Hands for iOS

Saving time on an everyday task.

An experimental project, Hands is a gesture-based timer app that attempts to solve the frustrations I have with the iPhone’s built-in timer app.

Given that a timer is often needed when the user is otherwise occupied, for instance when cooking, my main goals were to make the timer easy to set and easy to tell how much time remains. Given that in many cases, a precise down-to-the-second time isn’t required, I based the interaction around quick swipes.

Swiping up or down on the timer screen allows the user to quickly set a time in one fluid motion – fast swipes quickly get to the ballpark of the time you need, and slowing down toward the end of the swipe allows you to fine-tune your setting. As soon as you let go, the timer begins counting down with a fullscreen display that drains of color as it counts down, giving a visual cue of time remaining even from a distance.

I went through many iterations of the icon, finally settling on a simple, clock-like glyph, with the hands replaced by arrows. The arrows appear “stretched,” indicating the physics and gestures that are integral to the app. Above, the icon appears on the promotional page for the app’s launch.