September 25, 2020

Smartphone Camp

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OnePlus OxygenOS 11 designed for devices with bigger screens

2 min read

In the early weeks of August, OnePlus unveiled the latest version of its Android-based software as well as a beta for the OnePlus 8 series. OnePlus explained in its forums how they came up with the new design language for the OxygenOS 11.

In the post, OxygenOS Product Lead Gary C. explained how OnePlus analyzed data to design a system that’s more comfortable for one-handed use with bigger screens. They also confirm to have conduxted A/B testing and found that 65% of users prefer slightly smaller headlines while 80% of users on the other hand prefer titles with subtitles rather than without.

Utilizing the data above, OnePlus designed a new “headline-body hierarchy that streamlines information delivery in OxygenOS 11.” Furthermore, the company looked at anthropometric data to determine the general regions of the screen where people can easily reach or struggle to reach, as shown below.

The result of the project is a feature of OxygenOS that moves touch controls closer to your thumbs for easier access. Here’s what OnePlus said in its statements:

“We also wanted to add even more features to make one-handed use quicker and easier. So, for example, we added a new Quick Share button in the Camera app. Now you can long press the thumbnail of the last photo you took to quickly share the photo with just one motion.”

The company also redesigned its Weather app based on these principles, with the new UI currently rolling out in beta.

The changes to the OxygenOS 11 is in response to the current mobile landscape, which is flooded with devices featuring tall screens. Big displays are great with regards to content consumption, but they present usability issues for people with smaller hands.

Samsung also made similar changes in its One UI software, making the company’s taller phones much easier to use. The alterations included the replacement of the key interaction areas near the screens bottom. Even if OxygenOS 11 is inspired by Samsung, it’s still great to see that better one-handed use is becoming more of a priority.

Author: Joel Onyeike

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