Introducing Newday

Today we’re excited to launch Newday on Google Play: Our remix of your conventional alarm clock, for those who want to see an awesome photo every morning.

Why change my normal alarm clock?

Last Summer, Joe (@joewattsdesign) and I (@tombwatts) finally decided to re-visit an idea we’d had two years ago during a session in the pub. This time things were taken ‘slightly’ more seriously and we grabbed a couple of coffees to discuss kicking off the design and build of an app, with the challenge; to trigger photos based on our interests, without the need for us to search/click on them.

After much deliberation, and a heavy dose of caffeine, we realised that our phones had a routine trigger we used every morning and why, we wondered, shouldn’t we see a cool photo at the same time?

Joe being a photographer and digital designer, jumped on the idea and we went from there. We scoped out the other alarms out there and thought ours would be a nice change to people’s morning ritual. For starters, most alarms are purely functional, designed well, but are the same each day!
We wanted to be woken up each morning to cool photos.

But how could we bring a community of photographers together with a community of people who want to see photos of their interests as they wake up?

We designed the app for android because we needed the functionality to allow our alarm to push through the lock screen of the phone and this was achievable on android.

Everything about Newday is designed to show off awesome photography and give like minded people an inspiring start to their morning.

We ended up jumping on Instagram’s awesome API and building our app to sort our favourite users photo’s into channels such as dreamers, travel, adventure, fitness etc… There are lots of awesome Instagram users out there, taking really cool photos, and we wanted to showcase a select few users that we believe epitomise the channels we chose to include.

Along the way, we’ve had fun tweaking the app, so that it really boiled down to a clean vibrant interface that simply allows you to see a clear, rich photo as you wake up.

For the first time, you can wake up to a recent photo that one of Instagram’s awesome users has taken of them surfing a wave in Hawaii!!

The awake and snooze buttons are simple — ‘snooze’, reloads the category and will wake you up with a fresh photo in 10 minutes — ‘awake’, let’s you tap the photo and explore it further in Instagram, to discover the person who captured it and allowing you to leave a ‘like’ or a comment as you so wish!

If you have ideas for fresh content to see on Newday, please share and help us build towards the next update — download the app and on the channel selection screen you’ll see a tweet and email button — let us know what you think.

There’s a lot of people to thank, who helped us on our journey; Lorenzo for an awesome build and great input on design, Pawel for killer UX insight, Les for being a solid sounding board and Pedro who brought great design counsel ideas and insight.

We’re going to share our journey on the ‘design’ and ‘build’ next, so that we can highlight all of the fun we had changing our minds all the time!

Thanks for reading and catch you soon guys.

Tom and Joe.