(offtopic) Most people think it was the snooze, but no, no snooze

27 Apr 2005 - 6:05am
9 years ago
17 replies
1211 reads
Donna Fritzsche
2005

This has been bugging me for awhile - I couldn't remember why
Trinidadian Jean-Paul overslept for the Olympics Marathon. (excerpt
below from http://www.stanthecaddy.com/the-hot-tub-script.html )
- Donna

>
>
>[Setting: Jerry's apartment]
>
>JERRY: He overslept and missed the whole race. Isn't that amazing?
>
>GEORGE: I'll tell you what happened - I bet he got the AM/PM mixed-up.
>
>JERRY: My money's on the snooze. I bet he hit the snooze for an
>extra 5 and it never came back on. (Kramer enters with a bucket, and
>starts filling it with water on the sink) Imagine your whole life
>riding on an alarm clock.
>

>[Setting: Coffee shop]
>
>ELAINE: Jerry. Jerry, this is Jean-Paul.
>
>JERRY: Ah, hi Jean-Paul. Nice to meet you.
>
>JEAN-PAUL: Nice to meet you.
>
>JERRY: Sorry about the Olympics.
>
>JEAN-PAUL: Me too. (Disappointed)
>
>ELAINE: Listen, listen I'm gonna go call work to see if I can get my
>deadline extended. I can't.. come up with anything for this thing.
>
>JERRY: Ah.. catalog writer's block?
>
>ELAINE: (Sarcastic) Yeah, that's funny.
>
>(Elaine leaves) JERRY: (Pause) So what happened? The snooze alarm, wasn't it?
>
>JEAN-PAUL: Man, it wasn't the snooze. Most people think it was the
>snooze, but no, no snooze.
>
>JERRY: AM/PM?
>
>JEAN-PAUL: Man, it wasn't the AM/PM. It was the volume.
>
>JERRY: Ah.. the volume.
>
>JEAN-PAUL: Yes, the volume. There was a separate knob for the radio alarm.
>
>JERRY: Ah, separate knob.
>
>JEAN-PAUL: Yes, separate knob. (Frustrated) Why separate knob?! Why
>separate knob?!
>
>JERRY: Some people like to have the radio alarm a little louder than
>the radio.
>
>JEAN-PAUL: Oh, please, man, please!
>
>JERRY: Don't worry, it's not gonna happen again. Not if I have
>anything to say about it.
>
>(Elaine returns)
>
>JERRY: Elaine, what's the alarm clock situation in your house?
>
>ELAINE: Jerry..
>
>JERRY: It's a simple question.
>
>....

Comments

27 Apr 2005 - 7:37am
sylvania
2005

Alarm clock design seems to come up routinely in all IxD circles - I'm
glad I don't work in that industry. ;)

Seriously, the designers of the alarm I own were kind enough to build in
a particularly nifty "feature:"
If one hits the snooze more than [x] number of times, the clock decides
that she must not really want to get up after all, and stops going off
altogether. Unfortunately for this user, I have yet to discover the
value of [x], since I am still too asleep for counting for the first
several times [y]. Too many variables and too much math that early in
the morning. (And maybe it doesn't matter -- I have a sneaking
suspicion that the value of [x] is generated by some randomising
function, anyhow...)

With all the talent on this list, maybe we could band together to solve
this persistent design problem for all humanity? I, for one, would
enjoy taking a crack at it... :)

27 Apr 2005 - 9:58am
Simon King
2004

Lately I've been reading about numerous alarm clock designs with unique
methods of making sure you wake up. There's a good recap of them here:

http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/005521.php

The key shared featured is how challenging it is to de-activate them. It
seems to me that the clock you mention is flawed by assuming that you don't
want to wake up, even if you're hit snooze over and over. If you go to the
effort of setting an alarm the night before one should assume that you need
to wake up when it goes off.

It's so interesting that in this case making it much harder to "use" might
be a better design. Now _setting_ the alarm is another story. Why do so many
alarm clocks use single buttons that make me click them up to 59 times to
get the minute where I want it? My favorite design is one I have with two
large dials, one for hour and one for minute.

Simon

27 Apr 2005 - 10:06am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

> Now _setting_ the alarm is another story. Why do so many
> alarm clocks use single buttons that make me click them up to 59 times to
> get the minute where I want it? My favorite design is one I have with two
> large dials, one for hour and one for minute.

Yes, this has always annoyed me, and I selected my most recent alarm clock
based on this feature alone. I found one that has a full keypad on the top.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

If there's anything more annoying
than a machine that won't do what you want,
it's a machine that won't do what you want
and has been programmed to behave
as though it likes you.

- Don Norman

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27 Apr 2005 - 10:08am
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

> With all the talent on this list, maybe we could band together to solve
> this persistent design problem for all humanity? I, for one, would
> enjoy taking a crack at it... :)

It's a system problem. Let's do something about the need to go to work
in the morning. Then we won't even need alarm clocks anymore! :-)

-Gerard

--
Gerard Torenvliet
g.torenvliet at gmail.com

27 Apr 2005 - 10:11am
Bill DeRouchey
2010

On Wed, 27 Apr 2005, Simon King wrote:

> The key shared featured is how challenging it is to de-activate them. It
> seems to me that the clock you mention is flawed by assuming that you don't
> want to wake up, even if you're hit snooze over and over. If you go to the
> effort of setting an alarm the night before one should assume that you need
> to wake up when it goes off.
>
> It's so interesting that in this case making it much harder to "use" might
> be a better design.

I agree on this latter point. The whole point of the alarm clock is
annoyance. Because it's not whether you -want- or -need- to wake up when
it goes off. It's all about -can- you wake up or not. And just coming out
of a conference call that started for me at 6:30am, this rings a little
close to home. Can't, wake, dumb, must, snooze, wake, up.

Bill

27 Apr 2005 - 10:33am
Dan Zlotnikov
2004

On 4/27/05, Bill DeRouchey <bill at flume.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> I agree on this latter point. The whole point of the alarm clock is
> annoyance. Because it's not whether you -want- or -need- to wake up when
> it goes off. It's all about -can- you wake up or not. And just coming out
> of a conference call that started for me at 6:30am, this rings a little
> close to home. Can't, wake, dumb, must, snooze, wake, up.
>
> Bill
>

Waking up on time is one thing, but is there really a need to be
jarred awake? The BodyClock uses gradually increasing simulated
sunlight, emulating sunrise. The theory is that this is going to wake
you up gently. Or make you turn over and cover your head with the
blanket.
http://www.loop.ph/new/lightsleeper.html

Then there's the alarm clock that monitors your brain wave patterns,
and goes off when you are closest to consciousnes.
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/mech-tech/mg18624956.600

Dan

--
WatCHI
http://www.acm.org/chapters/watchi

27 Apr 2005 - 11:20am
Amy Kang
2005

Or how about one that jumps off the bedside table and hides once you hit
snooze?
Too bad it's not commercially available...yet.

http://web.media.mit.edu/~nanda/projects/clocky.html

--Amy

27 Apr 2005 - 11:43am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

DZ> Then there's the alarm clock that monitors your brain wave patterns,
DZ> and goes off when you are closest to consciousnes.

My favourite alarm clock had two incredibly smart features:
a) size of a chewing gum pack
b) gentle buzz that perfectly imitated a large mosquito, both
sound-wise and volume-wise.

Now, this is a cunning interaction design for you: in order to hear it,
you have to place it relatively close to your ear, typically, by the
pillow. Gentle buzz wakes you up slowly, but the persistent sound of
predatory mosquito makes your perky pretty quickly. Due to the small
size, finding the clock and shutting it up is not a particularly easy
task, so you might end up chasing it in bed while still half-awake
(eyes closed). In the process, you do some hand-waving and leg-kicking
(you are still a mosquito victim-turn-killer, remember!), which
improves blood circulation and wakes you up even faster.

There was one bad thing about the clock: it mysteriously disappeared
soon after I became a couple...

Lada

27 Apr 2005 - 11:44am
Dave Malouf
2005

I find it interesting how people are concentrating on the "waking" part of
the workflow here ...
What about the setting part? That is the user-problem as related by the
original post.

How I want to wake up is probably a very personal decision, and is so based
on previous success/failures.

Setting the alarm in the first place seems to me to be pretty isolated in
flow. Yes, the options change depending on how you want to wake up, but you
are working with a tool at this point so there is a very different
cognitive model going on.

The only major exceptions I can think of about this is that, I need (stuff
my clock doesn't have)
1. do this in the dark
2. do this QUIETLY (I don't live alone!)
3. Just solve that stupid AM PM problem once and for all!!!!

I'm sure there are more.

On the wakeup side ... I'd love to find something that will wake me up w/o
waking up my bedmate. Electrical shock maybe? But then my scream might do
the waking, eh?

Oh! David from the Brand Experience Lab showed us these great speakers that
direct the sound practically into your skull and almost no one else can hear
what you are hearing if the volume is adjusted correctly.

-- dave

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

27 Apr 2005 - 12:59pm
Bill DeRouchey
2010

On Wed, 27 Apr 2005, David Heller wrote:

> 3. Just solve that stupid AM PM problem once and for all!!!!

How about a physical switch on the back for "Alarm AM/PM"? After all, I
would bet that nearly 100% of people always wake in AM times, or for the
swingshifters, PM times. Why not make this setting relatively permanent?

This would not be true for setting clock time though.

Next time I work on an alarm clock, I'm doing that.

Also, my favorite alarm clock allowed me to go -backwards- as well as
forwards to set the alarm/time. Cycling through almost 24 hours to go back
a half hour drives me bonkers. A ten-key pad is a very direct solution,
but that's a lot of extra parts to drive up the cost.

And another thing now that I'm a roll, why not cycle the alarm setting in
only five minute chunks? It might be heresy, but do you really need to
wake up at exactly 6:32?

Bill

27 Apr 2005 - 1:23pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Hello!

> On Wed, 27 Apr 2005, David Heller wrote:
>
> > 3. Just solve that stupid AM PM problem once and for all!!!!

Ah, silly users! Change them instead of the machine. Change both
actually: Get them on a 24h clock, a system used in any intelligent
place on this globe and on all the cell phones (and PDAs) I know, as an
option.

You get up at 08:00 and if you want to snooze a bit after work, before
going out to a late showing of a movie, you set your alarm to wake you
up at 20:00

I have never gotten used to meters or kilos and degrees centigrade,
after more than 30 years or trying, because I grew up in inches and
pounds and degrees Farenheit just before the big transition period in
the 60s, but I had no problem getting into a 24 hour clock,
immediately.

I gave up using North American alarm clocks years ago, partly because
of that idiotic AM PM system. I use my cell phone to wake me up and it
is on the 24 hour clock option.

Alain Vaillancourt

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

27 Apr 2005 - 2:55pm
ldebett
2004

Dare I admit this? Let the flaming begin...

I was the lead UI designer on the Bose Wave Music System (aka. Wave CD) that
came out last year. It has an alarm feature. Here's how this one works (not
saying it's a model of UI design, just saying how it is):
- Setting the clock is with Time +/Time - buttons, (you can choose 12 or 24
hour clock formats) and the adjustment speed increases the longer you hold
the button down. The time AM/PM display for the 12 hour clock says "AM" and
"PM" not a dot or no dot.
- There's a separate mini alarm time displayed when you turn the alarm on.
You can see exactly what time you've set it for right next to the regular
time.
- The alarm wakes you gradually by ramping up the volume from 0 at 1 vol/sec
to the volume you've chosen in the alarm setup. Yes, you can adjust the
volume separately than the normal volume, but not with a separate knob. The
default out of the box is 50 (if I remember correctly). You can snooze it
while it's ramping - while you're still half asleep.
- You can change the snooze time so if you like to snooze for 10 min, 12,
15, 20.. whatever minutes. (no standard 9 minutes here)

Okay, now lemme put on my suit of armor before you start firing... ;-)

~Lisa

27 Apr 2005 - 3:16pm
Ilan Volow
2004

If the alarm could speak the wake-up time after it was set, a few of
those accidental AM/PM slip-ups might be caught. There also might be
some accessibility benefit to a speaking alarm clock, because sight
would not be necessary to set it. It still doesn't solve the "quietly"
part, however.

I'd also like to add the thing I want most in an alarm clock:

4. Change the time for the alarm to go off without accidently changing
the time of the clock.

On Apr 27, 2005, at 12:44 PM, David Heller wrote:

>
> Setting the alarm in the first place seems to me to be pretty isolated
> in
> flow. Yes, the options change depending on how you want to wake up,
> but you
> are working with a tool at this point so there is a very different
> cognitive model going on.
>
> The only major exceptions I can think of about this is that, I need
> (stuff
> my clock doesn't have)
> 1. do this in the dark
> 2. do this QUIETLY (I don't live alone!)
> 3. Just solve that stupid AM PM problem once and for all!!!!
>
> I'm sure there are more.
>
> On the wakeup side ... I'd love to find something that will wake me up
> w/o
> waking up my bedmate. Electrical shock maybe? But then my scream might
> do
> the waking, eh?
>
> Oh! David from the Brand Experience Lab showed us these great speakers
> that
> direct the sound practically into your skull and almost no one else
> can hear
> what you are hearing if the volume is adjusted correctly.
>
> -- dave
>
> -- dave
>
> David Heller
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixdg.org
> dave at ixdg.org
> dave at synapticburn.com
> AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

27 Apr 2005 - 3:52pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I had the opp to use one of these sidetable clocks when I stayed at a
friend's house.

My ONLY issues w/ the thing were that it was NOT easy to use and you can't
use it in the dark.

My other laundry list items actually still stand, but these seem to me to be
the big ones missing. Some of what you describe though I didn't notice, but
they sound nice.

I ended up using my cellphone's alarm instead. ;)

- dave

On 4/27/05 3:55 PM, "Lisa deBettencourt" <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Dare I admit this? Let the flaming begin...
>
> I was the lead UI designer on the Bose Wave Music System (aka. Wave CD) that
> came out last year. It has an alarm feature. Here's how this one works (not
> saying it's a model of UI design, just saying how it is):
> - Setting the clock is with Time +/Time - buttons, (you can choose 12 or 24
> hour clock formats) and the adjustment speed increases the longer you hold
> the button down. The time AM/PM display for the 12 hour clock says "AM" and
> "PM" not a dot or no dot.
> - There's a separate mini alarm time displayed when you turn the alarm on.
> You can see exactly what time you've set it for right next to the regular
> time.
> - The alarm wakes you gradually by ramping up the volume from 0 at 1 vol/sec
> to the volume you've chosen in the alarm setup. Yes, you can adjust the
> volume separately than the normal volume, but not with a separate knob. The
> default out of the box is 50 (if I remember correctly). You can snooze it
> while it's ramping - while you're still half asleep.
> - You can change the snooze time so if you like to snooze for 10 min, 12,
> 15, 20.. whatever minutes. (no standard 9 minutes here)
>
> Okay, now lemme put on my suit of armor before you start firing... ;-)
>
> ~Lisa
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

28 Apr 2005 - 5:42am
Suresh JV
2004

> With all the talent on this list, maybe we could band together to solve
> this persistent design problem for all humanity? I, for one, would
> enjoy taking a crack at it... :)
- - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> 1. do this in the dark
> 2. do this QUIETLY (I don't live alone!)
> 3. Just solve that stupid AM PM problem once and for all!!!!

My take on Alarm Clock design to really wakeup someone out of their bed.

How about integrating an alarm clock in the bed. [!] The bed has to be a
two piece foldable one like hospital bed. You set the alarm on a digital
clock embedded in the headboard of the bed. The display will have "Now+"
feature to set 'Wakeup in next 8:15hrs or usual time settings.
Either way shows the actual time to wakeup. Glows mildly in the dark.
[Future: Allow my boss or someone to access this alarm setting over IP.
Also, integrate my work holidays into in-built calendar, so the alarm
won't work on recurrence setting.]

Now the bed part. The bed should rise vertically in slow movement to pre
determined settings. Snooze can make it fall back for some time.[Slowly!]
Bang/Tap the head board to snooze. After some time The bed rises again.
There would be an intensity setting to either jolt you or to rise in micro
degrees. No matter how you twist or turn, you can't sleep on a half
[45deg] inclined bed for a long time. A directional Buzzer at both sides
of the bed can have that mosquito sound for more effective and personal
setting.

[part C - Jetsons] ;)

Now for the portable one. - Integrate with a car jack [only smaller]
and hide it under your mattress. [--^---]

PS: Please don't think about the cost. In future most the components
will be cheaper and affordable. Like all other inventions of the past.

On the other hand, isn't our body clock far more efficient than any of
the physical ones. There should be a way to induce alertness into the
brain by sound waves. [Must be there in Indian classical music -not sure!]
Personally, I instruct my subconscious mind about waking up at certain
time apart from setting it up on my mobile. And most of the times,
no matter where I'm sleeping, [house or hotel], I always wake up at
least 15min before that time.

Regards,
Suresh JV.

28 Apr 2005 - 2:41pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Here's my entry into the bad clock Olympics:
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/Archive-2004Q2.html#Thinking13

* Tiny, off-center snooze button (this is a fairly common abuse, actually)

* Alarm setting controls which make it impossible for right-handed
users to see what time they are setting it to

* Radio dial with the lower channels on the right (rather than on the
left, as with every other radio in the Western world)
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA jdrew at adobe.com
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 03/15)

28 Apr 2005 - 3:13pm
ldebett
2004

Yeah, Dave, I think you probably were using the previous model. It is pretty
hard to use and set the alarm... especially in the dark. Not that the new
one solves the "in the dark" problem. I tried to get glow-in-the-dark ink
for the labels, but the bean counters would have nothing to do with that...
;-)

~Lisa

>I had the opp to use one of these sidetable clocks when I stayed at a
>friend's house.

>My ONLY issues w/ the thing were that it was NOT easy to use and you can't
>use it in the dark.

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