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The Differences Between Desktop and Mobile Qual Platform Engagement

Published 29 Jan 2014 2 minute read

Online qual

Last year we helped our clients conduct over 800 communities on IdeaStream™. These projects spanned 112 countries and involved 95,000 participants - that’s 5,000 more than would fit in Wembley stadium! We’re extremely proud of this achievement, naturally. However, quality is more important to us than quantity and we see it as our role to help clients deliver high quality online research.

We provide our clients with support and consultancy, but in 2014 we’re also aiming to offer data about how your participants behave on your IdeaStream™ projects. Why? Because reviewing data such as ‘time spent on the platform’, ‘average minutes per visit’, ‘average pages per visit’ and mobile vs. desktop usage enables you to make more intelligent decisions about the way you run your projects, and in turn, improve the success of your projects.

Here are some examples of IdeaStream™ user data from 2013 and our associated assumptions.

 Participants spent an average of 12:30 minutes on IdeaStream™ per visit and 86% visited at least once per day (suggesting they return to respond to ‘probes’).

12.30 minutes per visit was in-line with our expectations. It’s important you have enough participant time to capture the data you require, but equally important not to overwhelm participants by commanding too much of their time. We advise 15-20 minutes per day as being optimum.

It’s interesting to see how this breaks down across the different devices too:

  • Desktop – 13:34 minutes
  • Mobile – 7.56 minutes
  • Tablet – 11:11 minutes

We also know that participants visit 7.9 pages when on their desktops, compared to 5.1 pages when on their mobile smartphones.

The reasons why participants spend more time per visit and visit more pages on their desktops v.s. mobiles are quite obvious.

  1. Desktops provide participants with the most engaging experience
  2. Desktops are typically used at home or in the office, whereas mobiles are more frequently used whilst on the move, typically in between activities when participants are time pressed.

On average participants spend 3.30 minutes on each activity. Again it’s interesting to see how this breaks-down across the different devices:

  • Desktop – 3.34 minutes
  • Mobile – 3.01 minutes
  • Tablet – 3.31 minutes

The statistic implies that participants give more in-depth (and perhaps more considered…) responses when they engage via their desktops. Why? Well it’s likely to be a combination of the above factors and, having a bigger screen estate and a larger/easier to navigate keyboard.

In 2013 80% of our 95k users visited on their desktops, compared to 15% on the mobile smartphones and 5% on their tablets. However, we know that mobile & tablet usage is increasing every month.
In March 2013 8.6% of participants visited on their mobile smartphones, but this grew to 20% by December (9 months). In March 2013 4.2% of participants visited on their tablets, but again this grew by December to 11%.

IdeaStream™ is a device agnostic platform meaning it’s available to participants via their desktop, mobile and tablet browsers and it’s this approach coupled with increasing participants demands for mobile engagement which makes it a good mobile qual platform for research.

For more help with your insight communities, read our guide to Research Community Engagement here and download your copy to keep.


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