Grumpy Website


One morning I woke up at 7:05 wondering why didn't I hear any alarms… I remember setting the alarm for 7, and the phone was well charged and alive. But it didn't wake me up! It didn't make any noise. It just ignored the alarm completely.

I opened the clock app and yeah, here it is — enabled, green, 7:00 and says "Alarm".

It took me quite a while to understand what had happened: it was set to repeat never. Even though this is my bad (I guess?), the whole UX is terrible. Here I have an alarm that is enabled but will never really go off. So, it's actually disabled. That is the definition of the disabled thing: it doesn't do stuff.

The problem this UI is trying to solve is the problem the developers and designers have, not the end user. They want to consistently divide "alarm status" and "alarm settings". And in the underlying database it makes perfect sense, there are separate fields for those.

A stupid analogy I came up with: you see a store entrance with an "OPEN" sign, so you walk in, but the cashier says "sorry, we're closed", and you say "wait, but the sign said open", and the cashier goes "yeah, right, that's just the door, the door is open, but the store is actually closed".

And no, I'm not suggesting it should magically disable the alarm when you make it "repeat never", this would be worse in some cases.

Maybe, when all options lead to confusing outcomes, the problem should not be solved, the problem should be eliminated. There is something fundamentally wrong in these alarms.