Mark Thomas Miller

Minimal interval timer

I’ve taken thousands of painkillers over the last three years. It’s because I spent long hours at the computer, ignoring my posture, from a very young age. This ruined my neck (via degenerative disc disease) which led to horrific chronic pain. The doctors told me it would never heal – but I decided to fight back, and now I’ve been free of pain for almost a month.

This is totally free. It’s a gift from me to you. You deserve it. We’ve both lived through the pain, and we both want it to end. I’ve created something that lives on your computer to help you solve the pains caused by the computer: zeph.co/timer.

It’s a simple interval timer, and it lives in your browser as you work. You can set it to chime at various intervals throughout the work day to remind you to stand up and stretch (or to build any other habit you’d like once you’re free from pain).

It looks nice enough to leave open on a second monitor while you work – or you can set it as a background tab and forget about it.

Applicable uses

Design Notes

I had originally planned for the timer to display a countdown instead of the current time, but I didn’t like the finality of the “time ticking away” and thought the clock interface was much friendlier and more approachable for daily use.

You can use it with or without sound, as the screen uses a slow transition to pulse the background from dark gray to white whenever an interval has been reached.

On each interval, two notes are played from a sample of a Steinway grand piano: a sustained C, then shortly after, a G.

Finally, if you set the timer to ring every minute and it’s currently 12:00 and 57 seconds, a chime will play on 12:01:00, 12:02:00, 12:03:00, and so on). Ringing on the minute change is intentional; it’s just the way I prefer the timer to work. I’d rather a timer rang on 12:01:00 than 12:01:37, 12:02:37, and so on. Worst case scenario, you do something you needed to do a few seconds early, and there’s no harm in that.

Future Ideas

In a future update, I’d like to add the ability to mute or change the alert sound; I’d also like to add the ability to see the time of the next alert. Finally, I’d also like to make a true Pomodoro timer as a separate application with minimal controls, alert sound customization, and a nice font. This is mostly because I haven’t yet found a Pomodoro timer that I’ve adored.

Suggestions?

Get in touch with me via Twitter at @markthomasm.

Disclaimer

I’m not a doctor and I don’t pretend to play one on the Internet.