Tomasz Banas

Understanding the Multi-Screen World

Let’s face it, we are a multi-screen population, and we love to multi-task. We often watch a show on TV or Tablet and shop online or text on our Smartphone. We’re busy, on the go, and mostly with a mobile device in our hands. We also jump from one gadget to another to complete a single task. Obviously, this multi-screen opportunity is very convenient for average users, but it may be challenging for businesses.

Multiple screens in web design

Multi-Screen Availability Influences People’s Behavior

With more gadgets available, people utilize them differently. They engage in two multi-screening ways to achieve daily goals. Some individuals sequentially move between devices. They snap a picture of an item with a smartphone or look up some initial information on a tablet, and they complete the search or finalize their shopping on a PC or laptop. Others like to simultaneously use several screens. They engage in texting, e-mailing, or social networking on their smartphones or tablets, while watching TV or playing a game.

The multi-screen opportunity also changes users’ browsing and purchasing habits. People are often influenced by what they see on TV, so they immediately check out this specific item on a mobile device before buying it. They also shop more online than in stores, and they’re more spontaneous in their shopping. All thanks to the vast amount of gadgets they have on hand.

The Numbers Speak for Themselves

Last year’s research from Google points out leading trends in this multi-screen usage.  It finds that 90 percent of people in the World utilize multiple screens for their media interactions. Those who sequentially jump between devices and complete tasks in one day make up 98 percent. Not surprisingly, Smartphones are the most common action starters. They are also most popularly used during simultaneous activity. The study also reports that TV loses its attention-keeping power, with 77 percent of people using a different device while watching TV.

A recent study from Microsoft, partnered with Flamingo Research and Ipsos OTX, reveals four multi-screen behaviors. First one, Content Grazing, refers to 68 percent of individuals, who use a few screens at the same time to look up different information. Fifty-seven percent of people engage in the second behavior, Investigative Spider-Webbing, which involves viewing similar content on multiple tools. The third way, Quantum Journey, affects 46 percent of people, who begin a task on one device and move to another to finish it. And the final one, Social Spider-Webbing, is chosen by 39 percent and refers to connecting and sharing content via devices.

Other reports reveal how such a variety of screens influences people’s shopping. Google’s holiday survey shows that 63 percent of people used one or more gadgets to buy holiday gifts in 2012. Also, 67 percent of clients felt that having many screens eased their shopping experience. Moreover, according to InMobi’s new survey, 75 percent of respondents use portable devices and notice new information about an item thanks to it, and 45 percent say mobile affects their in-store buying actions.

Multi-Screening Affects Designing and Selling on the Web

This fragmented Internet use may pose challenges for businesses. But, companies find their ways through the trend by gaining understanding of the multi-screen world and implementing valuable techniques. Here are some examples of what they do to stay on top:

  • They create a responsive website, tailoring their web designs to various gadgets and allowing customers to save progress. This makes people’s experience seamless.
  • They optimize online performance by ensuring good loading time of their website’s content, without pop ups or unplayable video or audio. It minimizes frustration.
  • They track viewers, as well as their habits and responses, with analytic tools. This helps them manage this disjointed content consumption.
  • They personalize the experience by providing functional apps, emails or alerts for clients’ mobile gadgets. Such approach generates faster responses.
  • They encourage communication and browsing of their website with useful and catchy content. Doing this increases their purchase rates.

We, the always-busy and multi-tasking gadget junkies, use multiple devices in various ways. Such behavior changes not only our online habits but also the methods and scope of web designing and product selling. Clearly, understanding this multi-screen world, learning how to navigate it, and creating appropriate websites are essential for today’s business’ success.

Founder & CEO

An entrepreneur with an eye for good design and advocate of simplicity. He brings a fresh strategy and approach to every project and plays an integral role in clients’ accomplishments through collaboration and close integration. Through his hands-on experience in technology and marketing, he ensures user experiences and technology are on the leading edge.