Mobile Sharing Interaction

Mobile sharing of files is a common activity for all ranges of users, but what sort of file shared varies from the desktop. One of the most typical sharing and receiving interactions on mobile devices is the sharing of photos and is done often by sending the file from one phone to another, often with a messaging service. While sharing songs and videos is also common, it is usually not done by sending the actual file from device to device. A messaging app is generally used to send a link to an audio or videos streaming service such as YouTube. Sharing photos was chosen as an interaction to begin to understand how mobile users would think about how to get a file from their phone to another device.

Key findings

  • Messaging is the primary method of sharing or sending files such as photos
  • iOS and Android both share common patterns in how a user can share files on their mobile devices such as photos, which is find and select photo -> choose messaging app -> add contact -> add message -> send
  • AirDrop is quite possibly the simplest sharing pattern with the fewest steps. This is facilitated by using Apple devices already connected with each other. This means that each device has an ID already and the user clicks and it sends to them. It is also important to note the end user does not need to verify when they send the photo. Its seamless and just appears in the photos gallery.