I found this chapter on the meaning of interactivity very well explained and illuminating. Before reading this chapter, my only understanding of interactivity has been that it is a fusion of both hardware and software in communicating to users. However, the analogy of two actors in a cyclic conversation made me understand that there is more to interactive design than just hardware and software. From what I understood, interactivity design addresses the entire interaction between a user and computer and achieves this through paying attention to all three dimensions (listening, thinking and speaking) in the process of optimization.
The examples of movie-watching and reading as non-interactive processes emphasized on the clear distinction between participation/reaction to interaction. Clearly, reaction doesn’t engage all three dimensions of interactivity since the book may be able to speak to the reader but will be unable to listen and think.
Crawford made a clear distinction between user interface designers and interactive designers. He explained that user designers are concerned about the computer’s strength in listening and speaking to the user without paying attention to the thinking aspect. This made me wonder whether Apple’s Siri is a user interface or interactive design?