Legend
AD: duration of action in seconds (approximate value)
AE: Energy exerted during manipulation
MS - manipulative sound (the sound as a result of a direct manipulation and processes directly linked to it. can be produced by the interface itself or the medium being influenced through the interface)
AS - automatic sound (sounds from events or processes not linked to a direct manipulation)





Goal: preparing a latte macchiato (version Daniel Hug)


Task 1: Coffee grinding


get original file: http://blip.tv/file/165611/



1. Preparing coffee beans (sequence follows this particular movie, slight variations possible)

1. 1. Filling grinder with beans

1.1.1. Opening bag (AD: several seconds AE: p )
  • MS: klackling of bag plastic being squeezed by hand mf / beans moving in bag rhythmically, as bag is shaken and put down mf. Sounds like cabasa
  • Relevance for action: I can hear if and how many beans are in the bag. Actually I can tell beans from pre-grinded coffee. The sound of teh plastic bag suggests a strong and reliable (in terms of conservation) material.

1.1.2. Opening Grinder (AD: ca 1 Sec, AE: p )
  • MS: short compact f "clack" of plastic lid being turned until release, hollow shape resonance / opening sound of plastic parts moving against each other quickly, p
  • Relevance for action: supports the haptic feedback, but is not necessary, because there is no "hidden closing mechanism" that you would only hear (as in certain locks)

1.1.3. Uncoiling the power cord (AD: ca 3 Sec, AE: p ) (
  • MS: continuous sound of hardplastic rope touching grinder during whole ID, regular rhythm of uncoiling, p
  • Relevance for action: none, except that if it made the "wrong" sound, it would probably alert me, eg. of a broken cord.

1.1.4. Plugging the power cord (AD: ca 2 sec., AE: mf )
  • MS: short p sounds of metal pins against plastic followed by short "clack" of pugging firmly.
  • Relevance for action: sound is asserting. Again tightly linked with haptic feedback. Sound probably supports finding the plugholes in a very intuitive way. (I should do some reading on multimodality between haptics and sound...)

1.1.5 Putting grinder down on stove (AD: ca 1 Sec. AE, p )
  • MS: short compact "clack", f , plastic against ceramics, relatively deep resonance from whole stove
  • Relevance for action: could maybe be seen in the context of use: if I'm doing the coffee early in the morning & my wife is still asleep I'd probably take extra care not to put the grinder down so strongly.

1.1.6. Grabbing bag of beans (AD: ca 1 sec, AE: mf)
  • MS:short energetic "crunch" of bag being grabbed, f
  • Relevance for action: see 1.1.1

1.1.7 Pouring beans (AD: several seconds, AE: p)
  • MS: short <1sec "klackling" sound of bag being grabbed, f / beans moving in bag, sliding of hard small objects against hollow container, mf, duration several seconds / after <1sec. also sound of many hard but light particles falling into small metal container (grinder). mf, duration several seconds
  • Relevance for action: I can hear the beans moving out of the bag, helps to adjust its inclination. I also hear the filling of the grinder. And if I fill it too much, I hear beans falling on teh stove and on the floor.

1.1.8. Closing bag
  • MS: beginning same as 1.1.1, except no shaking sound, then more rare "kracklings", as plastic lid is closed)
  • Relevance for action: see 1.1.1

1.1.9. Putting bag away
  • MS: Very short sound of bag being put down, f, deep resonation of stove
  • Relevance for action: see 1.1.5.

1.1.10. Closing Grinder
  • MS: short "clacking" sound of cover being closed, plastic sound, mf, first a quick filter sweep from high to deeper from closing, then clacking sounds of closing grooves / turning the cover coounterclockwise makes short friction sound of smooth plastics, last click when turning is stopping.
  • Relevance to action: closing status is confirmed

1.2. Grinding

1.2.1 Pressing the button
  • MS1: slight sound of plastic and positioning hands on grinder. Skin movements on metal & plastic. Very short, pp
  • MS2: sudden, almost explosive start of grinder. very short attack, sustains at maximum loudness. However, basic frequency tone first starts at d' and is covered by noise from the still entire beans (hard particles/shells against plastic) then raises in 2sec. to the well audible basic frequency e', as the beans are cut in small enough pieces.
  • Relevance for action: MS1: linked with haptic feedback // MS2: important feedback that the button works.

1.2.2 Sustaining the grinding

1.2.2.1 Shaking along roll axis (x-axis)
  • MS: Grinding sound alterates in a quick rhythm between a small interval
  • Relevance to action:

1.2.2.2. Putting device down (eas strain on hand)
  • MS: putting down movement results in the base frequency raising shortly to about g'. The device brings the stove to resonate, adding a deep sound
  • Relevance to action:

1.2.2.3 Strong tilting to mix powder
  • MS: Grinding sound base frequency raises up to a', as the turning blade moves freely, returning back to e' again upon straight repositioning.
  • Relevance to action

1.2.2.4 Moving in circular motion
  • MS: Grinding sound alterates in basic frequency as device is moved in circular motion
  • Relevance to action:

1.2.2.5 Shaking device up and down
  • MS: Grinding sound alternates rhythmically in a bigger interval
  • Relevance to action:

1.2.2.6 General "waiting for task to finish"
  • MS: the base frequency is in general lowering again as the powder gets finer. when the device is held still for a while, the frequency raises again, because centrifucal forces blow the powder away and it doesn't obstruct the blades as much anymore. upon slight shaking the powder is surrounding the blades again, resulting in an again lowered tone.
    This effect is also noticeable when the device is put to a surface. the constant vibration (which otherwise is absorbed by the hand in free-air position) keeps the powder down in the cavity and results in a slowly lowering tone.
  • Relevance to action: The overall base frequency seems to be an important indicator to wether the beans are grinded enough or not. The change of tone actually adds also a playful moment to grinding.

1.2.3 Finishing grinding

1.2.3.1. Hitting the grinder while still grinding

1.2.3.2. Shaking the grinder with both hands while still grinding

1.2.3.3. Stopping grinding

1.2.3.4. Hitting the grinder while stopped

1.2.3.5. Pressing grinding button twice shortly (second time a bit longer)

1.2.3.6. Hitting the grinder again

1.2.3.7. Putting the grinder on the stove, hitting the stove five times

1.2.3.8. Unplugging the power chord


1.3 Getting coffee powder out of grinder




2. Preparing caffetiera

3. Preparing milk






Wait until coffee is finished
Switching coffee stove off
Wait until milk is boiling
Switching milk stove off
Getting glass
Pouring the sugar
Pouring the coffee
Pouring the milk