Nearly everyone who talks about the differences between designing for desktop and mobile talks about how you have to keep in mind that your users are “on the go.”
How true is that? How often are people walking fast down the street looking for a crucial piece of information vs. sitting on the bus, at their office, or on their couch using their phones?
Using a combination of the accelerometer and GPS, we could define some metrics as to whether or not the person is stationary or moving. We might be able to tell if they are sitting (little accelerometer movement) but in a vehicle (GPS changes).
That’s information that goes far beyond the traditional page view or user session and into information that is mobile specific and very useful for user experience designers.
I realize there are both privacy and battery life concerns with tracking this information. It isn’t a simple problem to solve.
But if those obstacles could be overcome, understanding whether or not our visions of how people “on the go” use mobile technology matches how people really use their mobile devices, would be very interesting.
Image courtesy Flickr user rustmonster licensed under Creative Commons.