There is a range of diverse factors that influence the difference between content consumption on mobile devices and desktop PCs. This article will break down some of the most important distinctions so that we can better understand how our audiences consume information.
What Are Mobile Applications?
A mobile app is a software application created to run on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet computers. Many devices are sold with some apps bundled as pre-installed software, such as an internet browser, email, calendar, maps and an app for purchasing music or additional apps. When an app is specially made for the content we are looking for, the tendency is to reach for the mobile device rather than searching for it on the Internet through a desktop computer. Conversely, when consuming information on a desktop, there is often a greater amount of searching and multi-tasking that happens. The fact is that mobile devices are designed to give the user an entirely different experience than that of a desktop or laptop computer. One of the major factors that have contributed to this is the creation of apps.
Mobile Apps Offer Simplicity and Convenience
When deciding between mobile devices and desktops, much of the choice hinges upon how much time we have, and what our location is. For instance, when we want to access directions or maps, the simplicity and convenience of Google and Apple Maps make the decision a no-brainer. Weather conditions are also almost always looked up on mobile devices, partly because people want this info when they are on the go (like when heading out for dinner or just after a flight lands). Social media apps such as Facebook are also huge on mobile because people tend to access them when they want to kill time, perhaps while waiting for a bus or train.
The Type of Content is Important
The kind of content or information that we are accessing will have a large impact on the method in which we consume it. When reading an important report for work, we will more likely decide to sit down at our computer, rather than reach for our mobile device. However, if we are multitasking, watching TV or even driving – which is extremely dangerous – It is almost 100 percent likely that we will be using our phones. There is also a better chance that we will use our mobile devices for leisure information that does not require a significant amount of time to consume. Heavy financial or academic content lends itself to the desktop experience.
Navigation Impacts Consumption
Much of the reason for content being accessed on a mobile device or desktop depends on the navigation of the website. Is the content mobile friendly? If the answer to this is a resounding no, then the user is almost certainly going to turn to a desktop for the content. For someone to use a smartphone to access content, it must be clearly readable and easy to navigate on a smaller screen. The difference between consuming content on a desktop and consuming content on a mobile device is really about the user’s time, location and content type. It comes down to these factors when a user is deciding which device to reach for and the kind of experience they want to have.
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