as probably most of the community here, we’ve found very hard to stay focused on our phones. As you, we saw the power asymmetry of addictive UIs and users having to battle it on their own.
TL;DR We have build Ratio launcher (for Android) to address this from the ground up, by completely replacing the original home screen into a minimalist, attention preserving UI.
We would really appreciate the support from community and would like to invite you to do a usability test with us! This will be extremely helpful, as it will show us our own blindspots when onboarding new users. In exchange, we will provide you with 1-month free Ratio Membership. We have 2 conditions:
- You’re an Android user / have android device
- You’ve never used Ratio before
Book a call with us here: https://blloc.typeform.com/to/eJbknWBx
Many many thanks!
Hey Rūta, I currently don’t have an Android phone handy, so I can’t apply. This definitely seems like an interesting launcher you’re building! I also like the design of the Blloc website.
Just maybe, in case you weren’t aware yet, I can offer another form of community feedback: a few years back, @andrewmurraydunn was CEO of Siempo, another (the first?) anti-distraction Android launcher. I used it happily at the time.
It is now defunct, and Andrew reflected upon the fate of Siempo and what he learned from it in two blog posts. See also his post in this forum: Siempo Postmortem: A Humane Tech Startup.
To my shame, I haven’t read them yet. They sound like extremely relevant reads for you though!
Thanks so so much for replying and giving some guidance. Will definitely look into Siempo - I think definitely have come across at some point! Just from the first glance, seems like a lot of wisdom to be learned from.
Hey @ruth.zem I used the Ratio Launcher for some days.
I feel my apps are more organized through this launcher. and makes us easy to find unnecessary apps that are occupying the space.
We run digital wellbeing awareness programs in different area of Nepal. I will suggest students to use Ratio to organize their phone and realize their activities in smartphone.
In my place there are 90% Android phone users.
Thank you. for such a humanitarian work.
Just a quick note, the Siempo source was open sourced and is now Focus Launcher (led by @tyhitzeman)
I was using Siempo for years and just recently switched over to Focus Launcher. It’s not perfect but does the job for me - I rarely get distracted when I open up my phone.
Hey @ruth.zem, I tried Ratio for a few days and was impressed with a lot about it. Specifically:
- Organizing apps within drawers is really cool. I used it a proxy intention reminder – a place to help me reconsider why I was using an app
- The greyscaled design and yellow for notifications is effective and appealing to look at
- The idea for the Conversations feature is really promising. In practice, it wasn’t very reliable for me (delayed or missed notifications)
- The location and size of the weather widget is nice. However, I found the graph to be hard to decipher. I’d prefer a more traditional weather widget that’s easier to understand at-a-glance
- Overall, it doesn’t feel like a native Android app. The buttons and other components seem like they were added onto the codebase rather than being built for Android. Perhaps that’s just one of those things that developers like me notice. Or perhaps it’s also the thing that most users notice, but don’t have the words to describe (other than, “It just doesn’t feel right”).
- I agree with the critical Play Store reviews about the pricing model; a short trial period and then a $50 yearly subscription seems too aggressive (unless you’re going for a smaller market for now?). The people like me who have tried Android launchers before will immediately recognize 1) how much more expensive Ratio is to others and 2) How there isn’t free-> premium route like others. These aren’t inherently wrong, but they make me more reluctant to try/pay for Ratio when I know less intense options exist.
- … [continuing] Those who aren’t familiar with launchers will be entirely put off after seeing the $50 price. It takes leap of faith to go from using the stock android launcher to trying a third-party one. And asking a new user to do that AND pay $50 after just a week is expecting too much, considering the other options.
Overall, I found Ratio to be one of the more refreshing new launchers, and am excited to see how your team progresses this year! Best wishes, -T
Thanks for the shoutout. I recently stopped leading Focus Launcher, however. I gave it my best effort for a year+, but all my attempts at creating a thriving community didn’t work (at least not enough to make meaningful progress). I hope someone else from Focus Launcher will step up and take it further, but now I’m only focusing on building my app.
Ratio launcher looks really interesting and attractive. Don’t have time to delve more deeply, but you are on a very proper path. Great productization. One thing I feel that should be added is transparency on the pricing. I couldn’t find this. Is there a one-time fee, or a subscription model? In a time where it is no longer obvious that if you buy something you own it, a one-time fee for the software would be fabulous. A ‘principles & values’ thing that you could turn into a USP, just like Apple does for its privacy stance.