Notice: the WebSM website has not been updated since the beginning of 2018.

Web Survey Bibliography

Title Device effects on behaviour and participation in mobile-optimised online diaries
Year 2017
Access date 13.04.2017

Relevance & Research Question:

What demographic and behavioural factors differentiate users of smartphones, tablets and desktops, and what are their effects on diary participation?

Methods & Data:

800 active pool members in 6 countries each (Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, UK) - recruited via a 15-minute online screening questionnaire - were asked to fill out at least 3 diaries per week over 25-35 weeks between November 2014 and December 2015 on a fully mobile-optimised link.

There was an option for respondents to indicate that they had nothing new to report on, which was counted as unqualified diaries. Over the course of the study, 477.330 qualified diaries were collected. One qualified diary took 3-5 minutes.


- Smartphone users are somewhat more likely to report qualified diaries than desktop users.

- Smartphone users reported more qualified diaries in a shorter tenure in the study than desktop users. However participants show a high variance in their individual reporting behaviour.

- Device usage is differentiated by demographic factors (age, gender, country, income), but these did little to explain activity and tenure in the survey.

- Activity in social networks was only marginally relevant in explaining activity and tenure.

- Respondents who used a mix of devices to participate in the diaries stayed active longer and delivered significantly more qualified diaries than single device participants.

- There is an important device effect on the content participants reported on. Some content is more likely to be reported on a smartphone, while other content is more likely to be reported on a tablet or desktop.

Added Value:

The technical setup that allows completion on every device is a much more decisive factor in ensuring high activity and long tenure than respondent selection based on social demographics. Nevertheless, no single device user can be considered more valuable in terms of activity or tenure in online diary studies.

Different target groups use different devices, therefore it is necessary to offer online surveys fully optimized for smartphones, tablet and desktops alike. Also, different content is reported on each device, and therefore limitations not to provide a fully mobile-optimised diary will have effects on the results.

Year of publication2017
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (8390)