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Interactivity: Letting users take control
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IX TECHNOLOGY
Levels of computer-based interactivity
Allows users to move forwards or backwards through a predeter-
mined linear sequence of the content; also called electronic page
turning. Overuse of linear interactivity is a sign that the web as a
non-linear medium has not been understood.
Provides access to a wealth of information that the user is
allowed to navigate at will.There are multiple paths creating a
maze of information that the user can utilise.
Provides users with a predefined set of options from which they
can select a specific path or structure of accessing the content.
Objects (buttons, things, other metaphors) are activated by using
a mouse or other pointer. Clicking generates a form of audio-
visual response.
Involves providing users with a range of help options and
messages, some of it can be very simple and others quite
complex.
Relates to components of the program that initiates a dialog
between user and the computer-generated content.The program
generates questions to which the user must respond.
Is an extension of the update interactivity and requires the
creation of an environment in which the user is required to
manipulate component objects to achieve specific goals.
Refers to text responses. If n text responses are available to the
user there is always the possibility that the user will require the
n+1 answer and the program will judge the enquiry as incorrect.
Reflective interactivity responds by providing answers recorded
by others users and allows the current user to compare and
reflect on their response.
Combines all previous levels of interactivity and extends them
into a complete virtual context. Users are transferred into a
micro world that reflects their existing environment.
Projects the user into a complete computer-generated world that
responds to individual movements and actions.
Source: Sims, 1995
Examples
Forwards, backwards,
upwards, downwards
navigation
Hyperlinks
Main menu, navigation bar
Pop-up menu, additional
open window, online slide
show, online PowerPoint
presentation
FAQ, help index
Online forms
Recommender systems,
quizzes
Virtual exhibitions
Virtual reality,
3D environment
State of the art
in ALM sector
Highly
mature
Highly
mature
Mature
Mature
Fairly
mature
Fairly
mature
Fairly
immature
Fairly
immature
Immature
Highly
immature
Linear interactivity (reactive pacing)
Hyperlinked interactivity (proactive navigation)
Hierarchical interactivity (reactive navigation)
Object interactivity (proactive inquiry)
Support interactivity (reactive inquiry)
Update interactivity
Construct interactivity
Reflective interactivity (proactive integration)
Non-immersive contextual interactivity (mutual elaboration)
Immersive virtual interactivity (mutual elaboration)