Hands On, Or Voice Activated?

1990: Nintendonitis. 1991: Nintendo Neck. 1991: Nintendo Pants Wetting, or Enuresis. 2004: PlayStation Thumb. 2009: Wiiitis. 2013: WhatsAppit. The list you have just read, are all real life examples of ailments proscribed by actual doctors. Now, though none of the above diagnoses are life-threating, the trend to which these cases are creating is an interesting one. WhatsAppitis is the newest occurrence amongst game-related injuries, and it was diagnosed after a woman spent six hours using the message-sending application called WhatsApp. To quote The Lancet, “The diagnosis for the bilateral wrist pain was WhatsAppitis.”

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News Consumption Trends



From our previous posts, we can clearly see a rise in the use of smartphones and mobile devices for news consumption. However, the infographic (by Carlos Monteiro) below illustrates further differences between genders, devices, and types of apps.

Here we see consumers prefer niche news apps above all else, even above newspaper apps, which reign in almost half of all mobile news consumers. Smartphones, preferred by men, are for newspaper apps, and tablets, preferred by women, are for television apps. Both genders tend to stick with known media channels.

news apps


Does this information ring true for you? If not, what are your preferences?

The Second Screen Phenomenon

Election time is full of chaos; endless updates on all forms of digital and print media, political debates in online forums and on social media platforms, the desire to check our mobile devices anytime and anywhere to check up on the stats.

Mixing live events, such as U.S. presidential debates and election night, with the availability of mobile devices has spawned a term called “second screen phenomenon.” This occurs when a person is not only watching television, but at the same time also utilizing another mobile device, perhaps to complement the program they are watching.

PEW Research has found that 27% of respondents watching election night not only used online sources, but also television to get their updates on the matter.

Not only do these mobile devices allow users to be updated on the most current happenings, but also add to monitor media responses, fact check the debate, follow live reactions of different reporters, and to add to the live social media buzz on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

This second screen phenomenon suggests that we are being enabled and encouraged to consume news. It suggests that our mobile devices, such as our phones and tablets, are tools that can help us to stay informed of the news and to consume news more easily than ever before.

Do you find yourself taking part in the second screen phenomenon?

More Devices = More News

Does this hold true: More devices = more news?

According to Pew Research, there is merely a correlation between news consumption and the acquisition of new digital devices.

The research above suggests that people do not simply replace news intake on one device with another, but instead indicates a trend in which people increase their news consumption as they increase their supply of mobile devices. 34% of computer news consumers also get news on a smartphone and 17% on a tablet, and 27% of smartphone users also get news on a tablet.

This reinforces the study (shown below) that 31% of tablet news users claimed to have spent more time getting news on their tablets, and 43% claimed that the tablet has allowed them to add to the amount of news they consume.

With these studies, we can see that the advances of mobile technology is allowing us easier access to news consumption, and that we not only recognize this but that we act upon it by actually spending more time on news.

Have you found yourself spending more time on news with your phone/tablet?

News “Grazing”

Now that news has gone digital, people can now access the daily news whenever and wherever they please. News habits are changing in this now digital age, and we can start to see a gap in ways that older and younger Americans are consuming their news.

According to the PEW Research, there is an increasing trend of “grazing” the news in the younger generation. To “graze the news” would involve Continue reading

Multiple Perspectives and App Designs Across Mobile Devices


Cubism, pioneered by art legends Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, depicts a subject from a multitude of viewpoints. By design, the multiple vantage points that Cubism provides for the viewer allows the individual to achieve a more complete understanding of the subject. It even provides the choice to compare different perspectives by yourself or with other consumers of art and culture. This artistic feature, among other things, contributed to the style’s success as the first and most influential art movement of the 20th century.

You don’t need to be an art critic to understand that the freedom of choice to interactively engage with the subject in front of us, whether it is information or art, is a choice that modern consumers of knowledge are demanding. Indeed, research suggests that tablets and smartphones are not only a growing trend in news consumption, but also that users of mobile devices are more engaged in their consumption of information.

Currently, the democratization of technology and the choice in how we consume information not only extends to how we access the news, but also what brands and operating systems we use. Among smartphones, for example, the competition is primarily between iOS, Android, and Windows Phones. As discussed in an article released by Wired Magazine, Instagram has just been launched on Windows Phone. However, the aesthetic look and navigational layout of the popular photo-sharing application is radically different than the version of the app found on iOS or Android.

The ability to perceive the same image and interact with the same subject in ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ways through the freedom of multiple perspectives may have catapulted Picasso and Georges Braque to artistic stardom. But will these choices necessarily make interaction easier for users? Will apps launched on Windows Phones be so radically different in look and control functionality that a user of iOS would find it difficult to interact with? If Instagram is popularly perceived as “better” on Windows Phone than iOS, will Apple Inc. be at a disadvantage?

Should application have a standard aesthetic and design layout across competing platforms, mobile devices and operating systems?