Uncovering Behaviours Around Low-cost Smartphones

Project Brief


Have the characteristics of new low cost smartphones (hardware and software) triggered new behaviours and ways of using, particularly when compared to previous uses of other mobile and/or smart devices? What is the profile of typical users and typical situations of use for low cost smartphones in India? These were some of the questions that Quicksand aimed to uncover in the course of this study for a global telecommunications company, along with our REACH partner, STBY. In line with our previous studies on phone use, a set of general lines of inquiry, indicating ongoing interests of the client also guided the research.


The project involved documenting in-depth, a set of users, in the context of their homes, work, and in transit, to better understand their usage of their phone. The team also conducted a group session with a larger group of users using competing phones, on the topic to seek out further insights.

The project culminated in a set of short video documentaries, capturing users with their phones in varied contexts, focusing on both device usage on the micro level and context of use on the macro level. These along with a detailed deck of user stories and insights around the lines of enquiry was presented to the client in a facilitated workshop. The insights created were further synthesised into visual maps that communicate d the main themes and findings, accompanied with recommendations for design, related to new observed usages, behaviours and motivations in the films.

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