How Samsung One UI Features Reduce Repetitive Stress

One UI ergonomics can reduce strain caused by large smartphones

A publicity image of the Samsung One UI displayed on a Samsung phone.

Courtesy of Samsung

If you own a large smartphone or "phablet," you know how hard it can be to use the touchscreen. You’re constantly stretching your thumb to reach icons and functions located at the top of the device. The Samsung One UI aims to help with that, using ergonomic features designed to reduce repetitive stress on your hands and fingers.

Samsung One UI is only available on Samsung smartphones and tablets.

Bad Smartphone Ergonomics Can Harm You

Larger smartphones mean larger displays, which puts more distance between your fingers and the various buttons on-screen. It often means stretching your thumb as far as your muscles will stretch. This over-stretching injures the muscles and may eventually cause Repetitive Stress Syndrome.

Many people use their phones for 3.5 hours or more every day, and most of this typing and tapping is done with the thumb. These motions are also repetitive and cause an inflammation of the tendons that control the movements of the thumb, sometimes referred to as De Quervain Syndrome.

How Samsung One UI Ergonomics Reduce Repetitive Stress

According to Samsung, when the company designed the One UI user interface, it did so with usability in mind. Specifically, they wanted to make the device easier to use with one hand.

Screenshots illustrating the One UI Viewing area.

One of the changes made in One UI is the creation of a virtual division between a "viewing" area and an "interaction" area. Here's the difference between the two:

  • The viewing area refers to the top half of the screen, which displays data and information. It is clean, crisp, viewable, and makes it easy to focus on the task at hand.
  • The interaction area refers to the bottom half of the screen. It is where users perform tapping and swiping actions to access and use menus and functions.

This division of functionality means the buttons you use are most often located at the bottom of the device, within reach of your thumb. In One UI, Samsung also groups frequently used functions together, so everything is in one place.