In the first week of PComp reading, 1) Crawford’s “The Art of Interactive Design” ch01, ch02, 2) Bret Victor’s “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design”, I’m gonna post about the question assigned from Tom, some random thoughts through the reading,  and some inspiring words. Let’s begin!

Answers to the questions(duh)

After this class’ discussion and exercise, and reading Chris Crawford’s definition and Bret Victor’s rant, how would you define physical interaction? What makes for good physical interaction? Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?

  • Unlike general interactions(such as conversations etc.), the physical interaction involves materials, such as devices, chemicals, and living things. It’s a back and forth dialogue, and in the end it leaves impacts on the participants.
  • Good physical interaction won’t make its participants wander off. Participants interact with their most intuitive parts, and the experience won’t be diluted through the whole process by meaningless designs of the physical interaction.
  • The non-interactive digital technologies I can think of so far are 3D movies, tv, videogames, …, since the result of them are all set up and cannot be changed despite the different input contributed by different users.


Random thoughts–

  • In the first class of PComp, I found that professor Tom emphasizes “feedback” a lot, much more than others, during the class and within the words of the syllabus. And when I read through the first few sentences of “The Art of Interactive Design”, I suddenly realized that’s because feedback makes good interaction, and that’s the key to PComp. In PComp, we learn how to transform one element into another element with electronics as media, and at the same time, we are media too! We transform others’ thoughts into our thoughts, and we let other know ours. Along the loop of communication, amazing ideas bump out, just like what good interactive technology does.
  • Satisfying, joy, determine the level of interaction. → Good interactive device make users hard to stop using it.
  • I found myself match perfectly and miserably with the awful/disappointing listener/thinker/speaker described in “The Art of Interactive Design”! OMG I feel so sorry… That’s not my intention! Dear friends please keep talking to me, and I’ll learn the experience and improve just like what those hi-tech hard/softwares do.
  • Seeing “…Dancing alone to the music is not interaction; it is participation.” makes me wonder how cool will it be if dancers can interact with music, which means music will be affected by dancers’ moves as well! But questions are: besides the basic movement recognition, how to detect dancers’ emotions and how music responds? It’d be really interesting!
  • If movies can be interactive, it might turn out to be boring? Because audiences love unexpected stories. And not everyone can be a witty screenwriter.
  • My example of interactivity: Living. Characters: Human, Environment. Process: Human’s behavior build environment; environment affects human. It’s a loop.
  • Regarding the video “Vision Of The Future”, if people in the future rely heavily on the control panel which handles everything nicely for you, wouldn’t it deteriorate human’s intelligence/capability as well? But I still love one of its device, the transparent refrigerator. It’s fancy yet at the same time meaningful/eco-friendly, and it’s a small design to easily avoid cold air leaking.


Inspiring lines–

*Interaction: a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.
*Once words have been written down, they are scattered everywhere.
*Interactivity designer regards the thinking content of software as its function, and the user interface regards as its form.
*Interactivity design people are younger, less technical, and stronger in the arts/humanities.
*I’m not saying that we should eschew graphics, sound, or video; I’m saying that we shouldn’t make these factors the selling points of our work.
*A tool converts what we can do into what we want to do
*Pictures Under Glass sacrifice all the tactile richness of working with our hands, offering instead a hokey visual facade.
*With an entire body at your command, do you seriously think the Future Of Interaction should be a single finger?

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