I’m constantly on the lookout for trends in how people use technology and media. Why? Because understanding these behaviors can help you make design communication that meets employees’ needs.

Take the article in Thursday’s New York Times on cellphone usage.

The article makes the case for the fact that increasingly, cellphones are becoming data tools rather than a way to speak voice to voice.

“Instead of talking on their cellphones,” writes the article’s author Jenna Wortham, “people are making use of all the extras that iPhones, BlackBerrys and other smartphones were also designed to do — browse the Web, listen to music, watch television, play games and send e-mail and text messages.”

Consider these statistics:

  • The number of text messages sent per user increased by nearly 50 percent last year, according to the CTIA, the wireless industry association.
  • Last year the amount of data surpassed the amount of voice data sent. In fact, less than half the traffic on mobile networks is talking.
  • Cellphone conversations are getting shorter: The average length of a local call was 1.81 minutes in 2009, compared with 2.27 minutes the previous year, according to CTIA.

What does this mean? Your employees are getting more and more comfortable using their mobile devices to browse the Web, listen to music, watch television, play games and send e-mail and text messages.

Should you consider a mobile (not voice, data) strategy as part of your communication program?

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