents per device, total of n=600 per country.

Results: Mobile respondents can have different profiles than PC respondents, which makes it necessary to include them in representative samples. They don`t have meaningful differences in survey-taking behavior and there is no impact on data when survey design is changed to be mobile friendly. Regardless of device, all respondents are distracted by their day-to-day life and mobile respondents are even less likely to be “potentially disengaged”.

Added Value: We were able to prove that mobile friendly designed surveys increase mobile participation and valid data collection. Our research shows that including smartphone respondents in surveys leads to at least four important benefits: 1. Sample representativity and feasibility/ sustainability, ensuring that samples continue to include key population behaviors that mobile respondents disproportionately display 2. Key target accessibility (not only maintain, but improve coverage of specific targets such as younger consumers or mothers of babies) 3. Respondent engagement and good data quality due to positive survey experience of panelists 4. Cost effectiveness by using sample efficiently.

What do we know about mixed-device online surveys and mobile device use in the UK?

Olga Maslovskaya, Gabriele Durrant, Peter Smith

University of Southampton, United Kingdom

Relevance & Research Question: We live in a digital age with high level of use of technologies. Surveys have also started adopting technologies including mobile devices for data collection. There is a move towards online data collection in the UK, including the plan to collect 75% of household responses through the online mode of data collection in the UK 2021 Census. However, evidence is needed to demonstrate that the online data collection strategy will work in the UK and to understand how to make it work effectively. No research has been conducted so far in the UK to address respondent’s online choice of device or behaviour in mixed-device online surveys. This project is very timely and will fill this gap in knowledge.

Methods & Data: This analysis uses all publically available UK social surveys which had an online component (Understanding Society Innovation Panel, Community Life Survey, European Social Survey, 1958 National Child Development Survey, Second Longitudinal Stud of Young People in England). Descriptive analysis and multinomial logistic regressions (where possible) are used to study significant correlates of different device use in mixed-device online surveys.

Results: Distributions of different device use by demographic and socio-economic characteristics as well as significant correlates of device use will be presented. Comparisons to other countries (Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the US) will be drawn.

Added Value: The originality of the analysis lies in addressing the underresearched area of different device use including mobile device use in mixed-device online surveys in the UK. The findings from this analysis will be instrumental to better understanding the trends in device use and response behaviour in mixed-device online surveys in the UK more generally and, specifically, in informing best practice for the next UK Census 2021.The knowledge about characteristics of respondents who choose to use different devices in online surveys in the UK can help target certain groups more effectively. It also can help improving the design of the surveys and response rates as well as reducing survey costs and efforts. This analysis lays foundations for future analysis of data quality issues in mixed-device online surveys in the UK.

Maslovskaya-What do we know about mixed-device online surveys and mobile device use-154.pdf

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