A time and place for each device

We advise our clients to design for context first, not device.

Part of that context is the time of day.

Take a look at the peaks and troughs for each device’s usage throughout the day:


What are the implications?

  • A user’s context: Understanding the time of day gives you a sense of potentially where the user is and where their headspace is as well. In simplistic terms, PCs are for work, tablets are for home and mobile is for all the time (don’t tell the boss).
  • Myth busted: This goes counter to the myth that mobile is for people who are “on the go” and are for transactions and way-finding only. The phone is on all the time.
  • Planning content: Whatever content users can see on their PC, they might be expecting it on their mobile or tablet as well – whether they are at work in front of their computer, on the bus back home or in bed right before they turn out the light.
  • Another little insight: see that little peak in PC usage right after midnight? We’re not surprised. We’ve seen this behaviour when reviewing analytics of e-commerce sites: a lot of users do their online shopping late at night.

What this data doesn’t show is how relevant it is for your own site or app. You cannot rely on assumptions or aggregate data to optimise for contexts.

You must do the work – reviewing analytics, talking to users, observing their (unreported) behaviour and see what is really going on your website or app – by persona/user, by context, and indeed even by time of day.

Of course, we’re here to help you do the work.

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