An Alarm Clock for the Deeper Sleeper

Human-Computer Interaction, Fall 2013

The Problem

Not everybody marches to the beat of a well-coordinated circadian rhythm section. Despite how tired a person may be, or how warm the bed, it eventually becomes necessary to get up and get on with the day. This generally involves waking up — not always the easiest task. Often, a reluctant early riser might let the alarm clock ring for snooze cycle after snooze cycle until, to their great chagrin, they realize that they must choose between getting dressed and making it to work on time. If only it were easier to watch the clock!


It is understandably difficult to watch anything when your eyes are closed. WideAwake is a mobile alarm clock app where users instead use their ears keep track of time by using different audio tracks for different snooze cycles.

The changing sounds help the user recognize the importance of actually rolling out of bed. By the time the default alarm plays “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” it is certainly time to get up!

Home screen (AM view)
Homescreen (AM view). Lists scheduled alarms. Edit existing alarm time by moving the arms on the clock.
Homescreen (PM view)
Homescreen (PM view).
Edit Alarm screen
Edit alarm. Set main alarm sound and up to three subsequent snooze sounds. Here, all three sounds are playing.
New Alarm screen
New Alarm. Creates a new alarm, including zero to three snooze sounds. Choose custom sounds from local storage or YouTube.
Settings screen
Settings. Customize alarm behavior, such as auto-snooze or auto-dismiss, volume settings (with a crescendo option to raise the volume over time), and more.
About/Help screen
About / Help. Description of app and overview of various icons as well as instructions on how to set the alarm time.


This was my first individual prototyping project, and I enjoyed getting to know Axure better (as well as practicing Illustrator by making all of my own icons, which has become something of a hobby). Looking back, there is certainly room for improvement — for example, there is no way to turn the alarm on or off — but as an early project, it was a good concept and an excellent learning experience.

Most crucially, it emphasized the importance of thoroughly understanding tasks and mapping how each step of the experience to how it corresponds with the product, and of conducting walkthroughs to test those design decisions.