How a week-long mobile diary-study helped an insights agency to understand how children interacted with technology in the home.

Our client ran a global network of firms focussed on helping organizations to optimise the value of their services. One such service which featured regularly was entertainment and technology use.


The Challenge

As we have moved into a digital age, our use of technology has become entrenched in our everyday lives. Not only have adults become reliant and comfortable with new technologies, but the children born of recent years are now the first truly digital-natives, having been completely immersed in technology from day one.

For this reason, our client had been approached by a technology brand that wanted to get a deeper insight into children's use of technology in the home. To understand how the rituals and routines children, meant that they needed to get real-life insights from the real-life context in which children were using tech.

But getting these in-the-moment insights was difficult for a number of reasons. Firstly, recruiting children to studies had obvious challenges. Additionally, getting those insights directly from the homes of children made the challenge even greater.

The Goals


Our clients objectives were to:

  • Understand children's use of technology in the context of the home

  • Gain an insight into the types of technology children us every day

  • Understand the behaviours and feelings inspired in children by technology use


The Solution


Working with Indeemo, our client identified 2 separate target groups of of children that they needed to observe for the purpose of their project. This helped our client to distinguish between households with one child and more than one child.

Having recruited parents of over 50 children that fit into each target group, they then used a scheduled task list to assign each respondent with 3 separate tasks. The first task would introduce the family and the second would involve recording the children in-the-moment usage throughout the week. Finally, the third task required each parent to reflect on what they themselves learned about their children's technology use throughout the week.

Throughout the week, our client received over 350, media-rich, authentic and in-the-moment uploads of children using technology in the home. These uploads captured every moment from young children using iPads to watch cartoons before school, school-going children using laptops to do homework, right to older children up to young teenagers using streaming-services on smart-tvs. Not alone did the uploads show extremely rich visual insights into the environments that technology was being used in, but it also gave our client a better window into the way in which the children interacted with the technology.


If you’d like to learn more about how a mobile diary-study can help you to understand children's technology usage, please contact us using the form below

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Mobile Ethnography is a rich, agile way to get a deeper understanding of participants everyday lives and behaviours.

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