Thursday, January 22, 2009

In a time where everything moves. What is interactivity?

In today's digital age, honestly, what is interactivity? Rewind 10 years ago, interactivity was when users can 'communicate' with the medium. Then in the early growth of the internet era, interactivity was clicking a button and watch something move in the website. But today. Today when everything moves at the beckon of a button or a swish of a mouse, what truly constitutes interactivity? Consumers' expectation has grown leaps and bounds and everyone has an attention span of a peanut. How do we keep up with them?

According to Gavin Finn is president and CEO of Kaon Interactive, interactivity is part of experiential marketing which must:
• Provide sufficient information in a way that doesn’t overwhelm
• Deliver consistent product information across sales channels;
• Create a truly interactive experience; and
• Tap into those emotional qualities that drive the customer’s decision-making.

"These characteristics must be present throughout the entire customer experience, not just for the presentation. In a retail environment, this could include lighting, background music, window displays, paint color and much more."

So no. Clicking a button to watch an animation online is NOT interactive. Clicking another button to watch a video online is NOT interactive. Posting a comment in a forum is NOT interactive. Interactivity means the 'medium' needs to incorporate some form of intelligence, however artificial that is, which could respond to the user's action, subsequently providing a new value each time this 'connection' is made. If we're considering experience as part of interactivity, then we should first and foremost, place user experience on the top rung of the priority ladder. And use the 'virtual' product and/or message to provide that experience.

I think it's time we rethink about 'interactive'. It's another one of those overused words.

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