The Technology Behind Mobile Research: Browsers vs. Apps | Audiovisual Interaction |

There’s a fault line running through mobile research technology that makes it not just a disruptive technology but one that is fragmenting research approaches. Forget mobile technology – we need to think ‘mobile technologies’.


At the many mobile research events, pioneering mobile researchers and technology providers jostle over whether the mobile app or the browser is best. According to the Confirmit Market Research Software Survey I am working on, there is no overall winner. Asked which mobile technology was considered ‘most viable’, 39% backed the mobile browser, against 18% favouring apps and 34% sitting on the fence, considering both technologies equally viable.


I am with the fence-sitters. Research just got a little more difficult, because there is unlikely ever to be a one-size-fits-all approach with mobile research in the way there was for telephone or online.


“Researchers need to think about who they are going to reach and why,” says Lumi Mobile’s Andy Lees. ”Is it to gather new data? Or to make more representative data collection in developed markets? Or to make it more convenient for people in developed markets? Or is it to reach people in emerging markets they cannot reach on a PC? In developed markets, are you trying to reach ‘accidentally mobile people’ or are you deliberately targeting mobile respondents?”

Via Russ Merz, Ph.D.