Sebastiaan de With has posted about his design process for an Android alarm clock app that he designed. He goes through the how and why of an alarm clock, the — umm — intricacies of designing for a platform with some many different screen sizes.

Near the end of the post he gets on with a fascinating topic to me:

It’s… well, designed for humans. All these details seem like such obvious things, yet you’d be surprised to find that nobody seems to have thought about these details before. I sincerely hope our app inspires others to adopt the same design patterns, simply because I believe it makes people’s lives better.

There are some really great touches that are in the app — things like sleep cycles make the app something more than your normal alarm clock.

I often whine on and on about weather apps, but it is true that something well designed, well thought out, and designed to help you can almost be magical. Case in point: Dark Sky. Just look at what Dr. Drang has to say about Dark Sky after heading its advice and waiting out rain, while watching a colleague dash into the building:

I waited out the full three minutes and sauntered up to the door with only a couple of stray drops hitting me. She now owns a copy of Dark Sky.

It was a powerful enough moment that he felt compelled to write about it, because in that moment the app seemed like magic. Indeed, Dark Sky often seems like magic when you use it — like something that shouldn’t be possible because it is almost too accurate.

Why should that just be limited to Dark Sky, seems like this alarm clock is heading on that path and I would love to see more apps take this route too.


Posted by Ben Brooks