iOS Bedtime

“Bedtime” is a new feature in the iOS Clock app which attempts to automate the process of setting alarms. It presents an unexpected use of explicit feature onboarding in a core utility app such as Clock.

The good bits:

  • This feature is introduced proactively within the app, but not in an interruptive nature, such as through a notification or app overlay. Instead, when the user first opens the Clock app after the update, it will default to the new “Bedtime” tab, which has an empty state that encourages the user to set up the feature.
  • Each step in the setup process has a default setting. In my case, the first step defaulted to the first alarm I had in my Clock’s Alarm list. These defaults also carry forth the opinion of this feature, which is that sleep times should be consistent all days of the week. This message was clear with the default setting for the days-of-the-week step, where all days of the week were selected for the alarm.

To be improved:

  • At the end of the day, this tab overlaps a lot with the Alarms tab, so users may be confused in dealing with multiple Alarms controls.
  • The last step of the experience (”Stay consistent. Sleep better.”) is confusing because it frontloads the concept of “sleep history bars” without any context. The next screen (which is the normal state of the Bedtime tab) doesn’t have any sleep history bars yet, so it may be best to hold off on introducing this concept until after the user can see what these mean for them.