What is interaction?
At the first time, I was kind of confused and spend a lot of time to rethink the concept of interactivity while reading “The Art of Interaction Design”, because I was the one who had defined the term “interaction” very broadly. (maybe overused…) While Chris Crawford is defining interactivity in 3 steps: Listen, Think and Speak, I tried to organize the concept in my own way and think simple.
I think “Asking” and “Answering” each other between more than two person or objects(devices) is the basic concept of interaction. A will ask(input) something to B and B will give an answer(output) to A. Then, A will get the answer like a normal conversation. It means Interaction is cycle of asking(input) and answering(output) between at least two entities. I’m still confused about the word “Physical interactivity”, but I think if I add the term “Physical” front of “interaction”, there should be something tangible between two entities like a screen which users can touch and control the interaction.
On my way to school, by walking the street and taking subway, I could find some physical interactions around me. For example, a man playing mobile game with his iPhone, Metro card machine(touch screen) and CVS self checkout machine. ( And I was wondering if it is an interaction or just a reaction between a man who sings a song in the subway and people who gives him money(tip). )
There are a bunch of good examples of digital technology these days, because our generation is living in an age of technological innovation. One of the best new interactive advances in my life was “Navigation”. When I was young, whenever we travel to somewhere, my family used a paper map to find the place. The person who seats next to the driver had to read the map, find the fastest way and tell the direction to the driver which is exactly the same function with today’s Navigation. There was no interaction between the driver and the paper map at that time. Navigation is exactly following the 3 steps that Chris Crawford mentioned. Listening to the input destination and thinking the fastest way and calculating the time then speaking out the data through the screen and the speaker. I can’t remember when this interactive Navigation came out to our world, but someday I realized that everyone got used to this genius machine very naturally, using it everyday. According to this point, good physical interaction is identifying the human needs and solving common matters from our daily lives.