Action Analysis of Existing Interactions

Task/Action Analysis (how and why) --> Sound Description --> Relevance of sound for action (feedback to action, intrinsic element of experience,...)


Analysis preparing latte macchiato (Designer 1)

Analysis preparing latte macchiato (Designer 2)

Analysis Peeling and grating carrots

Analysis Toasting

Analysis Spreading Jam

Analysis Starting a Dishwasher

Analysis Tea Making

Action description
- Steps of the process of interaction
- Type : pouring, hitting (impact), pushing, cutting, stretching, licking, blowing, shaking, rolling, sticking,
- Force ("amount" and "excertion time"): human, small, fast, increasing ...
- Duration: short, continuous, repetitive ..
- Human manipulation : how is the object handled? (eg. holding the object with one or two hands, holding the object with lips and hand) and Configuration (eg Is the object heavy? Does it have a handle? Is it big or small?)
- Surface properties (slippery, hot, rough ..)

Sound description
- Loudness, brightness, roughness (not related to material), timbre, volume, pitch ...
- Source: aerodynamics sounds, liquid sounds, vibrating solids, fire sounds
- Material (of sound emitter / of stimulator (if applicable)): elasticity, density...
- Configuration : shape, size, structure (ex. resonatig cavities), support, weight ...
- Additional sound source properties : rythm of vibration, rhythm of repetition of sound events, eg. bouncing)
- Aspects of space : delay (reverb, echo), dampening, perspective, distance, resonance, echo ...
- other : envelope (attack, decay, sustain, release) speed, ...
- how does it sound like?
- duration (very short, short, a few seconds, longer)
- development over time
- relative perceived loudness (maybe using musical terms? ppp, pp, p, mf, f, ff, fff)

Relevance of sound for action
How much does sound affects / feeds back into the action?
How is the sound linked to the action? Is it accompaining it continuously or just at certain points (as, eg. in putting a glass on a table)
What would happen if we remove sound feedback? How would our actions and overall experience be changed?
Consider "silence" as well.

Design Opportunity - Additional Last step (later)
How can we augment existing sounds or silences to affect action?
What makes a sound "appropriate" to a specific action?
Is there a way to abstract action properties and dynamics and map them to sound properties and dynamics?


Maybe investigate: specifity or generality of the link between sound and manipulation.
eg. can a opening sound of the grinder be generalized as opening sound, or not?

Maybe investigate: apparent features of sound source, apparent feature of manipulation (as suggested by sound)

Maybe focus on temporal properties, as they are considered key in identification of sounding objects

Maybe develop notation for this: Envelopes for pitch, loudness, amount of noise, rhythmic patterns...

Random observations