The Oakley Mobile Blog

Can fifty shades of greyscale cure your mobile addiction?
Wednesday February 28, 2018

How many times do you think you check your smart phone daily? Ok, now double that figure. Yes that’s right, recent research shows that we actually use our phones roughly twice as much (as we think we do) with millennials checking their phones 150 times a day.

Which approximately equates to every 6 minutes. At our app development HQ it’s more like every six seconds, but I digress. Whilst we may underestimate the frequency, we are unlikely to deny how much we rely on our phones, and the impact they have on our lives.

Speaking of impact, a couple of years ago it came to light how the blue glow - emitted from our devices at night - affected the quality and quantity of our sleep. After all, blue light tells our brain that it isn’t time to nod off.

As word spread, apps such as Twilight and Blue Light Filter Guard (catchy title, not!) were developed to change the screen’s colour according to the time of sunset. So serious was the problem that both Apple and Google reacted by incorporating NightShift and NightMode into their operating systems.

With the screen’s hue adjusted, our sleep improves which in turn enhances our productivity. Awesome apps such as Buffer, Hours and Evernote, are leading the way when it comes to first class app development. Indeed, productivity and apps have always gone hand in hand (no pun intended).

But a colour-adjusting craze has emerged. One that is said to improve our productivity on mobile devices… and no, surprisingly it’s not an app.

The ‘Grey Phone Challenge’ (or ‘Gray Phone Challenge’ for our American readers) prompts users to change their screen’s settings to greyscale.

As counter intuitive as this may sound, according to Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist (with a background in psychology), this simple solution helps reduce usage and suppresses the urge to continuously check devices.

Colour has always been a powerful tool in both persuasive design and influential marketing. Colours evoke emotions and, dare I say it, app developers are fully aware of it's strength.

Blue evokes trust and yellow is found to make us happy and optimistic. It’ll come as no shock that blue, the world’s most popular colour, is used by three of the biggest social networks in the personal and business spheres; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And yellow is strategically used by SnapChat.

However, by seeing nothing but grey could be a great trick that makes some of the most addictive time-vampire apps less appealing. Whilst the craze first started mid 2017, recent articles prove it's becoming ever more popular.

If you’re looking to help your workforce be more productive then you could set them the grey phone challenge for a week...or two. 

Or you could give us a call and we can discuss developing a bespoke app that increases productivity by streamlining business processes.

For the former, here’s how you can change your phone’s screen settings:

iPhone owners
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale.

Android owners 
Access the feature in the 'Accessibility menu' and switch it on

For the latter, give Tony a call on 01268 953359 or send us a message and we'll call you back as soon as possible.

Written by Barry R at 16:22