What is Digital Well-being?
According to UNESCO, “Digital well-being is the enhancement and improvement of human well-being, in the intermediate and long term, through the use of digital media.”
Digital Wellbeing is about crafting and maintaining a healthy relationship with technology.
It’s about how technology serves us and moves us towards our goals. Rather than distracting us, interrupting us or getting in the way. Being in control of technology enables us to use its full potential and gain all the benefits of it.
In this virtual age, smart technology and screens have become a core means of connecting people for work and fun.
In these extraordinary times, there is a state-of-the-art need to create and prioritize digital health.
Understanding Digital well-being will help us realize the importance of striking a balance with technology. For instance, maximizing the benefits of technology while mitigating risks and negativity and Focusing on time with technology.
Importance of Digital Well-being
Recent research has shown that adults spend a shocking 11 hours on average a day looking at screens.
In 2019, an estimated 500,000 or more people in Malaysia suffered from depression. Understandably, digital wellbeing came under the spotlight during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Statistics by Swinburne University of Technology, 12 May, 2021)
People who aren’t aware of the dangers of overuse of technology aren’t aware of virtual health. Anxiety and stress levels can rise as a result of this dependence.
An organization can suffer hugely, when its employees suffer due to burn-out.
These risks can be reduced by focusing on digital well-being that further improves the overall user experience. In fact most designers apply UX design tactics to boost the accessibility that further adds on to the digital well being.
Digital well-being and technology
There has been an emergence of platforms that focus on digital well-being to help users regulate their lives. Google Wind Down is a feature that flips the screen to grayscale at a specified bedtime.
People can use a timer to set limits on how much they use their devices or apps and view detailed information on how they spend time on their phones.
Many existing applications have incorporated features that aid in Digital well-being.
Few of the features are mentioned below –
Youtube – Time Watched, Take a break reminder, Notifications digest, YT Kids.
Android – Digital Wellbeing, Focus mode, Bedtime mode, Do Not Disturb.
Family Link – Be Internet Awesome and Parental controls and more.
The Complete Design
- Avoiding information overload – The right approach to designing for digital well-being outlines the importance of understanding the negative effects of the amount of information being placed in a design.
It is better to simplify the user’s workflow by providing useful headings and a minimal design which further helps in saving time, avoiding frustration in users and helps users get off the platform quickly.
- Notifications – When you’re trying to send an email or text message and your phone is beeping non stop, it’s difficult to focus on the task at hand. As a result, it is imperative that you provide your users with notification options, as this will make your digital product less obtrusive while avoiding any unwanted interruptions.
- Scrolling effect – As one of the most addictive app behaviors’, a user’s ability to scroll indefinitely encourages them to sift through the content on your app.
These designs are great for engagement, but they are also dangerous and addictive for the user. Is it ever difficult to stop scrolling when you’re on a website, or an app? Sometimes it’s difficult to put down a device and get back to living. To encourage the user to log off, you need to make navigation and pause and stop moments prominent.
- Awards – Being rewarded for engaging on an app has been one of the most addictive and unhealthy things for a user. Though, it really helps in increasing engagement but can bring anxiety and stress to a user. For example, the Snapchat streaks, the daily login rewards in gaming apps, etc.
There is a new trend of rewarding screen-free time, which is becoming more common in many designs.
In order to ensure that users are being mindful and helping them get the best sleep possible, visual techniques are used, such as saving screen time or logging water intake or a checklist for bedtime.
The platform and the UI/UX designers of the apps apply the best practices for well-being and foster a healthy relationship with the digital world by adding a sense of accomplishment.
We at, Hie HQ – Your product partner, understand the importance of operating to study and evolve this stability through the idea of designing for virtual wellbeing, so it can enhance peoples’ lives, and no longer distract from them.
Got an idea for an app/web product and am looking for a reliable Design/Dev partner?
Reach out to us.
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1. How can digital well being affect my business?
One of the most important things that you can do for your business is to create digital well-being initiatives. This includes creating a policy on online safety and protecting your information, setting up an incident response plan in case of data breaches, developing effective training programs for employees using technology tools and devices, and regularly monitoring social media channels.
All businesses are susceptible to cyberattacks, so it’s important to take measures to protect yourself from potential losses. By doing these simple steps, you will be able to mitigate the impact of any incidents while still continuing operations.
2. How can we achieve digital well being?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to achieve better digital well being will vary depending on your individual circumstances. However, some tips that may be helpful include: taking time for yourself every day — whether that means reading a book, going for a walk, or doing something you enjoy; using tools like mindfulness and distraction suppression apps to manage stress and keep focus; setting limits on how much screen time you allow yourself each day; choosing passwords that are easy to remember but difficult to crack; using encryption software whenever possible; and disciplining yourself when online behaviors pose an unacceptable risk.