001: Interactivity

Reading “the art of interactive design” made me think closely about the word: Listening.

I think that in order to preform “impactful listening” while in conversation or in any mean of communication, one needs to be very aware, present and active. both ends should feel the presence of each other. its not just the presence that count, there is some responsibility that listeners take on themselves. It might be about creating a territory/zone so one side will feel more comfortable amd the boundaries will be revealed slowly, hopefully with some magic, curiosity, humor and poetic insights. i think these will create for me an “intense or rewarding conversation” like Crawford mentioned in his article. It made me wonder, what other characteristic “listening” holds in it: suggestions: “take a moment” / “breath” / “maybe you should try this”. Empathy: “I would have done this” / “it happened to me in the past” / “that new to me, can you repeat that?”. Each one of these can enhance that intense good listening experience while in the conversation.

“Another common misconception is that the design process can be broken into two steps: the graphic design step and the “interactivizing” step… Good interactivity design integrates form with function”

I couldn’t agree more with Crawford acknowledgement about the nature of the process. More places should be more open to work simultaneously on these aspects and listen more carefully to it needs. When I was working for places that made me stick to their “old fashion plan” to first “Crack” the interactivity and then get the reward and go do some nice-sleek-designs, I felt like I was being punished. It often feels that the design is the cherry on top of the ice cream, what if it is the interactivity is?. People tend to control the process but I feel like the content is the one that should control and lead everything.

While designing for print-matter, the content was always my flash light, it told me everything I need to know in order to create a suitable design for it. What typeface, colors, white space, layout, grid, size, weight, hierarchies and many more components. There is always intuition, but the more the content was in the middle, the more it felt like an independent object that now has its own safe-territory. One that doesn’t require me to come and speak for him.

“People identify more closely with it because they are emotionally right in the middle of it”

I tried to think of an interactive experience that made me feel right in the middle and I couldn’t find one. the majority of the projects i saw lately had such a strong visual effect, sometimes even overwhelming visual territory that the interactivity wasn’t impactful. it left me outside of the game, it wasn't meant for me.

maybe it was about someone else, a designer, a programmer, an algorithm, a spectacle or a museum. That lead me to a question I came across a few months ago, asked by Henry Farrel in his article Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans: “what constitutes authentic human being?”, and that leads to the question, How can we create interactivity that will create more empathic/magical/playfull realities, and less fake realities that might lead to fake humans.

This is a great note to my future-self.

Interactivity for me is creating a conversation within a territory between 2 entities that is driven by empathy and encouraged curiosity.

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