I’m not sure how exactly I would have defined interaction prior to our first class and its related assignments, but I’m fairly certain that at this point coming up with a definition is more difficult. I like the Crawford definition, requiring two actors and a cyclical listening/thinking/speaking process, but as Crawford admits (and demonstrates) that framework can be rather squishy. The idea that the “refrigerator door game” can be disqualified as an interaction for being “beneath the intellectual dignity of almost everybody” is funny but also distracting for me. I couldn’t help but think about how disappointed I’d be to open a fridge with a burnt out light bulb, and whether that is a reflection of my intellect. But Victor’s rant made me feel a little better. He noted the feedback a glass of water provides to it’s drinker via weight, and few pursuits are more intellectual than deciding whether a glass is half empty or half full. Though I’m still unclear on whether this glass or the process of using it is a tool, interaction or both. At this point I’m leaning towards interaction as a spectrum that is much more fluid than Crawford’s system of zero, low and high. As for an original definition I’d say: Interaction is a relationship formed in pursuit of a goal. So to me Crawford’s refrigerator light and Victor’s glass of water are both good examples of successful interaction despite their simplicity.
Crawford, The Art of Interactive Design, chapters 1 and 2
Victor’s rant (http://bit.ly/1emwTOV)