The number of mobile users has increased massively over the past few years and will no doubt keep growing. In June 2015, it was reported that there were 2.6 billion smartphone users and it is predicted that in 2020 there will be 6.1 billion smartphone users, so it could be argued that we prefer using small screens. On the other hand, the average TV size purchased worldwide in 2015 was 39.4 inches with the number expecting to rise to 40.8 inches in 2016 which could show that we actually prefer viewing our entertainment on a much larger screen.
This experiment will explore the engagement that participants have when watching media on different sized screens.
HypothesisH0 - "screen size does not affect user engagement with a movie trailer"
Ha - "screen size does affect user engagement with a movie trailer"
44 participants were recruited to watch the movie trailer for 'Independence Day: Resurgence'. 22 participants watched on a small screen and the other 22 participants watched on a large screen to understand how screensize effects engagement.
Participants then completed the Sense of Presence Inventory (SOPI) questionnaire to quantify engagement levels during the trailer and after.
t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances
|Engagement - During||Engagement - After|
|Big Screen||Small Screen||Big Screen||Small Screen|
|Hypothesized Mean Difference||0||0|
|t Critical one-tail||1.94||1.77|
|t Critical two-tail||2.54||2.16|
As seen in the t-Test, there was a significant difference in the scores for engagement (during) with a big screen (M=2.03) and engagement (during) with a small screen (M=2.51); t(6)=-4.59, p < 0.001. There was also a significant difference in the scores for engagement (after) with a big screen (M=2.01) and engagement (after) with a small screen (M=2.45); t(13)=-8.27, p < 0.001.
These results mean that we can reject the null hypothesis of "screen size does not affect user engagement with a movie trailer" and accept the alternative of "screen size does affect user engagement with a movie trailer".
This experiment has proved that user engagement is affected by screen size, and that a smaller screen results in higher levels of engagement when compared with a large screen. The average user spends 90 minutes a day staring at their mobile ("23 Days A Year Spent On Your Phone -") which means that we are becoming much more used to doing everything on our phone, including watching movies. The length of the movie trailer could be a factor as the trailer was 2 minutes and 11 seconds long; however, with many films lasting from an hour and a half up to three hours, would users still feel the same levels of immersion if they had to stare at a smaller display for that long? Perhaps not, and this could be a reason why, as stated in the introduction, that the average TV size is continuing to grow. People want to recreate the feeling of being at the cinema by watching their media at home on large screens. In 2007 the total amount of cinema admissions in the UK was 162,542,120 and in 2015 that number had increased to 171,930,400 ("UK Cinema Admissions And Box Office | Monthly Admissions | UK Cinema Association"). This large number of movie goers still proves that there are a lot of people interested in seeing the latest blockbuster on the big screen and further work would help to understand if similar results were indeed present for a full-length movie.