Interactivity Reflection – (Hunter Young)

Physical interaction is the process of providing input to an object and the object giving obvious feedback and vice versa, such as with an electronic device like a smartphone or computer. Good interactivity is when two entities (such as user and their computer) are capable of “listening, thinking, and talking” with each other. The device will listen to the input of the user, think about how to respond/what to do, and then do the thing and communicate it back to the user. A couple of examples of interactivity, or the lack thereof, would be Crawford’s example of a refrigerator for one. The refrigerator doesn’t think about the actions, it is the lowest level possible of interaction in a literal sense. Motors themselves are also not necessarily interactive. The circuit they are wired into are simply completely at the users command and then the motor runs as long as it is powered. I agree with Crawford’s position on why interactivity is so hard. People focus on what a device is and not what it should do. That’s obvious in design today, with objects such as dish washers or phones that have a ton of capabilities, yet they are extremely vague in the information that they provide to the user.


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