All posts filed under “yahoo! labs

Honorable Mention Award @ MobileHCI 2015: The Challenges of Mobile Phone Usage Data

A collaborative paper with Denzil Ferreira of University of Oulu, Nikola Banovic of Carnegie Mellon University and Kent Lyons a past colleague from Yahoo, in which we explore the challenges of mobile phone usage data through an analysis of three diverse smartphone application usage datasets, has been given an honorable mention award for the upcoming Mobile HCI 2015 conference in Denmark.

The goal of this work was to broaden our understanding of smartphone usage by investigating if differences in mobile device usage occurred not only across our three datasets, but also in relation to prior work. We provide an extensive review of prior work on related mobile data sets and mobile studies, present details of our comparative analysis focusing on top apps and micro-usage behaviors but most importantly we discuss the challenges and issues of conducting mobile research of this nature and reflect on caveats related to the replicability and generalizability of such work.

We’re delighted with the award / nomination!

Denzil worked on a beautiful visual table in our review of related work (see below). And you can read a pre-print of the paper here.

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Presentation @ CHI2015: Understanding mobile search & app interactions

Last week JP Carrascal presented our study on the interactions between mobile search and mobile apps at CHI 2015 in Seoul, Korea. JP did a fantastic job presenting and handled the flurry of questions afterwards very well! In fact JP gave two talks in the same “Understanding Everyday Use of Mobile Phones” session chaired by Matt Jones!

The idea behind this work is to understand more about the behaviors and motivations around smartphone users transitioning between mobile search engines and mobile apps (and vice versa) when trying to find information to satisfy their daily information needs. We were also interested in exploring the various triggers and actions associated with mobile search. To shed some light on these mobile search and app interactions we designed and conducted a 2-week, mixed-method study involving 18 Android users in the Bay Area. The deck explains the core motivations, approach alongside key results. Questions or comments feel free to contact JP or I. And if interested in reading the full CHI 2015 paper it’s available here.


TVX 2015 Paper on Quantifying Mobile Device Use While Watching TV Accepted!

 
We recently found out that a paper focused on understanding more about how and why people use their mobile devices at home and while watching TV has been accepted for publication at TvX 2015 :-) In Winter 2014, my Yahoo Labs colleagues Christian Holz, Frank Bentley, Mitesh Patel and I conducted a mixed-method study conducted involving 7 participants in 7 diverse households. We set out to understand more about mobile device use in and around the home and in particular, in conjunction with watching TV.

In order to understand this use we equipped a primary participants mobile phone and tablet with Android logging software which tracked all the apps the participant used and when. We tracked indoor location using 4 BLE beacons around participants’ homes, primarily in the living area, kitchen, and bedroom. Finally, we placed a dedicated phone that ran sound-printing software by participants’ main television sets to detect and log which TV programs our participants watched. Read More

New Focus, New Role – Leading Native & Mobile Ad Analytics Group

As of this quarter in Yahoo Labs, I’m leading a small team of Research Scientists in a new group focused on Native & Mobile Ad Analytics. Native Advertising has become a hot topic in the Web and advertising spaces in recent years. Given it involves creating and placing engaging, relevant content that matches the underlying intent and context of the end-user, there are lots and lots of open research questions in this space. In particular when we think about native advertising in the mobile world!

The ultimate goal of this new group is to conduct research that will enrich our understanding of native and mobile ad experiences and will improve these experiences. We’ll be focusing on large-scale mobile user behavior modeling; understanding and mining mobile-specific signals like mobile device and app use to help enhance mobile ad engagement and conversion; as well as methods and novel studies exploring offline conversion in mobile, i.e. if I show a person an engaging, relevant ad on their device, do they ever act upon that ad in the physical world, e.g. visiting a store, eating at a restaurant, etc. To this end we’ll be analyzing very, very large datasets across a range of Yahoo properties as well as conducting large-scale in-the-wild mobile experiments / studies. Some of the open research questions / challenges in this domain include: Read More

CHI 2015 Paper Accepted! An In-Situ Study on Mobile App & Mobile Search Interactions


We recently discovered that all our hard word has paid off! This past summer, JP Carrascal (a PhD candidate from UPF, Barcelona) and I worked together on a study to understand more about if and how mobile search and mobile app usage interacts. And a full CHI paper reporting our findings has been accepted for publication at CHI 2015 in Korea!

The motivation behind this work is that smartphone users spend much of their time transitioning between mobile search engines and mobile apps (and vice versa) when trying to find information. The figure below helps highlight this fact. The figure shows the timeline of mobile device interactions for a 1 hour period of a single day for an actual participant in our study, showing sequences of mobile device interactions in the form of mobile app launches, home screen interactions and mobile searches. Read More