Improving the Sound Experience of the Senseo Up
Sound influences user experience
Product sounds have a great influence on user experience and perceived
quality. Philips asked us to improve their Senseo Up accordingly.
We thoroughly analysed the machine and made adjustments to the embodiment – and yes, we also had a lot of coffee!
We found that a certain harmony at 550Hz was perceived as unpleasant and disturbing. The source of the sound was the pump vibrating at 50Hz.
Next to eliminating this issue, we also aimed to change the sound to make it to be perceived as:
friendly, well made, unobtrusive, pleasant
Therefore, we remixed the original sound, and found that boosting frequencies below 500Hz while reducing frequencies above 500Hz brings this desirable effect.
Making adjustments to the product embodiment
We achieved this using two special techniques:
- Boosting low frequencies using a bass tube calculated for frequencies below 500Hz
- Reducing mid to high frequencies using a Micro perforated resonator – or also called Helmholtz resonator – calculated to cancel out sounds above 550Hz
Resulting user experience: Friendly and unobtrusive
A listening test with nine participants revealed that the redesign was perceived as significantly more friendly and pleasant and less obtrusive than the original device. Furthermore, the perception of build quality could also be slightly improved.
Company: Philips Consumer Lifestyle – Coffee
Module: Embodied Audio Design – Elective Course
Time frame: Twelve weeks
Contributors: Maxim Smulders, Bart Peeters
My role: User Research | Conceptualisation | CAD & Embodiment | Visualisation