Alarm Clock Woes: Pressure Project 1

Written description and illustration/diagram of the analyzed experience:

I’ve been having issues lately with getting out of bed on time. So as an attempt to stop hitting snooze, I ordered this alarm clock that you must chase after in order to turn it off. It arrived in the mail and I tried testing it out. The alarm would go off but the device wouldn’t move. I knew the wheels worked because for some reason there’s some game you can play by hitting buttons on the alarm. I hit those buttons accidentally and it made noises and spun its wheels. So I kept trying and eventually I found out that the first time it goes off, it doesn’t move. You’re meant to place it on your nightstand and after you’ve hit snooze once, only then does it roll off your table and around the floor until you turn it off. If you haven’t woken up after 9 minutes, it stops automatically. How ironic that I bought a device that “gives you a chance” and forces you to snooze once before it gets you out of bed. This does not help my snooze habit.PP1 diagram
Presentation of design process:


  • Sleeping
  • Snoozing
  • Waking up


  • Bedroom


  • Chasing alarm clock
  • Turning off alarm


  • Alarm clock
  • Nightstand
  • Bed


  • Owner of alarm clock


Description and concept sketches of proposed intervention:

My proposed intervention has two parts. The first part is for the company that made the product have better advertising for it. I didn’t read anything in the description that said the alarm clock only moves after it has been snoozed once. The second part is to give the user the option of when the alarm clock moves. This could be done with a switch, like so:

PP1 proposed solution

The user can move the switch up if they want the clock to move as soon as the alarm goes off or down if they want to snooze once before the clock moves. I don’t know if there is anyone who would want to snooze more than once but that could be fixed with a switch with more than two options. With this intervention, the designer’s original idea stays intact.

Written reflection on the challenges of designing for yourself:

When you’re designing for yourself, you have both advantages and disadvantages. One main advantage is that you know yourself better than you would know a client. You know what you like, what you dislike, how you would like things designed or presented. But this is also a disadvantage. You could get in your own way. By that I mean you can’t observe yourself like you would another person. You may think that in a certain situation, you’ll react a certain way. But perhaps that’s just the way you’d want to react. Maybe in reality you’ll react completely opposite than you thought. But are you going to create that scenario to observe yourself? Probably not because you think you know how you’d react. Also, you would design something around all your pet peeves and annoyances to make it the ideal product for you. But another designer might take advantage of those pet peeves to help the product work towards its full potential. For instance, say you need a product designed to help you reach a goal. Another designer might use a pet peeve of yours to annoy you into completing the goal whereas you would design the product to avoid it. In the end, the other designer’s product might be more successful for you.

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