The Apple Snooze Conspiracy

Every morning I wake up to the mellifluous tones of my iPhone alarm. As far back as 2011 it seems that 48% of 16-34 year olds were doing the same – I can only assume that number is even higher today.

So why aren't we talking about the Apple Snooze Conspiracy?

What is this conspiracy I speak of? Well, simply put, it's the promotion of the "Snooze" button on screen vs the tiny placement of the "Stop" button at the bottom of the screen. 

Every morning when the alarm goes off, I reach for the phone, fumbling like a drunken man trying to negotiate the front-door with a set of keys. All I want is for the alarm to stop ringing. But just as crucially, I don't want to hit Snooze. Snoozing doesn't benefit anyone. I want to press "Stop". 

So I tap the infuriatingly small "Stop" text.

The alarm is still ringing. It's overly loud.

So I tap the "Stop" text again.

By now the alarm jingle is entering the second loop of it's performance, over and over and louder and louder.

I revert to my next tactic. Hammering the "Stop" text, over and over and over (a technique which comes in handy if you've ever played Egg, Inc). Yet none of this works. Ever. 

So I just press "Snooze".

This ridiculous cycle is something I (and no doubt a million others) go through every single morning. Why? Because rather than make the "Stop" text into a button with a lovely generous hit-area, they have made it a text-only button. This means the hit area is tiny, and made even smaller by the use of a small font coupled with a short word.

Snooze meanwhile, is a lovely large button. Invitingly placed at the centre of the screen, calling out for you to press it.

It's a conspiracy I tell you.

All this to say; it's all well and good to design a lock-screen which looks great. And it is important. But you can't ignore the real life application of a tool at the expense of it's aesthetic. I do not have fat fingers, so this shouldn't be a challenge each morning, it should be as easy as pressing "Snooze".

As Vitruvius used to say; firmitas, utilitas, venustas.

Tom Wood