What is Interaction?
A cyclic process between two or more active agents in which each agent alternately listens, thinks, and speaks. – Crawford
I agree with Crawford’s spelled-out definition of what interaction is, with the caveat that low-interaction is NOT a bad thing! He does a great job of drawing on what it means to interact as humans.
I sympathize mainly because interaction has become a buzz word lately, used to describe nearly everything, even the most mundane of tasks like pressing a button on a remote. On a semantic level, it’s important that we start teasing out levels of interaction because it makes the word mean something again.
When we begin to view interaction as a scale, Bret Victor’s essay becomes interesting. In criticizing our lack of imagination in depicting the future, he stumbles upon a really great point – we lack imagination because we’ve all accepted what interaction is. And because of this, we forget that interaction can be so much richer!
This post inspired by the following readings:
- Crawford, The Art of Interactive Design (Chapters 1 & 2)
- Bret Victor, “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design”