This week, the readings for this class were the first two chapters of Chris Crawford’s The Art of Interactive Design and “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interactive Design” by Bret Victor. Both offered unique perspectives on interactive design and helped to clarify, or at least inspire thought about, what good interactive design is. Three questions followed these readings:
How would you define physical interaction?
When I hear this question, it’s difficult for me to avoid directly quoting Chris Crawford’s definition of interactivity as conversation; I’ve used this as my own definition since I first read Crawford’s book in my undergraduate studies. When coming up with definitions for new or foreign concepts, the most useful metaphors are often the most familiar. I think that conversation, being one of the most familiar concepts to people, is easily one of, if not, the most useful. Translating it to physical interaction takes some thought though. Here’s my definition: “A cyclical process of sensing a physical stimulus, processing that stimulus to formulate a response and carrying out a physical response.”
What makes for good physical interaction?
My answer to this question is informed both by Victor’s rant and my past reading of Sharp’s Interaction Design. Good physical interaction provides quality sensing, processing and responding in a cyclical fashion. It does so by using an interface that is familiar to the user in form and takes full advantage of the capabilities of the user.
Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?
The interface for a DVD payer
A credit card