my own mobile display setting

From the very first time of buying android smartphones, we see those colors which are less realistic. Only few percentage of people change it by going deep level down inside settings.

Why it is set so vibrant?

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    As stated here : material.io/guidelines/style/color.html , it's kind of google material design's principles that color should be unexpected and vibrant. Feb 8, 2017 at 7:36
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    The screenshot is from samsung s3, ahead of time of material design
    – Jivan
    Feb 8, 2017 at 7:38
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    Manufacturers like users to think they're getting an amazing screen so they set to be as colourful as possible without looking ridiculous - this is more about marketing than UX. Feb 8, 2017 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


Because smartphones are used outdoors...

I suspect it is mostly fashion and showing off, as Koen Lageveen suggests here. However, there is a potential usability benefit. Smartphones are more likely to be used outdoors in bright ambient light. Bright ambient light tends to wash out colors, all other things being equal. If the color saturation were lower, images would appear duller and possibly even harder to recognize. If color coding is used, color differences would be harder to distinguish.

...but that's becoming less of an issue...

Today, most smartphones have programmably accessible ambient light sensors, opening the possibility for an app to dynamically adjust color saturation so that colors are distinct in high ambient light, but not so jarring in normal and low light. See:

Yu J, Zhao J, Chen Y, Yang J, 2015 Sensing Ambient Light for User Experience-Oriented Color Scheme Adaptation on Smartphone Displays. Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, 309-321.

...so, get ready for a backlash.

Technology fashion seems to be driven by a combination of reacting against the previous fashion while showing off current technical capacities. Remember 3-D? Transparency and reflections? Skeuomorphism? Therefore, I predict the next fashion will be dynamically adjusted color schemes that are consistently “Quiet” or “Serene.” Be the first.

  • Almost a year, I became influenced by your article "Name calling" which completely changed my perception about ux. I just wanna say many thanks for writing such wonderful article. it is a big asset to beginners like me. And talking about your answer, I didn't thought of washing out of colors. And I think it meets my curiosity.
    – Jivan
    Feb 9, 2017 at 4:30

Seeing that bright and colourful display and might cause you to think "wow this is a great phone I'm going to buy it". That experience and the moment of purchase is actually a pretty strong part of the user experience of owning something and very important aspect of the customer journey.

Also, properly calibrated colours are usually a bit dull. If you don't care about accuracy (e.g. you're not colour correcting photo's for print) there is something to be said about pumping it up a bit.

  • Thoughts you wrote here hit my mind too. I think it is more than that.
    – Jivan
    Feb 8, 2017 at 11:04
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    I had the original Nexus 7 tablet for a while and then I upgraded my phone to the Samsung S3. The first time I opened some of the more colorful apps on that phone (The Simpsons: Tapped Out comes to mind), I was duly awestruck by the "vividness" of the display. In fact, after using the phone for a while, the next time I opened that app on the tablet, I thought it looked faded, washed out. So there's anecdotal evidence that cranking up the saturation is a decision on Samsung's part that led to a good UX for at least one of their customers. FWIW Feb 8, 2017 at 13:45
  • @DanHenderson thanks for sharing your experience. My experience is like. I prefer mobile(display set in faded color) for browsing most of informations in web. When someone pass me their mobile, I feel like fake, over-exaggerated UI may be it is because of my age. anway +1 for your comment.
    – Jivan
    Feb 9, 2017 at 5:49

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