移动设备用户的行为是否有所不同,这取决于他们是否有过在使用智能手机之前使用桌面电脑的经历?我们无法从发达国家的用户研究中回答这个问题,因为大多数主流用户都有使用这两种设备的经验:例如,只有10%的美国成年人将智能手机作为自己的手机只有way to access the internet at home, according to aPew Internet Survey。这种小团体必须在许多方面与主流用户不同,因此它并没有提供富有成效的学习桌面遗产的方式。

相反,in developing countries, we often encounter the phenomenon of technology “leapfrogging,” in which users bypass older technologies and directly adopt newer ones. Specifically, we know that many mainstream users in India use smartphones despite never having used a desktop computer.

To better understand mobile behavior in emerging markets, we conducted a mobile-usability study in India. The study involved 10 users, split into two user groups (each with 5 people):

  1. 仅限移动设备用户主要通过他们的手机访问互联网的用户,并以前从未使用桌面电脑。
  2. Desktop-heritage除了使用智能手机之前,在桌面上使用Internet和谁经常使用计算机来访问Internet的用户,谁拥有巨大的经验。

Our study had two main goals: (1) to uncover differences between mobile-only and desktop-heritage users, and (2) to investigate mobile features and behaviors unique to countries such as India.

Desktop Habits Carry Over

Our testing in the Western world shows that, in general, users rarely bookmark web pages on their mobile phones — possibly because bookmarking is a buried feature in most mobile browsers. Overall, we found a relatively low incidence of bookmarking in India as well, but we observed thatbookmarking was more frequent among the desktop-heritage users compared to mobile-only users。这些参与者似乎已从桌面浏览器中携带其书签习惯到他们的移动设备。

However, none of the mobile-only users reported using bookmarks on their phones. Some were even unaware they could bookmark websites, and many mentioned that, instead of bookmarking a site, they would just redo the same search again and rely on the history suggestions to recover a previously visited page.



While these issues affected both mobile-only and desktop-heritage users,desktop-heritage participants seemed to care less about data consumption, possibly because their more data-intensive browsing was done on their computers.

用户addressed the problem of limited storage by限制本机应用程序的数量installed on their phones. As a result, many users usedwebsites or web apps instead of native appsfor their mobile use.桌面遗产和仅移动用户的用户不同于他们如何决定安装的本机应用程序。

Desktop-heritage users tended to download native apps only for a limited number offrequent tasks。(这同样的发现在世界其他地区的用户身上持有了真实的用户,但到了较少的极端学位:应用程序是用于经常执行的活动,而移动网络使用是偶尔需要的。)

One of the users encountered an insufficient-storage issue when she tried to download the Zomato app. While she was making space on her phone for it, she said:“我曾经拥有这个应用程序,但是因为我的手机耗尽了内存我只要我需要它就会使用网站。”


Possibly as a result of their prior experience with the desktop environment,desktop-heritage users did more task management than mobile-only users:为了解决有限的电话内存问题,许多人通过尽可能多地刷掉它们“以防止手机崩溃”来源地杀死背景应用。

仅限移动设备users有一个不同的解决方案,解决了低内存和对数据效率的需求:they used lightweight browsers and services that supported off-network sharing of apps and other files among users.UC Browser和Opera Mini等浏览器使用数据压缩技术和云服务(确定从中下载数据的最近服务器)来减少页面负载并最大限度地减少数据消耗。一位用户解释说[Opera Mini]“is less data consuming. Chrome consumes more data. My RAM is too low so I didn't download the Facebook app.



“If you use UC Browser, you can save apps [i.e., bookmarks to web apps] to the SD card. I can then install it without the net. I never keep too many apps on my phone.

Services such as SHAREit were used to transfer apps and files between phones located in close proximity without using the internet. In this way, apps could be downloaded from a friend instead of using precious data to do so over the network.

(左)Shareit应用程序允许用户在不使用网络的情况下将文件传输到附近的电话。(右)可以传输的文件包括下载的应用程序。一个用户指出,他使用shareit:“for sending and receiving apps... Sometimes when there's no network, I can use SHAREit. And SHAREit consumes less time. If you download on the network, it takes time. SHAREit is faster. I also use it for sharing media files.”




In this world of expensive data and limited storage, bloatware installed on the phone by device manufacturers is particularly hurtful. Smartphones often come with a large number of useless preinstalled apps that cannot be deleted. Our study participants resented these default apps that burdened the phone’s already cramped storage space.

Out of the 17 Google apps preinstalled on one user’s phone, she only used 3: Chrome, Gmail, and YouTube. (Stills from usability-testing video.)

Device Sharing and App Lockers

Shared access to a phone is common in India. Often, there are fewer smartphones than people in the household, and family members share the device at some points in the day. Further, due to cultural differences in the notion of privacy, it is acceptable to borrow a friend or relative’s phone to browse through the picture gallery or to make a call. In these situations it becomes important to have a privacy-control feature that limits access to sensitive information such as text messages, contacts, or Facebook.

In our study, the most frequent solution to this problem was the use ofapp储物柜。App lockers are applications that, once installed, enable users to completely or partially “lock” certain other sensitive apps and allow access only if the user enters a pin or pattern. App lockers can also be configured to hide sensitive data within an application — for example, they may hide a subset of the pictures in the phone’s gallery.

(左)NQ Vault提供了TAPP锁定和数据隐藏功能。(右)密码屏幕控制访问锁定的应用程序。我们使用过这个应用程序的用户之一解释,“我用保险库上锁。我专门用它来锁定WhatsApp和[Facebook]Messenger…以维护隐私。因此,如果我打开应用程序,我将首先必须输入密码。即使在通知中它也会隐藏消息…我也可以隐藏图片。如果有私人照片的话。”

应用程序储物柜有点悖论。在我们的可用性研究中,我们经常看到人们抱怨登录墙壁, yet here’s an instance where they voluntarily raise one to prevent unwanted intrusions into personal information in a world where sharing devices is common.



(Left) Users could enter a phone number to register on the Swiggy app. (Right) Once the number was entered, the user was texted an OTP. For future logins, the user could use either a password entry or OTP verification.

OTP is also used to facilitate login and registration on the desktop, provided that the user has a mobile phone nearby. The site sends the OTP to the phone, and the user can copy that code on the computer. (This is an example of a良好的全米通道经历, in which users of one channel take advantage of the capabilities of another available channel.), a site for buying and selling preowned products, offered an email-login option and an OTP option. During each login, a new OTP was generated. No need for remembering passwords!

Note that the OTP also provides a reasonable solution to the notoriously hard problem of记住密码。It also saves users the effort of typing passwords, which is especially difficult on mobile — regular passwords often involve a combination of special, lower- and upper-case characters that are rarely available on the same mobile keyboard.

Mobile Phones for Payments: Cash and Online Wallets



用户可以通过短信给别人寄钱that contains transaction and authentication details. The receiver then uses those details to withdraw cash from an eligible ATM machine; no bank account or ATM card is needed for this transaction.

一些支付门户应用程序(如免费)允许用户将钱存入网上钱包和use it to make payments in physical stores. In Freecharge, this can be done using the支付商户feature: The user enters a registered mobile number and an app-provided PIN into the point-of-service (POS) machine of the vendor. At the time of payment, the user only needs a mobile phone; no cash nor card.


我们对印度移动使用的研究发现,只有在手机访问互联网和桌面 - 遗产参与者使用手机和计算机的互联网和桌面遗产参与者之间的行为和担忧的差异。虽然桌面 - 遗产用户更有可能在桌面上学到的行为(例如,管理多任务处理)到移动,但两种类型的用户都关注存储和数据消耗,并限制了在其手机上安装的本机应用程序的数量。桌面 - 遗产用户决定主要基于预期使用频率安装哪些本机应用,但仅移动用户也考虑了未安装应用程序的机会成本 - 也就是说,它们有多可能找到相同的功能和经验网。桌面 - 遗产和仅移动电话共享和使用应用程序储物柜的参与者,以保护偶尔借用手机的人的敏感信息。

Our international studies tend to findcultural nuances as opposed to major cultural differences在用户行为中:人们到处都是相同的,最大的可用性问题源于人类思维与计算机特征之间的差距,这些功能远远大于来自不同国家的人之间的任何差异。

Unlike earlier studies, this study with mobile users in India apparently departs from the norm: common Indian solutions that we report in this article (e.g., use of app lockers or lite browsers) are almost never seen in our mobile-usability studies with Western audiences. However, these solutions address behaviors encountered everywhere: many of us have occasionally handed our devices to someone else to take a picture or read a headline — just long enough for an尴尬notification to pop up on the screen. And although in developed countries only a relatively small percentage of users resort to using lite browsers, people do care about their phone storage capability and install applications only if they expect to use them frequently.

Studying and understanding these problems and their solutions in India not only gives us insight into catering to international mobile audiences in developing countries, but it also teaches us how to design better products for a subset of our user demographics (e.g., those who rely on their phone to use the internet) and gives us ideas for solving general-audience problems such as keeping our information safe from accidental, but embarrassing disclosures, and dealing with the difficulties of remembering and typing passwords on the go.