The Most Creative – PCs or Smartphones? – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, February 9, 2017
Creativity eludes definition, yet we know and admire it when we see or feel it. Well beyond simple clicks, creative activities greatly add to the collective oeuvre while also giving voice to expression.
It might well be argued that creativity is shown in the clever use of hashtags, emojis, or Snapchat video filters. I’m choosing to identify creativity broadly and practically – how the most-creative, most-involved tech activities get done. Activities such as creating presentations and videos require forethought and a blending of skills. Some activities such as taking photographs are now so widely commonplace that the activity spans the professional photographer to the budding amateur. So, for this analysis, I’m considering this a moderately-creative activity.
From our most recent TUP (Technology User Profile) survey, I chose six core activities as being more creative than the many other everyday activities we track by device and user.
I drilled down into the TUP data to see what differences there may be by device type – PCs versus Smartphones. When it comes to creative activities, there are differences.
Which devices have the most users doing creative activities?
Creative activities are strongest where the tools are richest. Ask any oil painter if they benefit by having ready canvases, easels, paints, and lighting.
On first glance, mobility could support creativity, by having one’s tools handy. Creative inspirations can be elusive, so if creativity only takes place when the muse visits, then it could follow that convenient mobility matters most of all. Thinking this through more deeply, however, creativity isn’t defined by a few clicks.
When focusing on some of the most-creative activities, our TUP data shows that more people create serious content on PCs than on Smartphones. For example, for creation of personal graphics or presentations, 14% of connected adults use a PC, nearly three times the 5% rate who use their Smartphones. Similarly, 14% of connected adults use a PC for work graphics/presentations, more than triple the 4% who use their Smartphones.
Similarly, creating videos for work purposes is done with PC by twice as many adults as those using Smartphones.
Even a broad and highly personal activity category – hobbies – has a higher rate of use on PCs than on Smartphones.
Given that Smartphones have much smaller screens than most notebook PCs or desktops, it may be surprising to some that these highly-graphical creative activities have anywhere near the acceptance levels that they’re enjoying. Screen size doesn’t seem to be the entire explanation, because these creative activities have lower usage rates on Tablets than on either PCs or Smartphones.
I dove deeper into the TUP data to see if some Smartphones are associated with more creative activities than others. A slightly higher share of Apple iPhones than Android Smartphones are used for creative activities, however the difference is not statistically significant. For the most-creative activities, the difference is 2% or less.
I expect PCs to continue dominating actively creative activities. Even while Smartphones are increasingly taking user’s primary attention, PCs remain primary among the set of devices being actively used. Users continue to juggle many devices, and most users actively navigate a combination which includes at least two of three devices: PCs (Desktops or Notebooks), Smartphones, or Tablets. Ninety-six percent use two or more of these, and 57% actively use three or more, up from 49% one year previously.
I expect pan-device experience and integration to expand, helping mobile devices expand in use for creative activities. User’s abilities will increase with their growing experience working across multiple devices. A growing number of users are increasingly using the cloud to share their own work across their various devices. Furthermore, I expect creativity apps to continue to expand their ability to be used across multiple device types.
The result will be that more people will be able to create whenever and wherever the muse calls.
About this TUPdate
This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.
Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.
This TUPdate was based on results in the TUP 2016 Chapter – Devices, Section KEY_DEV_OS/Key Devices OS, Section COMBO/Device Combinations from TUP 2014, TUP 2015, and TUP 2016. Also, activity data was selected from data in PC Activities (Rows 630 ACT_PC), Smartphone Activities (Rows 700 ACT_SP), and Tablet Activities (Rows 670 ACT_TAB).
Also see these related MetaFAQs, the Frequently Asked Questions address by results from MetaFacts TUP:
|mq0684||How many creative pros are there, actively creating presentations and graphics?||Chapter: L Activities Section: L5-ACTIMAGE/Graphics/Imaging Tables: [625 ACT_DEVxACTIMAGE] Device Activities|
|mq0165||Who are the most-graphical?||Chapter: L Activities Section: L5-ACTIMAGE/Graphics/Imaging Tables: [120 DRxACTIMAGE] Respondent Demographics|
|mq0055||How are Tablets used differently than Notebook PCs?||Chapter: A User Profile Section: A1-OV/Overview Tables: [670 ACT_TABxOV] Tablet PC Activities|
|mq0056||How are Notebook PCs used differently than Tablets?||Chapter: A User Profile Section: A1-OV/Overview Tables: [650 ACT_NOTExOV] Notebook PC Activities|
|mq0536||What is the primary device for personal/productivity activities?||Chapter: L Activities Section: L8-ACTPROD/Personal/Productivity Tables: [620 ACT_PRODxACTPROD] Personal/Productivity Activities|
|mq0138||How are Smartphones used differently than Tablet PCs?||Chapter: G Tablets Section: G1-TAB/Tablets Tables: [700 ACT_SPxTAB] Smartphone Activities|
|mq0012||What is the profile of the most active in graphics & imaging activities?||Chapter: L Activities Section: L5-ACTIMAGE/Graphics/Imaging Tables: [120 DRxACTIMAGE] Respondent Demographics|
|mq0181||How are Smartphones used differently than Tablet PCs?||Chapter: A User Profile Section: A1-OV/Overview Tables: [670 ACT_TABxOV] Tablet PC Activities|
|mq0551||How are Notebooks used differently than Desktop PCs?||Chapter: A User Profile Section: A1-OV/Overview Tables: [650 ACT_NOTExOV] Notebook PC Activities|
|mq0377||What is the most popular combination of connected devices?||Chapter: D Devices Section: D1-COMBO/Device Combinations Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxCOMBO] Key Device Metrics|
|mq0574||Which device is used for the most productivity & personal activities?||Chapter: D Devices Section: D1-COMBO/Device Combinations Tables: [620 ACT_PRODxCOMBO] Personal/Productivity Activities|
|mq0655||What is the next device planned among those who own certain combinations of devices?||Chapter: D Devices Section: D1-COMBO/Device Combinations Tables: [810 PLANSxCOMBO] Purchase Plans|
|mq0656||Which device is used for the most cloud storage and sharing activities?||Chapter: D Devices Section: D1-COMBO/Device Combinations Tables: [610 ACT_CLOUDxCOMBO] Cloud Storage/Sharing Activities|