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Archive for April 24th, 2008

Nature’s Alarms (Help the Environment AND wake up in the morning)



1. Urban Couples (lack of space for nightstands)
2. Mature Women (usually light sleepers)
3. High Strung & Light Sleepers (usually women)
4. Older Men (at risk for heart attacks)
5. Sound Sleepers (often men)


Two Alarms: Set two different alarms with Nature’s Alarms. Effective for apartment dwellers who only have room for one nightstand, or for a single user who may like to take naps, but not for too long!

Research: Nature’s Alarms clock is the result of many years of difficult and obnoxious alarm clocks in the lives of our researchers and their family members, particularly older women. The next phase will include asking shoppers at random in malls and on streets to fill out questionnaires.


Affordances: Many older people sleep very lightly and do not need a shrieking alarm clock to wake them up. Indeed, it’s best to avoid the attendant risk of heart-attack! The Nature’s Alarms volume does allow for a loud alarm if the consumer prefers.

Constraints: Older people (and people of all ages with poor eyesight) need larger buttons and especially larger labels for the buttons.

Conceptual Model: Our model may have more buttons than are necessary for a younger user, but it is important to have a button for each function, to eliminate confusion. Once an older person becomes befuddled by an electronic device, they are likely to stop trying to use it.

Immediate ease of use and simplicity of labeling was of paramount importance.
Therefore we eliminated some of the more ephemeral features from the regular model: white noise, weather radio, snooze and buzzer. Some of these may be added back in, if further research deems them desirable to a large percentage of our target audience.

Mapping: The Gentle Wake-Up Model has a traditional button on top of the unit. Older people were raised with alarm clocks that needed to be set every night so this is actually more comfortable for them.

Feedback: The LCD display shows the current day, time, whether it is currently AM or PM. It also lists which sounds are set for waking up, and the time it is set to ring.

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