Design submitted by Tom from Norway.
Tom says: I am currently at the second year of a Bachelordegree in Mediadesign. This idea came to me during a schoolproject in a class named “Informationdesign”, where we had to choose amongst different kind of topics in a mandatory exercise (we had to pass in order to get to take the exams). I chose one where we was supposed to make a new watchdial to tell time. I passed, but since the design had no other purpose that to show my teacher I thought it would be great to enter this contest with it.
Inspiration for telling time: Geographic coordinate system with latitudes and longitudes.
The idea is to “coordinate” time, where you use horizontal lines for hours, vertical lines for minutes (in fives) and a dot to pinpoint the exact minute. It will be better explained further down in this text.
This means the clock needs to be digital with a form of color display.
The time itself is represented in a span of 00:00 – 11:59 hours with the use of AM and PM for a 24-hour timespan.
Here is how the minutes work:
First of all (not in the image); if nothing shows, the clock is 00:00.
As you can see the orange dot starts down left. This is the position for the first minute (00:01). The next minute it moves one spot further up (00:02).
When the dot reaches the top position, it has moved 4 minutes (00:04).
Then at 00:05 a vertical line appears. And as you can see there is a stationary number “5” under the line to help the user to read the minutes correctly.
At 00:06 the the orange dot reappears to tell you that the minutes are “5+1” minute.
At 00:07 it moves up again just like before (00:01-00:04).
When the time is 00:10 the vertical line makes a jump up indicating the second 5-interval + it is between the stationary numbers “5” and “15” (which is 10).
And as you can see it keeps on moving like this.
But when the time is 00:16 the dot needs to move one spot to the right for it to begin counting again. Then it moves like this up to 00:19, and at 00:20 the vertical line appears again. This time in the second column, and keeps on counting as before.
From minutes to hours:
As you can see at 00:55 the vertical line is at the rightmost position, between what would be the indicators of “50” and “60”, however there is no point in showing “60” since that would be the next hour.
Anyways, the orange dot keeps counting as the time goes from 00:56 to 00:59,
and then the next thing will be a new hour; 01:00.
This is where the horizontal lines comes in. Now (01:00) you can see that there is a horizontal line at the down most of the clock. This is the position for the first hour. To help guide the user in hours there are some stationary numbers to the left (3, 6, 9).
And at 01:01, 01:02 etc you see that the clock moves just as it did when explained in the “minutes” section.
Above you can see how the hours move.
Below you can see two random times of the day.
Tho clock has both helplines for hours (unbroken grey line) and minutes (stippled grey line). In addition there are some helpful numbers on top, bottom and left to make it easier for the user. And at the right side “AM” and “PM” to make a full 24-hour watch.
However there are no way to tell seconds on this clock, but if needed it could make use of the outer ring for seconds, where it slowly fills up as the seconds go from 00-59.
I also think the visible endings of the vertical lines would look better if they where rounded.
And I dont think the design is limited to the colors I have used.
I am not that good at drawing, so I only provided the watchdial. However I pasted it in place on an image which shows how I think it might be designed.
I have tested it on about 20 people and everyone understood the system + managed to tell the time when I presented them with a test.