As Mobile Screen Size Increases… So Does Activity

Smartphones are always with us and (as a result) used all the time. But time spent on our mobile screens doesn’t just increase with portability, it grows with screen size as well.

Nearly four years ago, an analysis of Web browser page views on a variety of tablets showed that as screen size decreased people’s use of the Web dropped from an average of 125 page views on 10" tablets to an average of 79 page views on 5" tablets.

as screen size decreased people's use of the Web dropped

Turns out the opposite is true as well. As screen size increases, so does people’s activity on the device… to a point. Looking at Android data usage, bigger screens mean more Web browsing, social networking, and communicating up until about 6".

As screen size increases, so does people's activity on the device

One reason for this increased activity may be that bigger smartphones are now the norm. It took 5 years for the average smartphone to go from 3" to 4" but only 2 more years to get to 5" (by the end of 2014).

bigger smartphone trends

Another reason may be that larger phones take time away from other devices like tablets. Reading app Pocket found that users with 4.7" phones read 19% less on their tablets during the week and 27% less over the weekend. Those with a 5.5" phone were on their tablets 31% less during the week and 36% less over the weekend.

Screen size alone, however, can also lead to increased use. Pocket saw that people with a 4.7" phone opened 33% more articles and videos than they did with a 4" screen, and those with a 5.5" screen opened 65% more items than they did with a smaller phone.

how screen size impacts where we read

More recent data from Flurry tells the same story. Time spent on 5" to 6.9" phones has grown 334% while only increasing 85% on 3.5" to 4.9" phones.

Time spent on 5 to 7 inch phones has grown

In other words: the bigger your portable screen, the more you’re going to use it.

via LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy


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