Pancake — The design adventure

Try to create the most pleasant way to wake up.

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Few years ago, my smart-phone crashed down. It was so terrible that I couldn’t even reboot it. At the end of the day I was looking for a simple alarm for the next day and I remember that I had thrown it away. Imagine that I had to download an alarm on my laptop. My alarm usually used to play one of my favorite songs. So the next morning I realised how painful it was to wake up with a horrible noise. It was almost like being slapped in the face exactly as the crazy invention made by Simone Giertz. At this time I realized how big it was to wake up with my favorites songs. This is how Pancake was created.


At first, as a Spotify user, I was looking for an application which would provide that service : An Application which would track my playlists on Spotify and play them when an alarm was programmed. Quickly, I realised that the only way to do that was pretty tricky. To have my laptop turned on all the night. No way! At second, I wish to make it much more pleasant : by sharing. I don’t want to post on Facebook :

“Hey friends, I wake up, come to listen my playlist!”

That would be useless. And I aspire to make Facebook much more interesting. Few time after, I remember how crazy I got when I was away from my crush, and how good it was to wake up on her side! This magic-instant was what I wanted to create through that application project. Make it able to share alarms with the other Spotify user. That is pretty much of it!

Analysis the app event

The main goal is to create the user’s experience that will be simple but also will stay quite close to the Spotify application design. I want to make the user confident by using the application and also to create an application with a pleasant design. No doubt, users will look at that application at first in the morning. I don’t want to make them blind. That list of application events would help me to keep it easy. I don’t see the point having fancy features except an option to add a background picture for each alarm. It make it more personalised.

User task flow

It helps me to think out the design. I mean, to detect all the main application events. Keep this table next to your screen is the best way to make your application sexy looking and smart. It will determine the way to design and develop the application.


Using wireframe helped me to visualise the user’s task flow. Before that step I sketched it on paper and continued to define the design on mockups. I tried to use the real data as much as possible. And Friends comments and feedbacks were helpful during that step

Colors and branding

Since the beginning. I wonder which colours of the product i should work with. Spotify’s user design is great, especially the way they deal with greys, green and white. From my perspective Pancake is different, in fact, the user’s interface would have to deal with pictures. So different colours, exposure, clear, blur… Plus I have to keep in mind that the application will be mostly useD at the morning and before going to bed, so it is better to use smooth colours.

The product branding will be pretty simple, as i said earlier, the application features are valid too : nothing fancy.

The Beta

I had to add some screens to make the user’s experience much more fluent. Indeed I forgotten to add the opportunity to the user to choose to take a picture or choose one from phone library. About photo, i add a step where user can crop and position his photo. I added also a search area on invitation screen. There is also a big issue with that white background color, Darker background would be something much more better for eyes.

The Alpha

After designed the beta version, i got an issue with brightness. Indeed, massive white background wouldn’t be the best choose. Regarding the comparison below the brightness is not as important as the beta version.

Plus that darker background allow me to play with opacity on list when the alarm is switch off. Which is much more pleasant for eyes. Pancake will allow users to receive invitation to share programmed alarm and I hated how big pop-up notifications on the beta version. So I added a new button at the top of the app and I opted for a very slight notification as you can see in the last version below, the button will show up green when users got requests. No numbers, just a simple color.

Statut : Edit 14th July

The beta is ready! I invite you to visit :

Social links

Follow Pancake on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can as well join the Facebook community and be involve in the development process.

Rudy with love ❤

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