To build a great mobile user experience today, you need to understand who your mobile consumers are, what content they want, and where they want it.

We recently hosted a webinar where we showed the results of a recent survey on travel consumer preferences for mobile and tablet. The survey was conducted by Key Lime Interactive using the UserZoom technology.

It included 110 participants who owned a smartphone and traveled for pleasure at least once a year. 42 of them owned a tablet as well. Below are the detailed findings from the survey.

Breakdown of Devices

110 participants reported that they had the following devices (multiple responses were accepted):

  • iPhone – 44%
  • Android – 45%
  • Blackberry – 16%
  • iPad – 24%
  • Android tablet – 12%
  • WebOs/Touchpad – 3%

Devices vs. % of Time

Participants where asked how they use their devices when planning trip, when booking a trip and at a location.

The survey showed that when planning a trip the majority of work is done using a personal computer. Participants reported that they use:

  • Personal computer – 63% of the time
  • Smartphone – 17% of the time
  • Work computer – 14% of the time
  • iPad/Tablet – 6% of the time

When it comes to booking, the majority of people still use their personal computer. The last time they booked something related to their travel, participants used the following devices/methods (multiple responses were accepted):

  • Personal computer – 81%
  • Smartphone – 22%
  • Work computer – 12%
  • Travel agent – 8%
  • Tablet – 5%

Results showed that the majority of folks use their smartphone when they are at a location. When asked how much time they spend using their devices at a location, participants responded:

  • Smartphone – 58% of the time
  • Personal computer – 24% of the time
  • iPad/Tablet – 9% of the time
  • Work computer – 6% of the time.

Top Tasks vs. Device Breakdown (Pre-Trip)

When planning a trip, the most performed tasks on a smartphone included search for directions, looking for places to eat, recommendations, search for flight options and events happening during the vacation time period.

Top tasks performed on a tablet, included search for places to stay, deals, photo galleries, events and places to eat.

Participants who answered this survey question owned all three devices: a PC, a smartphone and a tablet. Multiple responses were accepted.

Top Tasks vs. Device Breakdown (During a Trip)

During a trip, some of the most performed tasks on both a smartphone and a tablet included checking the weather and seeing what’s around me now.

Mobile Site vs. App

When participants were asked whether they use an app, a browser or both when they are travelling, 51% said they use a browser only, 10% said they use an app and 39% use both.

Top Travel Apps

Among the top travel apps which participants have currently on their phone,  participants said they had at least one airline app (22%), at least one car rental app (9%), a hotels app (7%) and a cruise app (4%).

In the dining category, Yelp was a winner. 25% of the participants reported that they had Yelp app vs. 14% who had UrbanSpoon.

In planning a trip category, 25% of participants indicated they have Expedia app currently on their phone vs.:

  • – 15%
  • Kayak – 13%
  • Orbitz – 11%
  • TripIt – 3%

How much are they willing to pay for an app?

Out of 110 people who travel for pleasure, 44% said that they wanted a free app,  26% said they would pay anywhere from $0.01 to $0.99, and 14% said they would pay anywhere from $1.00 and $1.99

Which features would they like to see?

When asked what is one thing they wish a travel app had to make it more compelling/useful, participants responded:

“should be used without internet”

“safe neighborhood guide”

“voice activation”

“live chat with nearby people”

“ability to purchase theaters/live performances that have tickets available”

“up to date information”

“a social function where people can pin notes and alert others of where great places are on the spot”

To watch the entire webinar, please visit Mobile UX Research: Travel Consumer Preferences for Mobile and Tablet