Desktop vs. Mobile - What's best for Citizen Science Projects?

Tuesday, 05 November 2019 15:07

An analysis of the state of the mobile web conducted by SimilarWeb earlier this year presented on Perficient Digital digital marketing agency has shown that usage of the mobile internet vs the desktop went down compared to 2017 but is still higher than in 2016.

  • In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices.
  • Mobile devices made up 42% of total time spent online.
  • Mobile bounce rate came in at 50%

mobile vs desktop

Does mobile traffic really decline?

The apparent decline is not an actual drop in mobile usage but rather a change in the data collection methodology for 2018, for which different data sources have been used.
In fact, the data suggests that the majority of traffic (58%) now comes from mobile devices, even though the average time spent on a website is slightly higher on desktops in general. This is a critical fact of life for business and media websites.
When it comes to bounce rates, desktop still has the lead over mobile, and that is not likely to change anytime soon even though mobile site experiences are improving and users are getting more comfortable with them. The data also suggests that this occurs because users often look up things quickly while they are on the go.


What is most interesting though is the fact that compared to other industry categories, science has the highest bounce rate on mobile devices of all.
Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.
The data suggests that science-related apps and websites have the highest bounce rate on mobile devices of all.

On SPOTTERON, we provide high quality-visuals to counteract that and apply modern principles of design to every interactive project and Citizen Science app. Visual quality matters, its the first impression and the message conveyed which counts in terms of bounce rates.
Generally speaking, the percentage of total page views from mobile devices vs desktop is slightly higher compared to previous years, suggesting a continuation of that trend:

page views per visit 

What do the numbers mean for citizen science projects?

First of all, a well crafted online presence for any (citizen) science project is crucial, both mobile and desktop. Keeping in mind how the usage of mobile devices continues to grow compared to desktop and how the mobile experience continues to improve, interactive citizen science apps are an integral part of any project and will become even more significant in the future. Being mobile friendly is important in all industries — it's the largest source of traffic in nearly all of them.

That's why on the SPOTTERON citizen platform every projects toolkit is not only available as a smartphone app for android and iOS, but also as a full feature interactive web-app for the browser. This web-aplication can be embedded directly in the project's homepage and be used by every citizen scientist, school class or organisation, for contribitung on laptops and desktop PC's.

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  • There are new Citizen Science projects listed in the Citizen Science app overview: CoronaReport for a better understanding of the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis, ArtSpots for all of you who love art, photography and architecture, and a new regional phenology project called Nature's Calendar Burgenland. Check them out and download a Citizen Science app today!

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    Monday, 17 February 2020