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EvolutionUI research project – the smartphone experience gamified

The main goal of EvolutionUI is to introduce gamification into the phone software. What is gamification? From Wikipedia: “Gamification is the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts.” This topic is getting more and more popular, and it’s no surprise: people learn to play games much more easily than applications. Playing games is more addictive as well. Several applications already integrated gamification.

If we look at games, many of them start with a simplified gameplay, which over time becomes more and more complex. For example, the main character may start with a single stick, but during the gameplay it will learn spells, find new weapons and armours. One problem many people have with smartphones is their complexity: when they start using a smartphone for the first time, they are faced with hundreds of features immediately.

How does EvolutionUI work?

We created a service, which keeps track of the phone usage, for example how many applications that have been started. When the user performs certain actions, for example the user started 10 of the applications, the user will get an “Achievement”, and as a result a new “Feature” will be enabled. For example, this new feature could be to allow editing the application shortcuts on the desktop. This achievement system has two main advantages:

  • The “Achievement” itself will give a positive feedback to the user.
  • The features of the phones are unlocked step by step, in the same pace as the user uses the phone. This makes the learning of the phone much easier (and a lot more fun as well).

The project’s title – EvolutionUI – also refers to this process: the user starts with a very simple-to-use phone, which slowly evolves into a really powerful and personal smartphone.


To see an example on how to use the service from your application, just head over to


For more information, please check our wiki page.