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

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If you own a large smartphone — often called a phablet — you know how hard it can be on your hands 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 ergonomics features designed to reduce repetitive stress in your hands.

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

Bad Smartphone Ergonomics Can Harm You

Larger smartphones mean larger displays, which puts information further away from your fingers and thumb. The larger the screen the more difficult it is to tap an app in the far right corner of the screen when using a device one-handed. Not only is it difficult, it means stretching your thumb as far as your muscles will stretch. This over-stretching injures the muscles and may eventually cause Repetitive Stress Syndrome.

Larger smartphone screens make it convenient to do all sorts of tasks and to do these tasks from anywhere. This means more time spent typing and tapping on devices. 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. In other words, one design aspect of the user interface, also called a skin, was to make a larger phone which was easier to use with one hand.

Screenshots illustrating the One UI Viewing area.

For example, one of the changes made in One UI is the creation of a virtual division between what Samsung refers to as a viewing area and an interaction area.

  • The Viewing Area: The top half of the screen displays data and information. The display is clean, crisp, viewable, and makes it easy to focus on the task at hand.
  • The Interaction Area: The bottom half of the screen is where users perform tapping and swiping actions to access and use menus and functions.

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