It’s not you. Phones are designed to be addicting.

It’s not you. Phones are designed to be addicting.

The 3 design elements that make smartphones so hard to put down, explained by Google’s former design ethicist.

Check out Christophe’s video on how designers find inspiration in nature: http://bit.ly/2DDIQAL

Read Ezra Klein’s full interview with Tristan Harris: http://bit.ly/2og5v0H

Read our interview with Catherine Price: http://bit.ly/2C8gxsT

Batch notification research by the Center for Advanced Hindsight, Duke University & Synapse Inc

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Today’s phones are hard to put down. Push notifications buzz in your pocket, red bubbles demand attention, and endless distractions sit at your fingertips. It can feel impossible to pull away from. But that’s kind of the point. When people talk about the “attention economy,” they’re referring to the fact that your time and attention are the currency on which today’s applications make money. Because apps profit off of the total time you spend on their platform, there’s a strong incentive to use psychological tricks to keep you endlessly hooked. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Tristan Harris, who runs Time Well Spent, is working to create a world where platforms can more honestly respect their users’ time.

By Design is a new Vox video series about the intersection of design and technology, hosted by Christophe Haubursin. Stay tuned for more, and check out Christophe’s most recent work exploring design in our Vox + 99% Invisible collaboration: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJ8cMiYb3G5fHjUoTiRuJVucCLxYJliQ_

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50 Comments

  1. Little Music Boxes on February 10, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Excited for this series!



  2. Oliver Berner on February 10, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    Feel free to ignore and/or delete this comment… Or read it as a good book many, many times. Keep it as a bible and worship it, make up religious rituals and spread it among a new kin.

    "Addiction" isnt "my" problem…" – "I" can stop looking at the phone, right now "I" was at a crossroads with a drawing.. A real dilemma. Choosing to erase 2 hours or more of applied graphite on the paper or, or run with the sketch. Design choice… It will be s***ty either way its not that, its just deciding what s**** "I" will settle for, art is alot about settling for result less than you deserve. "Im" not addicted because "I" try to draw, or do it often for periods of time…" the defacto subjectivity distinguish activities when they ought not to, science is relative not saying people cant get addicted to numbers of necessity or hobby, banks know all about number games, as do many others what if the phone OCD would only express itself in other ways.



  3. Arcane Kalon on February 10, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    Ive turned off notifications even truly social ones and I’m happier and in control of my stuff than before, it works for me



  4. Maya Stibbie on February 10, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    This is just an excuse



  5. Xavierrr eli on February 10, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    i just turn off notifications that annoy me, aka facebook



  6. Well Silver on February 10, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    I like how apple devices are always used as a example for this



  7. Harish Singh on February 10, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    when i learned about this long ago…i immediately got this thought. Phones and all software are also designed to pause/stop and resume from exactly that point at a later point in time. This thought has helped me to put them down when i have anything important to do.



  8. J knowledgenet on February 10, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    There is more truth in the Truman show than most are aware of, the whole movie’s based on truth



  9. MJruling on February 10, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Please make one on parents being addicted to phones and making their children the same as a result.



  10. Tribal on February 10, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    i uninstalled intagram and never had twitter, and turned off notifications for snapchat a long time ago. still use the phone the same amount practically, just i sit there and stare at if instead of being engaged hahaha, from U.S.A



  11. LosKillers on February 10, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Lil dicky?



  12. Christopher Yue on February 10, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    It’s not just phones, it’s all technology



  13. Carlos Banderas on February 10, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    RAID Shadow Legends.



  14. FK97 on February 10, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Phones were intended to help you, but because of social media, it backfired.



  15. ALL DE MES LOVE LEO on February 10, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    How come I use goodreads? That’s a grayish brown. Or maybe I just read too much.



  16. Ricardok on February 10, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Society!



  17. clara on February 10, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    You mean social media not iPhones



  18. Landrake on February 10, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    But I’m attracted to blue not red…



  19. Sharjeel Ahmad on February 10, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    This episode has great visual effects and stunning graphics. Keep it up Vox Graphics team!



  20. MsBlulucky on February 10, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    There’s no grayscale setting on my phone :/
    I tried downloading an app but in order to function I had to change the phones settings via my computer and it looked very complicated and there were way too many words I didn’t know in the description… any tipps on how to easily grayscale my phone?



  21. mehak khakra on February 10, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    Vox is like an angel of YouTube…carrying all the sensibility and knowledge on its shoulders💘



  22. Kim Jong-un on February 10, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    No you people need impulse control



  23. Dink on February 10, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    I’m technology’s worst nightmare. I ignore all my notifications.



  24. Francis Lee on February 10, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    Flip phones again candy bar phones from the early 2000s were the best. It has all gone downhill since then



  25. saksağan on February 10, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    ok boomer



  26. Jonathan Oyiriaru on February 10, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    I noticed I have a lot of red apps… YouTube, Pinterest and Quora. These apps have infinite scrolling too. MIND BLOWN



  27. Klestin Joseph on February 10, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Great content.. amazing research .



  28. Arham Qazi on February 10, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    My whole work life is connected with these apps that they are saying me to restrict or ignore



  29. Tallulah Proulx on February 10, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    3:16



  30. Ayush Panda on February 10, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    I’m addicted to YouTube



  31. Thomas Liebl on February 10, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    As I click on this video*



  32. Truth Seeker on February 10, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    Really tough stuff



  33. Jess on February 10, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    I really needed to turn off certain notifications on my socials. It really helps when I get off of work or wake up and I don’t have to get rid of 1000 things on ny screen after 8 hours of not using it.



  34. Pu Du on February 10, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    Who else watched the second half of the video in gray scale😂



  35. Dat_Boy_Senpai on February 10, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t if its just me but just hate how youtube has become and every time I see a video I don’t get what im seeing I guess to me youtube is just boring



  36. Devarsh Sanghvi on February 10, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    I liked the concept thank you to aware us



  37. Maryna Gudz on February 10, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Omg that’s was interesting.I want more information about design.



  38. Dreamy_drawz on February 10, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    Ur using a device while watching why it’s so addictive.
    How ironic.



  39. Sudipta Barman on February 10, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    I think, it’s definitely us



  40. QwQLazy_ Fellisha:0 on February 10, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Everytime I sleep, I turn of my Wi-Fi. I have had social media, but deleted it, I have been 2 months without it. I sleep early, at 10 am, And wake up at 7 each morning. My phone isn’t everything! I know how to control myself. And I study 7-10 hours a day.
    And that is how you should be kids.



  41. Idiotic Bosd on February 10, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    D O N ‘ T T E L L T H E K A R E N S



  42. Shiny Atom on February 10, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    I’m not addicted



  43. Mrs. Tunamilk on February 10, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    I stared at my phone for 5 minutes for this video, and more than 1.8m people did too. Your video makes no sense since we are still staring at our phone in order to watch this.



  44. Niamh Adams on February 10, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Am I the only one who hates notifications because they could “disrupt” a good moment of a show or movie I’m watching?



  45. Luminaria on February 10, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    ok boomer



  46. GhostPilot on February 10, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    I’m gonna say it

    I’m gonna say it

    OK BOOMER



  47. Inkter P on February 10, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    I watch this video, enraptured, while actively procrastinating.



  48. sunny bunny on February 10, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    ok boomer



  49. summerctx on February 10, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    take that, boomer



  50. I am a loser on February 10, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    *Gets a phone with a 4k super amoled display*

    *turns on grayscale*