Alarm vs Timer UX pain-point I want fixed when Apple announces iOS 14

With Apple’s developers conference (WWDC) just weeks away, I asked a few of my friends about some of the irritants they hope to see fixed in iOS 14.

Apple has an outstanding reputation for quality, but there’s a few things which aren’t as perfect as they could be, and we’re keen to see if they’ll fix it.

As someone who’s passionate about experience design, here’s my number one UX irritant which I’d love to see improved in the new operating system.


Alarm vs Timer App

Goals 😍

When you think about the Alarm and Timer apps, they’re basically doing the same thing: Make a noise at a certain time, and if I’m not ready, make the same noise a little bit later.


Pain-points 😰

Unfortunately with the current interface, I always press the wrong button. 

Either I turn off the alarm and subsequently sleep in -OR- I accidentally turn off the timer, get distracted and ultimately burn the lentils.

If you think about UX principles, I want a consistent experience. I can’t brain.

Don’t make me think hard, neither early in the morning, nor when I haven’t eaten. Hangry is a real emotion.


Comparing the anatomy 🤓

As a user, I’m lazy, so here’s some of my behaviours and needs:

In iOS 13, the structure of the alert screen is inconsistent. Let’s have a look.

Also, if you look on the screenshot, the ‘Stop’ button is placed poorly for devices that have the ‘Swipe up to open’ hint — it’s bad layout as the two elements are overlapped. It’s not pretty. And I expect pretty.


Should ‘Stop’ or ‘Repeat/Snooze’ be dominant?

Without strong user testing, I really don’t know what the best layout should be, but I know it should be consistent, because I will never be taking the time to read everything on the screen and making an informed decision around which button I need to press, especially with a loud sound going on.

It’s impossible to predict the future. But we can consider what the consequences are if I unintentionally stop either the alarm or the timer.

⚠️ ⚠️
2 bad things that could happen if I press REPEAT unintentionally:

🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨
7 bad things that could happen if I press STOP unintentionally:

For my circumstances, I would rather press the repeat button unintentionally than press the stop button unintentionally.


Fixing it

This is how I would fix the Alarm and Timer screens in iOS 14:

That’s better! 👏

Let’s find out on Monday 22nd June if this is on the radar at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Fingers crossed.

Hey, smarty!

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