Understanding Tablet Use: A Multi-Method Exploration

John S. Webb
Proceedings of the 14th Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Mobile HCI 2012), ACM
Google Scholar


Tablet ownership has grown rapidly over the last year. While market research surveys have helped us understand the demographics of tablet ownership and provided early insights into usage, there is little comprehensive research available. This paper describes a multi-method research effort that employed written and video diaries, in-home interviews, and contextual inquiry observations to learn about tablet use across three locations in the US. Our research provides an in-depth picture of frequent tablet activities (e.g., checking emails, playing games, social networking), locations of use (e.g., couch, bed, table), and contextual factors (e.g., watching TV, eating, cooking). It also contributes an understanding of why and how people choose to use tablets. Popular activities for tablet use, such as media consumption, shopping, cooking, and productivity are also explored. The findings from our research provide design implications and opportunities for enriching the tablet experience, and agendas for future research.