Hotels Dumbing Down Alarm Clocks

from the too-complicated dept

One of the fun parts of traveling is always figuring out how the hotel alarm clock actually works. I used to travel with a portable alarm clock, but that has since been replaced by my mobile phone. Still, it seems that hotels have finally realized that their standard alarm clocks took too much time to figure out and are now offering simplified alarm clocks. Apparently, Hilton had to design their own clock, after none of the 150 they tested met their criteria. It may not seem like a huge deal — and with enough messing around any alarm clock could be figured out without that much trouble. However, it is a sign that places like hotels are finally recognizing that user interfaces do matter — though, sometimes the redesigns seem to go in the wrong direction.

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Comments on “Hotels Dumbing Down Alarm Clocks”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Please explain how someone could make reservations at a 5-star hotel and yet be unable through incompetence to request a wake-up call via telephone or at the counter in person. This could not be any more moronic, a complete and utter waste of money. For home use the simplest alarm clock is still the windup alarm with the twistable knob in the back to set the time. It works every time, requires no electricity, and avoids every pitfall these knuckledraggers tried to engineer away but made worse in their rube goldberg awakener contraption.

Precision Blogger (user link) says:

Re: Incompetence?

Here’s the problem: you have an important appointment, maybe a plane to catch. You cannot afford to miss it due to an alarm screw-up. Therefore:
(1) You request a wake-up call, BUT YOU KNOW YOU MAY NOT GET IT! Wake-up systems, both automatic and manual, are not perfect.
(2) you set a clock alarm, but you worry that you may not set it right. Many hotel clocks require you to get about four controls into the right position, and you may need to take several minutes to test the alarm first. Among other things, you could be 12 hours off, or the alarm may be too quiet to wake you.

You need reliability, and the way to get it is a combination of a wakeup call and a really simple alarm clock.

– Precision Blogger

John Douglas Porter says:

simpler hotel alarm clocks

One of the things they could do to make alarm clocks simpler is take the clock setting function out of it entirely. Why should the guests be responsible for ensuring that the clocks are set correctly? All the clocks in the hotel could be synced to a wireless signal. Heck, they could even trasmit it on the power lines.

As for setting the wake-up time, there should be a keypad. One of my perpetual frustrations has been the one, or two, hold-short/hold-long button combination things. Some do the whole time, some do hour/minute/second separately. A total mish-mash that takes way too long to figure out and execute. Just let me punch in the exact time!

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