OnePlus explains how and why it created its Zen Mode feature
What you need to know
- OnePlus shared a post on its forums detailing how and why it created Zen Mode.
- The idea behind Zen Mode is to help technology serve you.
- A lot of thought went into Zen Mode's duration, app design, and gamification.
OnePlus's OxygenOS is one of the best Android interfaces around, and when the OnePlus 7 Pro was unveiled earlier this year, Zen Mode was announced as one of the latest additions to the software. Like we've seen from companies such as Google and Apple, Zen Mode is another "digital wellbeing" feature designed to help you use your phone less.
On July 31, OnePlus shared a post on its forums titled "Let's talk Zen Mode - A challenge in mindfulness" to explain in detail how Zen Mode came about and why it looks and works the way it does in its final form.
OnePlus starts off by saying how it takes time to think about what's affecting its users before adding a new feature, and noting that, "Among a sea of topics, we saw a lot of feedback and discussion across many channels about one recurring topic: technology demands too much of your attention."
When OnePlus's R&D team was working on Zen Mode, the company conducted research to understand people's relationships with their phones.
That idea created the basis for Zen Mode, and from there, OnePlus's next step was figuring out how it wanted to implement the feature. A layer of sorts that sat on top of the rest of the UI was considered, but OnePlus ultimately canned that idea.
That's why OnePlus ended up creating the Zen Mode app. With this, OnePlus says users could engage with Zen Mode if they wanted to, or ignore it entirely if it's not something they're interested in.
In regards to Zen Mode's 20-minute time limit, a lot of consideration went into this as well. Per OnePlus:
Lastly, in an effort to help design Zen Mode to be open and welcoming, OnePlus had to come up with a way to encourage people to use it.
If you have a OnePlus phone with Zen Mode, have you ever used it? Why or why not?
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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.