Elective — 2018

Re-thinking the Alarm Clock

Abanico takes a different approach to how alarm clocks should work. This clock can only be set by physically moving the clock's arms. The dynamics and expression embedded in your movements are translated into a unique alarm tune, offering playful interactions to musical learning.

In collaboration with Remke Timmermans, Iris van Vugt and Emo Nuijens.

A Good Night's Rest

Getting the appropriate amount of sleep has been correlated with numerous health benefits, including reduced fatigue and stress [ 1 ]. Studies suggest that having sleeping routines and rituals positively affect quality of sleep, including sleep continuity [ 2 ].

Abanico promotes healthy sleep behavior by focussing on the state of mind and awareness of the user just before- and right after sleeping. By providing a center stage to the act of configuring your alarm, a fun ritual is created in which the whole act of sleeping becomes more mindful.

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Abstracting to promote calm

The exterior of Abanico is designed to reduce visual clutter. The clock hand that indicates minutes is eliminated to reduce the stress of overthinking prior to sleeping. Its minimalist appearance allows Abanico to smoothly blend in with the environment.

When an alarm has been set, Abanico's cascading facets create a dynamic, visual representation of how much sleeping time is left. A quick glance at the clock face tells you what time it is, and when your alarm will go off.

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Being the most senior member on the team, I took a leading role in the creative- and user evaluation processes. Our iterative approach which involved testing all prototypes with end-users took some time, but they provided us with valuable insights. I took the analysis results and created CAD models of the design which I later manufactured using the laser-cutter.

This elective has allowed me to gain experience in interaction design theory and techniques. New things for me were the Frogger Framework [ 3 ], Interaction Relabelling [ 4 ] and Experience Prototyping [ 5 ]. These techniques were the backbone of the design process of Abanico, and can be interesting tools for future design projects. Finally, the lecturers' vision on creating valuable products by introducing the notion of Aesthetics of Interaction served as an inspiration throughout this project, and is something I seek to implement in future designs.


  1. Gottlieb, DJ., Punjabi, NM., Newman, AB., Resnick, HE., Redline, S., Baldwin, CM., Nieto, FJ. (2005). Association of Sleep Time with Diabetes Mellitus and Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Arch Intern Med, 165(8), 863–867. Retrieved Apr. 2, 2018, from Pubmed.gov
  2. Mindell, J., Telofski, L., Wiegland, B. and Kurtz, E. (2009). A Nightly Bedtime Routine: Impact on Sleep in Young Children and Maternal Mood Sleep. 2009 May 1; 32(5): 599–606. Retrieved Apr. 4, 2018, from Pubmed.gov
  3. Wensveen, S. A. G., Djajadiningrat, J. P. and Overbeeke, C. J. 2004. Interaction frogger: a design framework to couple action and functionthrough feedback and feedforward. In Proceedings of the 5th conference on Designing interactivesystems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques (DIS '04). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 177-184. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1013115.1013140
  4. Djajadiningrat, J. P., Gaver, B. and Frens, J. 2000. Interaction relabelling and extreme characters: methods for exploring aesthetic interactions. In Proceedings of the 3rd conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques (DIS '00), Daniel Boyarski and Wendy A. Kellogg (Eds.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 66-71. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/347642.347664
  5. Marion Buchenau and Jane Fulton Suri. 2000. Experience prototyping. In Proceedings of the 3rd conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques (DIS '00), Daniel Boyarski and Wendy A. Kellogg (Eds.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 424-433. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/347642.347802