Case Study - Wake Up World

One of the more memorable projects I’ve had the chance to work on was designing the Wake Up World mobile app for Gordon College’s Social Venture Challenge in 2014. This competition comprised of prize money of up to $5,000 for the first place winner, and was judged by a panel of five industry experts. The team I worked with was comprised of four other talented individuals that all had different roles from code development to data research.

Wake Up World was an alarm clock app designed in a two-fold manner: first to primarily maintain alarm clock functionality with a fresh and unique design, but secondly to operate using social awareness in coordination with charitable giving, a theme that was central to the competition. In essence, if users hit the snooze button on their alarm clock, the app would then donate a small amount of money to a charity of their choice. Waking up without hitting snooze would bypass the donation. Either way, a 'win-win' situation was developed in that users would either donate cents to a charity every morning, or wake up on time for their day.

Designing a charitable alarm clock presented its own set of unique challenges, such as how to differentiate the alarm clock app from a densely-populated field of already successful alarm clocks, to how to incorporate charitable giving into an app in general. As the code development of the app came together with the user interface and interaction of the design, I realized I wanted to make the design as one-handed friendly as possible, leading to the use of some triangular-shaped buttons in coordination with normal, rectangular buttons as well.

While our idea and app landed us a second place finish in the competition (still garnering $3000 in prize money), I more importantly was able to walk away from this competition knowing that true, successful design comes into being not just in and of itself, but from intelligent research, clear direction, and -in this instance- form-following-functional. Feel free to read more about the app and the competition here.