Following the previous post that looked at traffic stats a year on from the launch of our new website, this post delves further into our analytics with a focus on the devices and operating systems most commonly used to access the site. There’s also some interesting insights into how specific services on the site are accessed, as well as the way the time of day influences these metrics.
Perhaps unsurpisingly, tfl.gov.uk now receives more than half of its traffic (54%) from mobile phones. This is up from 44% in May 2014, when PCs and laptops still accounted for the bulk of visits, albeit marginally with 45%.
As the graph below shows, mobile phones overtook PCs in August of last year and have steadily increased their share ever since. At these rates of growth, the forecast is for at least 62% of our traffic coming from mobiles by this time next year.
Interestingly, tablets haven’t shared the same growth as mobiles, and visits from these devices have actually been slowing down. Their share of visits has declined from a peak of 11.2% in June & August 2014, to a low of 9.6% in April 2015.
The picture becomes more interesting when looking at the digital services on our website individually.
Journey Planner and Status Updates pages account for the bulk of our traffic, helping to set the overall average with 53% of their visits coming from mobile phones.
However, for our Stations Stops and Piers content, 73% of visits in April 2015 were made by mobile phones.
Other parts of the site favour desktop traffic, and this may be due to the non ‘real-time’ nature of the content. For example the Consultations pages (26% mobile), Fares and Payments pages (30%), the Oyster subdomain (35% mobile) and Santander Cycles section (47%).
Time of day
As you would expect, the time of day also massively affects the proportion of traffic we receive from different devices. During the week, mobile phone traffic peaks between 7-8am at 70% of visits. At the weekend, 2am on Saturday sees as much as 74% of all visits coming from mobiles.
The pattern of device usage is very pronounced across the working week, with mobile devices dominating all morning and from 6pm, and PCs accounting for the lion’s share of traffic from 10am-5pm.
These patterns are changing, however, as mobile continues to catch up. In April 2014, working day PC traffic peaked at around 64% of all visits, but by March 2015 it was 10% less than that.
Monday’s 7-8am rush hour peak for mobile phone traffic has increased 10% in the same period, going from 60 to 70%. This may be partly due to the increase in use of the Stations Stops and Piers pages over the past year.
So which operating systems are these phones running on? When looking at the level of all the unique browsers that visit our site, iOS has always been king.
In the past year it’s share has remained a steady 67%, with Android accounting for 30% of unique browsers (up 0.5% since April 2014) with Windows phones the next in line at 2%.
Windows phones have replaced RIM in third place, doubling its share in the past 12 months whilst RIM has fallen from 2.4% to 0.9%.
Our users don’t reflect the rest of the UK, where sales figures for March 2015 are split 38% iOS, 53% Android and 8% Windows Phone. However since the launch of iPhone 6, iOS has seen its share rise from 32% a year ago (Kantar World Panel), fuelled by switchers from Android.