Revealing Digital Behaviors #6: Device Rotation

Jack Maden
Written by Jack Maden
August 04, 2017

This is the final post in a series in which we introduce the digital behaviors picked out in our report, Revealing Digital Behavior: Applying Data Science to 2.2 Billion User Sessions. Just as someone shouting in a shop is evidence of a poor customer experience in-store – and someone smiling a good one – certain digital body language indicates the equivalent online.

The first post discussed multiclick behavior, and the second looked at reading behavior. The third post outlined bird’s nest behavior, the fourth introduced scroll engagement behavior, while the fifth looked at select and copy behavior. This article looks at device rotation behavior and what it means in relation to customer experience.


What is device rotation behavior? User rotates device

Which device? Tablet, Mobile

What does it mean? Engagement, Frustration

How do teams utilize it? To inform content strategy, and locate issues arising from responsive design

Device rotation behavior refers to when a user rotates their tablet or mobile device, from portrait to landscape mode or vice versa. This behavior can reflect either engagement or frustration.

If viewing a video, for example, it is commonplace to rotate your device into landscape mode for a better viewing experience. This signifies engagement.

On occasions where there are multiple rotations in a short space of time, however, this suggests that a website or app’s responsive design is not performing optimally for the user, resulting in this see-saw between portrait and landscape.

Being alerted to and keeping an eye on device rotation behavior is a shrewd move – especially for conversion-critical parts of your website, like ecommerce checkouts. Too often, while checking out on mobile, a large, well-meaning pop up for free shipping will totally cover the screen, rendering a user unable to complete their purchase. Despite their frantic, desperate rotations, the pop up will not budge, and there’s no way to close it. A sale lost.

In a case like this, the device rotation behavior is flagged in Decibel Insight as a frustrated behavior – one that digital teams should try to cut down on.

Behavior speaks louder than words

And so comes the end of our series on revealing digital behavior! To briefly recap, we’ve looked at detecting the following on-page user behaviors, as well as discussing what they mean in relation to customer experiences:

Digital body language has always existed. But now so does the technology to really analyze and respond to it. The behavioral patterns explored by our data scientists and discussed above are a significant step in making such digital interaction data useful and actionable, aside from merely interesting.

Indeed, while analyzing, say, an isolated change in mouse speed may not be particularly valuable, doing so in the context of hundreds of other interaction metrics – and having that analysis automated by algorithm – offers digital teams immediate insights into the online customer experience that cannot be ignored.

Detecting these behavioral patterns is just the beginning. At Decibel Insight, we’re on a mission to make digital customer experience an objective science, where we provide quantitative answers to what have historically been qualitative questions. How did this website make you feel? What was your experience of this app? Now, Decibel Insight can give digital teams the answers without having to ask customers the question.

Topics: Behavior, Customer Experience, User experience
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