How to Get More Done Faster With Samsung’s One UI

With One UI, productivity is more than a touch easier

A businessman talking on a cellphone and pushing a bike as he walks through the city.

Paul Bradbury/Getty Images 

During the 2018 Samsung Developer Conference, lots of changes were announced, including the elusive foldable phone. Equally exciting was the indication that Samsung is paying attention to how users interact with their phones. Among the announcements at the conference was coverage of the Samsung One UI, a new Android user interface — called a skin — designed to be more user-friendly and to increase Galaxy users’ productivity.

The past version of the Samsung UI, called Samsung Experience, was notoriously cluttered and physically difficult to use. One UI is a welcome improvement on usability, device ergonomics, and even productivity.

Productivity The Hard Way

Samsung Galaxy devices — particularly the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy Note 9 — have always been known as productivity devices. Users love how the devices help them stay connected and active when away from work, family, or friends, but that love didn’t come without some wistfulness.

Hardcore Galaxy users will be the first to acknowledge the larger screen means more complexity, and how the Samsung Experience user interface needed to improve as much as the physical form of the devices has over the years. Samsung’s One UI is the answer to those needs.

In previous Samsung UIs, the information needed to complete a task wasn’t always front and center when you needed it. And commonly completed tasks held no weight over any other functionality of the phone.

What further complicated getting anything done was all the distractions in the UI. Not only did you see what you needed to see, but also a ton of content you didn’t need. This apparent push to get as much in front of the user as possible only made getting anything done more difficult.

One UI Puts Productivity at Your Fingertips

Screenshots illustrating the One UI Viewing area.

The design of One UI is intended to be cleaner and more reachable, and it’s been developed to put what's relevant right where you need it. These improvements come in three flavors:

  • A cleaner interface: In One UI, the cluttered interface is gone. More blank space (called whitespace in web design) makes it easier to find what you need and focus on what you’re doing. It’s made even more aesthetically pleasing with rounded corners that mirror the softer design of Samsung devices.
  • More reachable functions: Larger phones with bigger screens mean the device is physically more challenging to use. How do you hold a Galaxy phone in one hand and reach all of the icons and functions of the device? You could use One-handed mode, which shrinks the size of your screen to about half, but then what’s the point in having a large-screen phone? One UI virtually divides your whole screen into two parts: an interaction area and a viewing area. This puts all of the apps and functions you interact with within reach for one-handed use, and it increases your viewing area, so no more squinting to see what’s on the screen.
  • Grouped tasks and functions: By grouping relevant content together, One UI makes it easier for you to get things done, faster. You’re no longer distracted by functions you don’t need, and everything you need is in one place, and easily accessible.