In my Human Factors in Engineering Design class at NYU, my Professor, Dr. Mark Lee asked us to design a perfect clock radio. It could have been a practical or an ambitious design. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of making it simply practical. An ambitious design would have been more interesting to create. Regardless, one of the reasons I chose to do this design was to experiment on a 3D modeling software; this one here is only a conceptual design.
Here is the link to a YouTube video I made for the clock radio, using the 3D modelling software, Rhinoceros and video editing software, Sony Vegas.
On the top left is the Top view, on the bottom left is the Back view, and at right is the Front view showing display and buttons.
On the left are the side views showing the speakers for the alarm and radio. On the right is the bottom view showing the push button to open the battery cover
The idea behind this clock radio is simple:
Make sure anyone is able to operate it without difficulties
The circular buttons can latch onto themselves. The elliptical and triangular one are meant for pressing. The ALARM button is for turning the alarm off or on. The RADIO button is to turn the radio off or on. The DARK button is to turn the backlight off or on.
The display is divided into 3 levels, which blink upon encounter :
- Top: for Day Light Savings(DST) and Date
- Middle: for Time
- Bottom: for Alarm and Radio
To set any of the above 5 options, first select MODE, then use the RIGHT/LEFT arrows to move across the three levels (not the UP/DOWN).
The sequence in which the options blink to show that they can be changed is:
->DST -> Date-> Month-> Year->
->Alarm time (hours)->Alarm time(minutes)->
The timezone and radio are handled differently. This cycle repeats when it reaches the end of the 3rd level. When the required option is reached, to change the time/alarm/date, use the UP/DOWN arrows to to increase or decrease the numbers or change between AM and PM. To change the Timezone, keep pressing the Zone option until the correct timezone is reached. When the selection is over, press SET.
To listen to the radio, press the RADIO button. Use UP for AM and DOWN for FM and press SET to confirm. Then use the LEFT/RIGHT to change the frequency. Again press SET to confirm. Radio works only when the RADIO button is latched.
To increase or decrease the volume levels of the ALARM or RADIO, use the LEFT/RIGHT buttons.
The clock is cuboidal in shape. It is filleted on the top and the sides, but the bottom is left as it is, so that it can be placed appropriately on a flat surface. The display is LCD with backlight. The battery must be inserted from the bottom by pressing a button to open its cover.
Of Course, this is not a perfect clock, but I have made an attempt to make its use easier than many currently existing models. For example, it is convenient to use the DARK button at night, because many people do not like to have bed lights. Another improvement is the selection of LEFT/RIGHT or UP/DOWN appropriately; According to mental chronometry, we are used to doing certain things in a certain way and right/up to increase and left /down to decrease are one of them. The characters are spaced properly so that they can be distinguished. The Radio doesn’t work until and unless the button is pushed. If, on Sundays, you do not like to wake up to your alarm, just push the ALARM button again to unlatch it- it will not ring until pressed again. The Clock-Radio is compact and can be carried anywhere and is operated using a 9V battery.
The most important thing when it comes to user experience, is to make sure the user is able to use the product without getting confused, and I think this clock radio can be an example of such a design. Below is a perspective of the design.