Please note: this clock app was built using Flash and may not function on your device.

Also please note: this page was written using satire as commentary on the word 'intuitive'. You probably should not take it too seriously. 

The Intuitive C10CK

This clock project was an attempt of mine to "fix" the 'classic' clock. The name is a bit of a joke, since on the one hand it is not instantly intuitive at all, but on the other hand neither is the classic clock face.

Consider: A classic clock makes two 360 rotations during the day, going in a 'clockwise'  or left to right direction.  However in the real world, when you are facing north, the sun travels from your right to your left over the course of the day. 

To add to the confusion there are two hands that move at different speeds to tell different levels of time data. And time is told base-12 for some reason.

This seems hardly intuitive.

Why is the traditional clock this way? Well it is a result of mechanical improvements based on legacy behaviors of the sundial:

  • One rotation is only 12 hours- because a sundial only works during the daylight hours. (measuring the passage of time at night involved watching the stars, water clocks or special graduated candles, prior to the invention of the mechanical clock.)
  • It goes left to right because it represents the shadow of the sundial.
  • The minute hand was a later innovation when greater accuracy was needed, so a longer hand was added that uses the same dial but at a different speed.
  • It is in base 12-because 12 is a nicely dividable number, and 12 hours in the day makes it easy to split up the daylight hours. There are 60 minutes to the hour and 60 seconds to the minute simply because they fit the base 12 clock face, and not because it makes things easier.

My solution:

This variation on the clock is one where:

  • There is only one hand for tracking the passage of time.
  • It is in base 10 'aka metric time'- so there are 10 hours to the day and 100 minutes to the hour. (a metric hour is 2 hours and 24 minutes.)
  • One 360º rotation is one full day.
  • Noon is directly up, and midnight is directly down, so the hand is pointing to the location of the sun, (if you were facing north)
  • ...it runs counter clockwise, so the hand is pointing at the 'sun', and that sun rises in the 'east' and sets in the 'west'.
  • Also it does not change to reflect Daylight Savings Time. (Don't get me started on that.)

You wake up in the morning when the clock is at 0, have lunch at 3, leave work at 5, have dinner at 6, and go to bed by 7. When the hand is pointing upward, the sun is high in the sky, and when it is pointing downward, then the sun is on the other side of the earth.

The upshot is that once you learn to read it, a quick glance at the clock's hand will tell you where you are in the day, in what seems like is possibly a more intuitive fashion. Certainly not less intuitive, anyway.