The field of design covers a wide range of industries, from the physical artifacts of product design to the virtual elements of user interface design. Sometimes it’s all too easy to take the importance of a well-designed user experience for granted, but even the most beautiful computer or smartphone becomes an expensive paperweight if the software running on it is unusable. Smartphone user experiences or UX have come a long way since the first iPhone and Android phones were released, adopting different aesthetics and design languages over the years. From skeuomorphism to minimalism, UX has been inspired by many beautiful things in our world, and OPPO’s latest version of ColorOS tries to take a page from the world’s greatest artist and designer, Mother Nature.
Smartphone user interface designs have moved from trying to recreate physical objects in the digital realm to designing entirely new metaphors that would be impossible to produce in the real world. The trend these days has swung towards minimalism, though the pendulum has started to swing towards a middle ground that adds a few flourishes to spice up what would normally be a literally flat design. This, in turn, has opened the doors to design languages that draw on conventional minimalism, adding some character to the user interface.
ColorOS 13, for example, features what OPPO calls its “aquamorphic design” language, drawing inspiration from how water flows in nature. In its calmest state, water is naturally fluid, smooth and docile, preferring the path of least resistance and flowing around obstacles, slowly eroding rocks rather than trying to crush them. Whether intentional or not, it’s an apt metaphor for the serene design language OPPO adopted for its award-winning flagship Find X5 Pro earlier this year.
In practice, this aquamorphic design manifests itself in colors, shapes, and animations that feel softer and more natural. The default color scheme, for example, tries to take tones from dusk to sea level. The icons are larger but also have smooth, rounded corners like pebbles picked from the banks of a gently flowing river. Transition animations between various parts of the phone are also smoother and more fluid, attempting to mimic the natural cadence of water rather than something as simple as a timer. Many people take animations for granted, and some even dismiss them as a waste of CPU time or battery power, but properly designed animations actually help our brains form associations when parts of the screen move. After all, nothing in real life comes out of nowhere, something that would be jarring to our minds, be it physical or digital.
OPPO ColorOS 13’s nod to nature doesn’t stop with its looks. A new Always On View feature called Homeland, for example, tries to raise awareness of how even a minute change in temperature caused by global warming could affect wildlife. The Blossom live wallpaper, on the other hand, links the idea of growing a plant with the time you spend in front of the screen. If you exceed the set screen time, the plant stops growing and begins to wilt.
On the technology side, ColorOS 13 promises not only smoother animations but also more efficient battery usage. In addition to a 30% reduction in power consumption with Always On mode, this version of OPPO’s Android user experience tries to save as much battery as possible, which means shorter charging times and longer battery life. drums. These may seem like minor improvements, but they are still small steps forward that increase a phone’s long-term longevity and sustainability.