DESIGNING THE TRUE BARISTA EXPERIENCE
How Studio Volpi created the perfect multi-user experience for a leading coffee-machine manufacturer
Coffee once used to be one of those basic life commodities we would absentmindedly consume as part of our daily routine, and up until very recently in most cultures it came either black or white, i.e. with a dash of milk, with or without sugar. No fancy Italian names, no interest in the grade of roasting, nor in the origin of the beans, let alone in the extraction time or the temperature of the water. Additional flavourings were unknown, and the firmness of the milk froth was beyond anyone’s imagination. There was no such thing as a “quality coffee”, It was just plain old coffee.
Who would have thought that nowadays, coffee would become the fragrant embodiment of hype, the icon of modern global lifestyle, a cultural hallmark not limited to trendy establishments but which has extended to any vending point, restaurants and bars of course, but also hotel self-service breakfast rooms and convenience stores alike?
Consequently, coffee-making machines have made tremendous progress, especially since automation can offer limitless possibilities for the layperson to have a truly personalised “barista experience”.
Kalerm is a leading global manufacturer of coffee machines, selling under its own and other companies’ brands. Its latest product, the Model X, is a fully automatic professional coffee machine. Its contemporary, stylish design, makes it stand out in any context. But most of all, the quality and the variety of coffees and mixed beverages it consistently delivers, together with its flexibility in adapting to different user-types, make it a real star.
No compromises on quality, variety and quantity
All the know-how and experience of the world leader in coffee preparation, along with the latest technology in the field, went into the Model X. Each step of the preparation process of the 30 plus beverages the machine can deliver was optimised for impeccable execution and consistent top-quality, serving after serving.
The flexible configuration of the bean and topping hoppers, in addition to the fresh milk option ensure ample variety and choice. Maximum accuracy in the grinding process, stable pressure and precisely calculated extraction temperature make for world-class, full bodied quality coffee in every cup. Spotless hygiene is ensured by easy, carefree maintenance, with the automatic cleaning of the milk frother and all milk pipes.
A skilled barista in all of us
Studio Volpi was called in to design Model X’s user interface, a central feature of the product, which needed to be versatile and cater to different audiences while ensuring top-class performance all along.
The Model X machine is destined to both front-of-house deployment, e.g. in dining and breakfast rooms in hotels and resorts, convenience stores, cafes and offices, and behind-the-counter posting, for instance in the kitchens of hotels and restaurants. For this, operation needs to be intuitive and easy both for professional operators and for final self-serving customers. Moreover, Model X aims at delivering a true coffee experience to users, especially in the self-service mode, while making it easy and quick for pros to serve their customers. In other words, with Model X, everyone’s a barista!
To serve these objectives, the machine was equipped with a 10” high resolution colour touch screen, so as to clearly see all the options and the commands available. Three different graphical user interfaces were developed, for standard, professional and self-service use. The UI also allows for customised recipe management, branding, videos and advertising activities to display on the screen, which can be further used to issue simple and clear directions for effective maintenance and cleaning.
Maximising enjoyment, minimising complexity
A professional coffee making machine such as the Model X is a complex mechanical and electronic automated system, yet its compact and appealing design makes it easy for it to integrate in any location and layout while the conception of its UI provides a satisfying user journey for final customers and a sleek and high-performing work-tool for operators.
In the professional mode, the interface ensures a reduced number of clicks, multi tasking, order queues management and high performance and volumes execution for trained staff.
The standard mode is mainly aimed at frequent users, like office workers who use the machine on a daily basis and don’t necessarily want to waste time navigating menus to order their favourite beverages. Fast ordering and the possibility to store preferences under one’s personal profile are offered by this configuration.
Finally, self -service mode is for first-time users, typically guests at a hotel who are not familiar with the machine. Model X will help them get their day start off on a positive note. The fully guided mode will take them through an authentic coffee experience journey step by by step.
In addition, the machine provides a restricted back-end management dedicated area for service and machine maintenance, also allowing for video instructions and to display on the screen and for the uploading of promotions and special messaging.
Designed by experience, tested by users
Studio Volpi’s multidisciplinary expertise in ergonomics, industrial design and engineering was once again instrumental in designing Model X’s UI. User trials and technical evaluations were also used to validate every step of the process, allowing for continuous design adjustments that, in the end, provided a scalable and user friendly solution. The Model X, presented for the first time in Milan at the Host 2021 exhibition, is destined to the global market, and to assured world-wide success.