How can we stretch our subjective time?
UI/UX | Design Research | Visual Design

As people age, they may perceive time passing quicker than in their youth. However, this phenomenon may not apply to Gen Z, whose perception of time is unique compared to previous generations.


This project aims to have more control over the passage of time by reducing our screen time, and improving our cognitive abilities to process information quickly.

Visual Designer
UI/UX Designer


GenZ's perception of time

The digital age has significantly impacted how GenZ perceives time. With the constant flow of information and stimuli from social media and smartphones, it becomes difficult for them to differentiate between past and present events.


1. Social media platform ads are designed to capture the attention of GenZ's short attention span.

2. The attention span of GenZ is typically less than 8 seconds, which means that ads must be short and to the point.

3. Social media platforms have recognized this trend and have created ads that are visually engaging and easily digestible.

4. These ads are typically designed to be mobile-friendly, with bold images and minimal text.


Why do we perceive time at a different speed?

To better understand human perception of time, I looked into how flies perceive the world. While human eyes are capable of perceiving motion at around 60 frames per second (fps), flies can detect motion at a much higher rate of up to 200 fps.

Some questions to explore:
How can we perceive time like flies?
How can we increase our frame rates?


Our subjective time can pass slower if we have a higher frame rate because the brain processes visual information in discrete frames. A higher frame rate means that more visual information is being processed in each second, which can create the illusion that time is passing more slowly. This is because the brain is able to process more visual detail in the same amount of time, making it feel like time is stretched out.

research Takeaways

1. GenZ's over-reliance on technology shrunk their subjective time.

2. We can train ourselves to improve our frame rate.

3. Fast-moving stimuli and a high rate of change in visual information slow down our perception of time.


Low fidelity wireframes

1. Diverse collection of 50 randomized mini-games
Ensuring that each play session feels fresh and exciting.

2. Intuitive and low-bar games
30-second games provide a welcome distraction from the endless scroll of social media, allowing you to unwind and have fun without getting lost in the digital world.

3. Integrate your screen hours into the game
To remind users of their technology hours in a more engaging way by weaving their screen report into the game's storytelling.

4. Screen time limit feature
Offer users the flexibility to customize and set their screen time limit to prevent the overuse of smartphones.


Gathered 6 GenZ who uses their smartphones for more than 6 hours daily, and are hoping to manage their time from over scrolling to test out the prototype.

key takeaways

1. Consider a reward system for users that spent less screen time, or punishment for long screen time 

2. Consider if it is a solo game or plays with friends?

3. Consider how to measure if you have gained more control over time after using the app? 

Design Language

Work in progress...

©2023 Cheryl Zhang. All rights reserved