In the Summer of 2014 my brother Tom and I finally decided to revisit an idea we'd had two years ago during a session in the pub.
We had set ourselves a challenge to trigger photos based on our interests, without the need for us to search/click on them.
We wanted to draw on the social aspect of Instagram and went about testing the API.
Our initial thoughts were to utilise hashtags so that you could wake up to something super specific. Like if you're planning a holiday to Thailand it would be cool to wake up to a beautiful photo of a beach before you arrive.
Unfortunately after some initial tests we discovered that the majority of photos within a hashtag weren't the sort of content we were hoping for.
I had a lot of fun exploring the UX for Newday and went through dozens of potential flows.
I really tried to create something new but in the end it made more sense to let people use a behaviour they are used to from their native alarm clock.
Here's a few examples of the various alarm screens where I was experimenting with sliding (like on iOS), icons and buttons. I am still gobsmacked at how bad that first version is.
Exploring how to set the alarm was a fun process. I really wanted to explore a new cool way of doing it and looked into how the photos could function as both visual indicators as well as buttons.
V9: We killed this flow as we scrapped the idea of using hashtags. I took a lot of influence from Foursquare for this version. I loved the idea of us choosing a handful of top hashtags so you can quickly jump in and start using your alarm, as well as giving you the option to search for a specific hashtag.
V21: This version highlights how complex setting the alarm started to become. There was potentially dozens of channels so I wanted to keep the 'set alarm' button near the top rather than at the bottom. I opted to have it floating above the channels which looked pretty messy. On top of that were dropdowns to view the profiles within each channel, as well as check boxes. All in all it was a bit crap.
V23: This version was going to make use of sliding tiles. Each alarm was going to be contained within a channel. You click a channel, an overlay slides in and allows you to set the alarm but it proved to be a nightmare to edit alarms and delete old ones once we started prototyping it so we quickly scrapped this idea.
V31: This is the current version where we stripped it right back to the basics. Select your time, choose the days you want to go off and select your channel. Nice and simple!
Playing around with various logo designs was a fun process as well, going from something quite 'techy', through to 'lifestyle' and finishing on a cool, handmade, vintage style.
So far we've had a modest amount of downloads. The biggest hinderance is that the majority of my network uses iOS so getting strong referalls is proving tricky.
We're confident that once we can get a few influencial people using Newday that it will start to spread.