How Time of Day and Demographics Impact Mobile Usage

Jun 16, 2016 | Marketplace

By: Andrew Dunn, Director, Business Intelligence

What kind of device are you on right now as you read this article? Are you on your phone? A laptop? As the number of mobile interviews continues to grow and outpace non-mobile conversion rates, and with deep profiling provided by Fulcrum and Proof, we decided to take a closer look at mobile usage patterns on the Lucid platform.  While some of the results are what you might expect, we were also able to see some interesting usage patterns by different demographic groups.

Weekday vs. Weekend Usage


No surprises when it comes to weekday usage. The night owls are pretty evenly split between mobile and non-mobile (although non-mobile is favored), but mobile usage falls off dramatically during the work day. There’s a slight morning bump in mobile usage around 7 a.m., as people grab their phones first thing in the morning or on their commute to work.

That “morning bump” becomes more interesting in the weekend data.


Weekend usage has a much less dramatic drop during the day, but there is an interesting early morning bump, which is more prolonged than the weekday morning bump. Who doesn’t love to lay in bed and do some early morning surfing?

The real power of Lucid’s data comes when we look at this data by demographics.

Full-time Employees vs. Students

As you might expect, students have much different usage patterns than full-time employees. Students are much more likely to be using a mobile device at any given point during the day than full-time employees. However, some of the differences are quite dramatic.


What happens at midnight is quite different between the two groups. Full-time workers are putting their phones down, while students are picking them up! For students, overnight usage peaks at 2 a.m. but even at 4 a.m. the majority of students still online are on a mobile device.

There’s also a difference in the morning bump. For students, the morning bump peaks an hour later and is much more dramatic.

Usage by Age

Usage by age group is also as you may expect– younger groups are more likely to be using a mobile device.


However, that’s true except for the evening, when the two of the lines cross. You may have noticed a similar usage pattern in students vs. full-time employees. Let’s take a closer look…


What’s going on here? Here’s our take on it:

The 25 to 34 age group is much more likely to be employed full-time. They’ve been sitting at computers all day and are now flipping to mobile devices.

This older age group is also likely doing other things: watching TV with a spouse, cooking, taking care of children. These tasks aren’t conducive to sitting in front of a computer screen. Students are also a factor here–studying, writing papers, and doing research are much easier to do on a computer than a mobile device.

What about you? How do you incorporate mobile into your sampling and research strategy? Without a doubt, mobile interviews are on the rise and mobile-friendly surveys are a must. The more we learn about respondents and their behaviors, the more sophisticated we can get and the more we can take advantage of mobile features as part of our research and sampling strategies.

At Lucid, we are committed to creating clarity – through the power of human answers at scale.


Methodology Note: We looked at one year worth of entrants on the platform from the United States. Timezones were normalized such that 7am represents 7am for everyone.

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