18. modelling rich interaction


Rank the following in terms of levels of intention or consciousness
automatic doors into hotel, automatic water taps in wash basin, reversing lights in a car, ultrasonic burglar alarm, auto-numbering lists in a word processor, web page counter, font menu in word processor that shows recent fonts at the top of the list
If you have a group, you could each rank them separately and then discuss your answers.
Why are some more consciously considered than others?
Think of more examples.

answer available for tutors only

A bit open ended ... as interesting for the analysis as the ranking


None have high level of intention
automatic water taps in wash basin
these get close to intentional, you put your hands under and often deliberately move them where you think the sensor is


automatic doors into hotel
intention - medium: you step towards the doors because you want to walk through, but you work on the expectation that they will in fact open, and you will usually adjust your gait to give them time to open.
reversing lights in a car
intention - low: you put car into reverse to drive backwards, not to turn lights on.
expectation? - if you think about it you know that the reverse lights will come on, but if they don't come on, even in the dark, you may not realise at first, just feel reversing is more difficult than usual
auto-numbering lists in a word processor
initially low intention - you type the number to format the list yourself, but if the auto-numbering works well (!!) you may come to rely on it "if I just hit return it will fill in the number for me" - that is a move towards expected interaction.
font menu in word processor that shows recent fonts at the top of the list
intention - virtually zero - you use a font in order to use it, not get it put on the menu. However, if you understand the rule you may start to know whether to look at the menu top or in the longer alphabetical listing if you know you have recently used the font ... this is a level of expected interaction.


ultrasonic burglar alarm
intention - none: the burgler certainly does not intend to set off the alarm. Of course, an expert burgler may learn to move to avoid the sensors!!
web page counter
intention - none: you visit the page to see it, not to increment the web counter (unless you are the page author trying to make it look visited!). Of course, the presence of the counter is visible as a trace of previous visitors - and perhaps a measure of quality: lots of visitors = popular (but does the presence of the counter suggest desperation?)

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.18.1 (ans), ex.18.2 (tut), ex.18.3 (tut), ex.18.4 (tut), ex.18.5 (tut), ex.18.6 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter