menu

App Uses Smartphone Lock Screen To Poll Users

App Uses Smartphone Lock Screen To Poll Users
Advertising

Twitch aims to simplify crowdsourced data collection by taking advantage of our phone-checking compulsions.

Alan Khanukaev
  • 4 february 2014

Twitch is a mobile app interface that replaces the lock screen on your phone with a one question poll. Developed by Keith Wyngarden, Brandon Cheung, Michael Bernstein, and Rajan Vaish in Stanford’s Computer Science Department, the app takes advantage of an automatic behavior that most of us do hundreds of times a day, obsessively checking our phones, and re-purposes it for the benefit of the science and research.

This type of data collection through crowdsourcing isn’t terribly new. Several companies, like Amazon’s mTurk, have turned to micro-tasks as a way of easily collecting large amounts of data through incremental contributions from a large participant pool. However, the issue is that even small tasks generally require some kind of deliberate effort on the part of the user; they either have to pull up the site or open the app and then purposefully engage in the tasks. Consequently, participation and retention tends to be fairly low since people forget about it or quickly lose interest.

Twitch, on the other hand, capitalizes on spare moments. Rather than forcing the user to take the initiative, the app simplifies the process and just presents a single question every time the phone is unlocked. According to Vaish, by limiting the tasks to one at a time,  Twitch minimizes the required time commitment and therefore encourages participation.

This simplification of the overall process and the speed at which questions are answered are key to the success of Twitch; the entire task needs to be comparable to the swipe-to-unlock gesture. Once the app is installed it presents the user with short, simple questions – like “energy level?” or “people around?” – as well as intuitive icons which minimize the cognitive effort required of the user and shortens the total response time.

Currently Twitch’s mission is more scientific in nature but the concept is something that could be easily applied to other areas and might be especially compelling for brands and retailers who can utilize the app for almost immediate feedback and basic survey data.

As part of the initial roll out, Twitch recruited 82 people who  managed to complete 11,200 tasks in only three weeks, and as of today the app has collected over 25,000 individual data points. Available only on Android, you can head over to the Google Play store to try it out for yourself.

Twitch

Images: Google Play
Sources: New Scientist, RajanVaish.com

Advertising
Trending

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile Yesterday

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture Yesterday

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Design Yesterday

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion Yesterday

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

PURPLELIST EXPERTS

Juliana Rotich

Development, Social Good, Technology

Syndicated Yesterday

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability Yesterday

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising Yesterday

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising Yesterday

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Design Yesterday

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia Yesterday

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising Yesterday

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.