Ergonomic Clock-Radios

This was an introductory project, and the beginning of me looking everything with a human factors perspective.This is when I learnt that everything depends upon speed, accuracy or liking. The clock radio fixed some of the prevalent problems associated with most clock radios.

Problem: Clock radios are almost universally used. Most designs look beautiful, however do not have an ergonomic usability.

Goal: To design a clock radio which tries to eliminate the issues that exist within the current models.

Tools: Human factors, rhinoceros


There are only two types of buttons used in the design to avoid confusion:

  • Circular Latching buttons

  • Elliptical or Triangular Push buttons

The features of the clock radio include:

  • LCD display

  • 12/24 hour mode

  • Automatic daylight savings changeover

  • Date

  • Time zone

  • Alarm

  • Display in dark

  • AM/FM Radio with speakers

  • Rechargeable batteries


There are 2 modes for this device: Clock and Radio. The device constantly runs in the clock mode. To set the alarm, the Alarm button must be pressed, and to listen to the radio, the Radio button. The functions are:


  • Mode→ To change Time (12/24 Hr.), Zone, DST (daylight savings time), Date, Alarm

  • U,D,L,R → To move between three levels and change numbers

  • U,D →Volume

  • Set → Confirms the changes at the end

  • Alarm → Toggles between On and Off (because Sundays)

  • Dark → Turns Off the LCD when pressed


  • Radio → Turns radio On or Off

  • U/D → FM or AM and after selection, Volume

  • L/R → Search station

The display is divided into 3 levels, which blink upon encounter :

  1. Top: for Day Light Savings(DST) and Date

  2. Middle: for Time

  3. Bottom: for Alarm and Radio

To set any of the above 5 options, first select MODE, then use the RIGHT/LEFT arrows to move across the three levels (not the UP/DOWN).

The loop sequence in which the options blink to show that they can be changed is:

->DST -> Date-> Month-> Year->


->Alarm time (hours)->Alarm time(minutes)->







The timezone and radio are handled differently. This cycle repeats when it reaches the end of the 3rd level. When the required option is reached, to change the time/alarm/date, use the UP/DOWN arrows to to increase or decrease the numbers or change between AM and PM. To change the Timezone, keep pressing the Zone option until the correct timezone is reached. When the selection is over, press SET.

To listen to the radio, press the RADIO button. Use UP for AM and DOWN for FM and press SET to confirm. Then use the LEFT/RIGHT to change the frequency. Again press SET to confirm. Radio works only when the RADIO button is latched.

To increase or decrease the volume levels of the ALARM or RADIO, use the LEFT/RIGHT buttons.

The clock is cuboidal in shape. It is filleted on the top and the sides, but the bottom is left as it is, so that it can be placed appropriately on a flat surface. The display is LCD with backlight. The battery must be inserted from the bottom by pressing a button to open its cover.

It is convenient to use the DARK button at night, because many people do not like to have bed lights. Another improvement is the selection of LEFT/RIGHT or UP/DOWN appropriately; According to mental chronometry, we are used to doing certain things in a certain way and right/up to increase and left /down to decrease are one of them. The characters are spaced properly so that they can be distinguished. The Radio doesn’t work until and unless the button is pushed. If, on Sundays, you do not like to wake up to your alarm, just push the ALARM button again to unlatch it- it will not ring until pressed again. The Clock-Radio is compact and can be carried anywhere and is operated using a 9V battery.