On Saturday, 17.08.2019. Safa’a AbuJarour presented a full research paper titled ““Your Home Screen is Worth a Thousand Words”: Investigating the Prevalence of Smartphone Apps among Refugees in Germany” at the American Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2019) held in Cancun-Mexico.
This research paper was co-authored by the members of the Digital Integration group at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin, including Safa’a AbuJaorur, Cora Bergert, Jana Gundlach, Antonia Köster, and Hanna Krasnova.
Inspired by increasing IS research on refugees’ ICT use, this study contributes to a better understanding of which smartphone applications (apps) are common among refugees in Germany compared to immigrants and Germans. In relying on the heuristic that most frequently used apps are present on the home screen, we designed a descriptive study to gain initial insights. We analyzed the smartphone home screens of a sample composed of 101 refugees, 107 Germans, and 72 immigrants living in Germany. Out of the 280 home screens in our sample, we decoded 6,249 apps that we analyzed along four dimensions: app frequency and assigned category, participants’ genders, and participants’ age group. Our results show which apps and app categories are most prevalent on the home screens of refugee smartphones. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to open the ‘black box’ of refugees’ adoption of smartphone apps and offers practical knowledge for mobile industry stakeholders, NGOs, and governments.