What do you learn when you observe 100 days of iPhone use?

Barry Brown, Moira McGregor and Donald McMillan of the Mobile Life Centre at Stockholm University audio-video recorded over 100 days of device use from 15 users and just published their results, which they presented in September at the MobileHCI conference in Toronto, Canada.

Internet connected mobile devices are an increasingly ubiquitous part of our everyday lives and we present here the results from unobtrusive audio-video recordings of iPhone use – over 100 days of device use collected from 15 users. The data reveals for analysis the everyday, moment-by-moment use of contemporary mobile phones. Through video analysis of usage we observed how messages, social media and internet use are integrated and threaded into daily life, interaction with others, and everyday events such as transport, delays, establishment choice and entertainment. We document various aspects of end-user mobile device usage, starting with understanding how it is occasioned by context. We then characterise the temporal and sequential nature of use. Lastly, we discuss the social nature of mobile phone usage. Beyond this analysis, we reflect on how to draw these points into ideas for design.

The results and their discussion are particularly insightful.