REFLECTION 7: Interactivity?

I’m skipping back in my readings a little bit to the article on interactivity. I have been thinking about interactivity alot because I do not have much for users to ‘do’ at my project website.

Thankfully, I am at the point due to a variety of factors, mainly my project management and pre-existing technical skills, where I have the luxury of deciding what else/where else I want my project to go. Currently, it’s very much of the viewer/outsider/passive participant role vs. active and engaged participant. So, interactivity has been nagging at me a little. My site is very content heavy (which is good, nothing worse than a site that is all fluff unless it is REALLY REALLY cool fluff…)
I’ll discuss the project progress in more detail below.

Anyhow, I wanted to revisit (and actually write about) this article in terms of how it might help me find a way to make my site more interactive in the span of just about two weeks.

First, what is interactivity in terms of design? A rollover menu? Hot potatoes quiz? Video segments? Sims sets the parameters in the beginning of the article:

It is no longer adequate to see our field of practice (or are we bold enough to label it a profession?) being limited to products where interactivity is trivialized to simple menu selection, clickable objects, or linear sequencing. Interaction is intrinsic to successful, effective instructional practice as well as individual discovery. –Sims, 1995.

Sims discusses the qualities of interactivity through revisiting definitions and concepts relating to interactivity. Interactivity is some kind of ‘doing’ from creating to watching and a trademark of good interactivity is a response coupled with a thought process. (isn’t that learning?)

So, in the confines of those parameters, my project does have interactivity (user controlled slideshow of artwork, menus, video & audio segments) IF the user responds to it and it leads them to think more about their own creativity (or the creativity of others or even I guess, why I picked such a strange project!). However, I am considering adding a means for users to add their own thoughts on creativity and perhaps, even some sort of art related game. I’m not sure about the latter half in terms of time.

PROJECT PROCESS: I have smoothed out alot of the edges of my site; the design is solid yet funky, in my opinion. It will probably be the most ‘out there’ of all projects in studio, but well, that’s kind of my style. 😉 The next three things on my list are looking at interactivity more (what can I reasonably do in the such a short span of time…), finish up re-shooting video clips this week, hammer out the accessibility requirements, and make sure my CSS validates and is cross browser compatible)… anything else? Something is bound to come up, I know!
Reference:
Sims, R. (1995). Interactivity: A Forgotten Art? ITFORUM [electronic listserv]. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia. Available: http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/paper10/paper10.html

Word Count: 485

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