Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Good experience design

Most alarm clocks have lousy user interfaces. This one above is pretty typical -- a number of tiny, poorly labeled buttons, which for some reason increment minutes in single units (do I want to get up at 7:02AM, or 7:04AM?), and make little distinction between AM and PM. When at a hotel, I have no confidence that I have set the alarm clock correctly, so I started using my cellphone instead.

I'm not sure if this is standard in all Nokias, but my phone makes a much better alarm clock than any alarm clock. You use the actual keypad to type in the time you want (much faster than clicking one button 10,000 times) and then select AM or PM. No ambiguity. Finally, you turn the phone off (so you are not woken by your drunk cousin at 4 in the morning) and the alarm works anyway even though the phone is off. After picking between "stop" and "snooze", your phone asks you if you want to turn it on now.



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