Mehrotra, A., Müller, S. R., Harari, G. M., Gosling, S. D., Mascolo, C., Musolesi, M., & Rentfrow, P. J. (2017) Understanding the Role of Places and Activities on Mobile Phone Interaction and Usage Patterns. Proc. ACM Interact. Mob. Wearable Ubiquitous Technol. 1 (3).
User interaction patterns with mobile apps and notifications are generally complex due to the many factors involved. However a deep understanding of what influences them can lead to more acceptable applications that are able to deliver information at the right time. In this paper, we present for the first time an in-depth analysis of interaction behavior with notifications in relation to the location and activity of users. We conducted an in-situ study for a period of two weeks to collect more than 36,000 notifications, 17,000 instances of application usage, 77,000 location samples, and 487 days of daily activity entries from 26 students at a UK university.
Our results show that users’ attention towards new notifications and willingness to accept them are strongly linked to the location they are in and in minor part to their current activity. We consider both users’ receptivity and attentiveness, and we show that different response behaviors are associated to different locations. These findings are fundamental from a design perspective since they allow us to understand how certain types of places are linked to specific types of interaction behavior. This information can be used as a basis for the development of novel intelligent mobile applications and services.