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View Poll Results: When you close your eyes and think of time..
Analog clockface 4 44.44%
Digital display 4 44.44%
Hourglass (or similar) 0 0%
Other (sun, moon, stars...) 1 11.11%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-14-2017, 05:28 PM   #1
Panicked
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Digital or Analog timer


This is to help inform a UI design.

How do you internalise time?

Experiment: If you close your eyes and imagine the time of day, does your mind outline an analogue clock, digital clock, hour glass, or something else?

: Analog clocks correspond with rotating planet so this could be the more physically observational.

: We spend more time with manufactured digital devices and their typical digital clocks could be the most visually familiar.

: Time is a resource in constant decline so an hour glass could be the most biologically and philosophically relevant.

Last edited by Panicked; 06-15-2017 at 05:10 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 06-14-2017, 11:03 PM   #2
fido_dogstoyevsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panicked View Post
This is to help inform a UI design.

How do you internalise time?

Experiment: If you close your eyes and imaging the time of day, does your mind outline an analogue clock, digital clock, hour glass, or something else?...
Depends on my mood, time of day, how busy I am... if you're designing a UI make them all available - if I can't change something to suit me I see it as a bug.
 
Old 06-15-2017, 04:28 AM   #3
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Depends on context for me as well. I voted digital because it's what I grew up with and I was relatively late learning to read an analogue clock, but I sometimes think in analogue now. Also since moving to the country (and eating a lot of peaches) I tend to think more in terms of daylight, sun positions and the colours in the sky.

I've no idea what GUI is being designed, but I almost always go for digital on a computer screen unless something like the "Fuzzy" setting I first saw in KDE3's clock is available.
 
Old 06-15-2017, 06:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panicked View Post
This is to help inform a UI design.

How do you internalise time?

Experiment: If you close your eyes and imaging the time of day, does your mind outline an analogue clock, digital clock, hour glass, or something else?

: Analog clocks correspond with rotating planet so this could be the more physically observational.

: We spend more time with manufactured digital devices and their typical digital clocks could be the most visually familiar.

: Time is a resource in constant decline so an hour glass could be the most biologically and philosophically relevant.
It depends on what's available and what the setting is. If I'm outside for a very extended time frame, I likely do use the sun. There are both analog clocks and digital clocks available to me, however most analog ones are hanging on the wall and the digital ones are part of electronics.

I feel the decision here really depends what this UI is going to be.

If you are designing a UI which "is" a clock, then use as many renditions and styling forms as you can derive, and allow the user to reconfigure it many ways.

If you are designing a UI which does far different things and merely "could" have a clock on it, then I personally suggest you make it digital and small. And also wish to point out the potential that things like screen savers and the task bar may also have a clock, and that screen savers may obliterate the need for showing a clock. If a clock is a nice to have thing, but not the focal point of this UI, then keep it small and out of the way. Making a clock face or imagery of sun, moon, and stars take up a UI window when the main purpose of the UI is entirely something else, is likely not the best choice.

If a clock and timing are an integral part of this UI, then yes I would consider different forms. For instance if you're designing something like a stopwatch, then I'd show it both in analog and digital form all at once.
 
Old 06-15-2017, 03:06 PM   #5
vmccord
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I wear an old fashioned watch all the time and I think of time in regards to a clock face.
 
Old 06-15-2017, 04:37 PM   #6
Panicked
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I am really glad I asked!

These are all excellent insights and they remind me of how important it is to separate 'added value' from usability and marketing.

I need to empower users to set their 'personal' standards for usability, and I need to let a marketing company deliver one 'impactful' suggestion.

Thank you

Furthermore, at the time of posting, the poll displays no majority!

Last edited by Panicked; 06-15-2017 at 04:42 PM.
 
Old 06-15-2017, 07:11 PM   #7
KenJackson
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I couldn't imagine how to answer when I first read this. You're going for a GUI, so my answer won't help, but think I view individual times of day as concepts. Five o'clock is a concept, not a picture.
 
Old 06-15-2017, 07:27 PM   #8
Panicked
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Entirely possible that some other form of perception takes priority over visual perception and I expect we are all different. Certainly true that people learn more efficiently in their own way (i.e. listening vs reading vs handling). Would you prefer a countdown timer to end with an audible alarm, a flashing 0:00, a vibration, or something else?
 
Old 06-15-2017, 09:09 PM   #9
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Somehow, I have difficulty imagining Dali being so effective using digital. Analogue wins it for me.
 
Old 06-15-2017, 09:23 PM   #10
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When I think of a "timer," that is a device to tell how much time has elapsed either since or approaching a specific point in time, I think "digital," because the output is precise.

Nevertheless, I commonly put analog clocks on my computer desktop for quick reference, even though I may be displaying digital time in my taskbar or via GKrellM.
 
  


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