From disabling notifications to uninstalling all apps deemed non-essential. Some have even gone so far as to buy a more basic phone. However, did you know that there is a very effective way? And you don’t need anything more than the options already present on your iPhone.
The human brain is naturally drawn to bright colors. So it’s no coincidence that all app icons on your iPhone are always brightly colored and easy to distinguish. Red, yellow, blue, purple? The options are endless, but the motive is the same: to grab your attention so that you open them one after another in an endless cycle.
Tristan Harris, former ethical designer at Google, and founder of the Center for Human Technology, came to share his expertise in this area. According to the designer, there is a way to eliminate the reinforcement that colors give to our brain, and it is enough to activate the grayscale mode on your iPhone screen.
What is the science behind this phenomenon?
According to Smashing Magazine, color is the second most important aspect when designing an app, right after its functionality. How users use apps is intrinsically tied to app colors.
These colors are not only going to establish the initial perception of the users of these applications according to color psychology. They will also draw them in like a siren song every time they unlock their iPhone. So you will know where to go when the first thing that appears on the screen is the blue Facebook logo, the pink Instagram logo or the green WhatsApp logo.
A study published in Nature reminds us that “ colors have unique effects on the dynamics of an individual’s brain”. He adds that this behavior is reinforced by “intrinsic reward sensitivity and extrinsic reward reinforcement“.
Tristan Harris commented to WIRED that ” our brains had been hijacked“. This may be an extreme statement, but it certainly has some reality to it. Speaking at a talk, he said systems are getting better and better at capturing people’s attention through techniques like color psychology, notifications, algorithms, and more.
The fact that human beings are distracted and attracted to bright colors and pretty things didn’t start with computers. It is intrinsic to our humanity, and it has existed since we have been on Earth. However, it is true that it can sometimes work against us, as is the case with Tristan Harris.
How to Enable Grayscale Mode on Your iPhone or iPad
If you have decided to take the plunge, know that the process is quite simple to follow.
- Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Go to the Accessibility section.
- Search for “ Display and text size and enter.
- Then go to the Color Filters section.
- Flip the switch and voila, Grayscale mode is on.
It should be noted that this section contains other filters intended for color blind people. In this way, the colors on the screen can be adapted so that these users can distinguish them without too many problems. However, the one that interests us is the one called grayscale. While it’s on, your entire iPhone or iPad screen remains black and white.
But do not worry. If you record the screen or take a screenshot, the colors will display normally. So you don’t have to worry about the images you share with your friends being black and white.
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