Some Good and Bad Points of An Alarm Clock App For IPhone

04 Nov

Several days ago I wanted to download an alarm clock application on my IPhone to wake me up. When searching in App Store, the first application was Alarm Clock HD designed by Alarm Clock Company with 4.5 stars. Then I installed the application.

The home page of the alarm clock is shown in the screenshot below. Current hours and minutes are above the fold surrounded by the information of local weather, date and battery level. At the bottom, it posts some news and advertisements. When I click the title, it leads me to another page which contains specific information of news and advertisements. I am confused about the application. Is it an alarm clock or RSS feed? It displays a lot of information but lack the one that I need-the alarms. As a first time user, I can’t find where to set my alarm at first glance. When I touch the current time area, two small icons are shown on the top of the page which tends to be ignored. The one at the right corner is used for setting alarms. The reason why I choose the app is that it is an alarm clock. If it is not very easy for me to find the alarm settings, why should I use it? The user will become annoyed and discard it. I understand that the designer wants to design a full-featured product which allows users to do a lot of things, even post our Twitter or Facebook! By doing so, the alarm clock becomes a social application. I don’t think a lot of features is a good idea for an alarm clock because we use the application only to wake us up! Since I have my IPhone to help me do these things, who cares the alarm clock can remind me to check my RSS feed or Facebook?

Well, let’s see the most important feature of the application-Alarms. The function is quite simple and user friendly. At the bottom of the page, we can swipe the virtual calendar to choose our alarm time. There are a lot of alarm clock features to customize alarms and connect with social media (which I don’t like). We can play our own music or the music that is provided for us on the app. The application also allows us to set as many alarms as we want, either one-time alarms or repeating alarms. We can use a text field in the label option to write a note or the alarm’s purpose. What’s more, if you update to a new vision, the app will come with no ads.

As a deep-sleeper, I do not wake up to the alarm in the morning if the volume is not very high. Even when I get a rude awakening to the alarm, I always turn off the alarm and snooze. This alarm application is pretty the same with other alarms. I just need to touch the stop icon in the screen to turn it off. It can’t force me to get up. I really need a different one to force myself jump out of the bed. Maybe it will not stop ringing until I am out of my bed and awake. I think it will be a pretty cool feature to have and stand out in these normal applications.


Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Good/Bad Interface Design



2 responses to “Some Good and Bad Points of An Alarm Clock App For IPhone

  1. Mihaela

    November 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Can you relate any of these design critiques to usability and visual design principles you have learned about in class?

    Maybe you need this clock – it runs around the room and you have to get up to catch it and turn it off

    • cgt512chenguo

      November 6, 2012 at 12:09 am

      Wow, it is amazing! The clock can run away just like a pet…Thanks for your kind suggestion:)
      As to visual design principle, I think the app does not put the most important elements-the alarms icon- in the prominent place. And the distribution of the elements is not a pleasing layout.
      What’s more, simple task, simple interface. There are too many options. Some features don’t contribute to users’ goals. Unnecessary navigations should be eliminated.


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