Interactivity (Nina Kowalke)

After reading the following sources:

http://object.ariellehein.com/readings/theartofinteractivedesign-ch1.pdf

http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/

http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/the-journal-of-computer/jcgd-volume-9/why-is-interactivity-so.html

I have come to these conclusions.  In defining “interaction” I agree with Chris Crawford’s definition that suggested that interaction must involve two actors who in a metaphorical sense “listen, think, and speak”.  I also really appreciated his concept that interactivity must be looked at as a gradual scale rather than a definite characteristic, this seems to be an answer to many debates about wether or not an item is interactive.  This principle allows objects to be somewhat interactive, extremely interactive, or a range of possibilities in between.  Good physical interaction, according to Crawford involves both actors listening, thinking, and speaking fully and well.  I love his example of a conversation and how each of these parts when done well and with purpose make a conversation strong and enjoyable just as they do with interaction in design.  I would say an example of technology that is interactive but might not be immediately thought of as interactive could be Netflix. Netflix interacts with the user by providing recommendations for things to watched based on past watched shows/movies.  Each time the user watches something Netflix listens to that, processes what other shows might interest the user and then speaks back to the user by providing more recommendations; this cyclical process continues on.  In reflecting on the easiness of achieving interactivity, I agree with Crawford that it is hard to achieve.  I think that interactivity in the most basic form could be easy to achieve, however, a high degree of interactivity is difficult.  I have noticed this in class as we have tried to come up with more advanced interactive systems and have struggled to move past a basic stage of interactivity.  The picture I used to have when thinking about interactivity looked like an interaction between user and device in which some action resulted of the user’s behavior.  On this level, interaction is easy to achieve.  However, to reach full interaction, the kind the crawford discusses takes a lot more thought and purposeful design.

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