Snoozr – another cool way to wake up
The Story Behind
Alarm apps are common, we all use them. Snoozr is no different - it’s designed to wake you up, is it? In general - it is. When we decided to design Snoozr, we did not want to change the goal, just the perspective of an alarm app. So we applied a twist - one that changes the whole idea of getting up on its head. Here’s how:
Disassembling the Problem
While in front of the drawing board, we quickly realized what most alarm apps have in common and what we’d like to avoid. It’s the continuity of repeating alarms. Let’s assume we set a strict time we want to be up, for instance 8:00 a.m. Most alarm apps will start at that time (or probably earlier if you fear you’d oversleep) and continue snoozing indefinitely until they are disarmed. That’s not bad - what’s bad is the uncertainty of the exact timeframe. It might wake you up on time, or it might not...
A viable concept that seemed to work well was a bit different. The algorithm was set up in a certain way, so that, primarily, only the desired uptime mattered. Secondly, personalization, where the user can choose what kind of sleeper he is, and of course, depending on his mood, what kind of music he’d like to wake up with. But in the end it all boils down to the primary goal - getting up on time or earlier, not later. That’s how Snoozr was initially set up - starting a bit earlier and increasing the intensity and span of the alarms as it approaches the desired wake up time. That way, Snoozr ensures you wake up softly and naturally, without even noticing the presence of an alarm.
First Field Tests
No concept is strong enough if it does not prove itself on the field - so we set up a test group who would wake up with Snoozr for a week. During this process we learned a vast amount of user behavior from each other, and from our test users, enough to wrap it into a more structured and pleasant experience.
Design With a Twist
Since Snoozr is an experimental app, not bound to strict definitions, we decided to challenge our UI limits and go forward with a rather unusual concept. The motive was an open, intriguing landscape that could easily morph into various moods or weather conditions. We’ve come up with an infinite scrolling time bar that moves accordingly with the landscape, in line with the time/weather conditions. Upon swiping the UI up or down, more detailed information is revealed. This UI proved to be challenging, yet fun to implement - opening a whole new chapter in our expertise.
Another micro-challenge had puzzled us for some time - the uncertainty of disarming the final alarm by mistake (or by intent) and sleeping in. So we came up with a randomized puzzle game that appears optionally on the final alarm. Once solved with a short swipe in the right pattern, all alarms are finally disarmed and we’re sure you’re up and awake.
While still in production and the polishing phase, the apps are in working order and will be getting a few updates over time. What’s more important - the bigger picture - the apps will serve as a controller for an additional IOT device we’re developing inside our Labs division - the Snoozr Pod (codename) - a small battery powered lowE Bluetooth speaker capsule capable of replicating alarms from Snoozr app while acting as a big, real-life snooze button.