interactive systems, whether human or machine, try to communicate
effectively in order to impart data, information or knowledge
and perhaps even wisdom. The extent to which a system is able
to do this successfully depends on the systemís utilisation of
a userís senses and the systemís own ability to adapt and provide
feedback to the user.
we search for good examples of interactivity we need look no further
than ourselves; a conversation with friends in the pub, or taking
photos of wildlife in a woodland, are highly interactive processes
that engage our senses and adapt to our behavior. It is on this
basis that a computer must compete for our attention.
there are few examples of computer interactivity that come anywhere
close to a personís capacity to interact. However there are examples
that exhibit some of the mechanisms that lead to good interactive
the popular online book shop, offers its users products based
on the theme of their earlier purchases. It also suggests products
purchased by other users that have also bought the selected item.
Amazon are capturing knowledge, taste and experience from millions
of its users and presenting it as a form of interaction with each
order to achieve a high level of computer interactivity designers
must take a deliberate path through all levels of communication
by taking in to account information, interaction and sensorial
design deals with the organisation and presentation of data and
its transformation into meaningful information that has value.
The publishing industry has been practicing information design
for centuries. Sadly however, the skills and experience developed
there have not been adopted by the majority of organisations and
individuals that utilise the computer to interact with people.
Little wonder then that interactive design, with perhaps its roots
most embedded in stand-up comedy, is underdeveloped and lacking
in most computer interfaces.
the moment then, if you intend to interact effectively with your
audience through a computer, at least make the effort to appeal
to their sense of sight and present them with attractive graphics
with an engaging dialogue.