Assistive Technology: Forest (iOS App)

Introduction to Forest

Forest is an app designed to help users overcome phone addiction and focus on completing important tasks of their daily lives. Users start a focus timer to plant a virtual tree in the app, restricting phone access during the focused period. Successful sessions grow virtual trees in users’ personalized forests, reflecting their concentrated time.

A significant portion of Forest’s user base consists of students, as they have the need for prolonged focus on studying, exams, and preparing for graduate studies. However, beyond students, it is also utilized by any other demographic aiming to enhance their concentration. This includes but not limits to employees with work-related goals to achieve or individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Main Features

When users feel the need to set aside their phones and prioritize real-life activities, they can plant a seed in Forest. As time passes, the seed grows into a tree. But if they give in to the temptation of using their phones and leave the app, the tree dies. In this way, the tree being planted serve as an motivation that drive users to stay focused for a session of time, and even gradually cultivated their focus habit.

By checking the virtual forest, which represents each users’ focus achievements, along with their focus statistics, users can effortlessly monitor their detailed time distribution. This helps them stay motivated, manage their time better, and accomplish more tasks.

Accessible Aspects of Forest


Forest, a gamified focus timer, creatively addresses the needs of users aiming to stay focused and overcome phone addiction. The design of this technology product, intended to assist individuals experiencing challenges with concentration in their daily lives, reflects the functional model of disability. Additionally, for workers seeking to enhance their focus at the workplace, such as those experiencing difficulties concentrating on tedious tasks, this app aligns effectively with the economic model of disability.


The minimalist design of Forest perfectly aligns with the social model of disability, as it minimizes the chances of users getting distracted by external factors – such as unnecessary features and complex interface design – which represents the disabling conditions created by the society . It creates an environment that is conducive to users staying focused. Upon opening the app, individuals are immediately presented with a clean interface featuring only essential time settings and a ‘Plant’ button, enabling easy-to-use and instant concentration when needed.

Simplified and easy-to-start UIUX design.


The app was publicly launched on the App Store, allowing users from 136 countries worldwide to download and integrate it into their lives. Additionally, Forest excels in localization, with the app interface supporting 14 languages, thus effectively reducing language barriers. This also aligns with the essence of social model of disability: everyone on this world, no matter being disabled in concentration or not, has the right to participate in the society and improve their life qualities.


Forest faces a slight disadvantage in achieving affordability, as users need to pay $3.99 on the App Store to successfully download and use the application. This poses a barrier for users who are not economically independent, such as students, or those who cannot afford to spend money on improving their focus. In a way, it also contradicts the social model of disability, as the ability to participate in society should be considered a basic human right. However, individuals facing concentration challenges currently need to spend money to use Forest as a solution.


To sum up, Forest serves as an assistive technology. Unlike basic digital timers, It employs visually appealing virtual trees to represent the amount of focus time users have dedicated. The core design of its product enables easily distracted individuals to generate a sense of focus, encouraging them to return to the app consistently and successfully achieve their life goals.

The interface and functionality are deliberately simple and concise, centered around the needs of users prone to distraction. Upon opening the app, users can instantly immerse themselves in a focused state without being overwhelmed by unnecessary features. Although it requires a $3.99 purchase on the app store, its inclusivity in terms of language and availability in various regions allows a broader audience to benefit from its features.