What is Interaction?

In retrospect, I’m curious to know if Bret Victor’s “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design” and Chris Crawford’s “The Art of Interactive Design” were assigned together to demonstrate a juxtaposition between effective and ineffective interaction. Victor’s page utilizes elements of interactivity by introducing his topic with a video, then following it up with informational, rhetorical prose and visually pleasing typefaces/graphics that complement and provoke the reader to think about the future applications of interaction design. In contrast, the first thing I found myself doing after pulling up Crawford’s text on Books24x7 was copy + paste the first two chapters into a Word document. Seeing the book cover icon on the page registered it as text originally intended to be read in print, and thus made it feel forced and distracting to read digitally amidst a busy and unappealing user interface. It’s incredibly ironic that Crawford’s approach to encourage interactive design thinking is though a medium he himself disqualifies as interactive.

What is physical interaction? What makes for good interaction? What are examples of digital technology that are not interactive?

Following our class discussion and the readings, I would define physical interaction as a tactile and cyclical exchange between two or more entities. What qualifies as good interaction is determined by the degree of rapport and feedback shared among parties involved. Clocks/wristwatches and television are examples of digital technology that are non-interactive.