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Erik
Furlan
 An
Introduction
to
Interactive
Media
Theory
 
 Essentially
the
text
can
be
divided
into
two
distinct
parts
–
a
wide‐ranging
listing
 and
discussion
of
past
and
present
media
theories
and
how
they
relate
to
the
new
 realm
of
interactive
media
and
an
informational
section
with
a
technology
timeline,
 a
who’s
who
and
suggested
readings.
 We
will
do
our
best
here
to
break
apart
the
distinct
theories
discussed
and
their
 relationship
to
interactive
media.

To
begin,
one
must
define
 interactive/interactivity;
the
catch,
there
is
no
one,
complete
definition.
  Steur
(1992):
“the
extent
to
which
users
can
participate
in
modifying
the
 form
and
content
of
a
mediated
environment
in
real
time”
  Rheingold
(1993):
“asynchronous
tools
such
as
listservs,
e‐mail
and
 newsgroups
are
interactive”
  Downers
and
McMillan
(2000):
interactivity
exists
at
different
levels;
there
 are
“high‐values:
and
“low‐values”
interactivity
levels;
two
categories,
each
 with
three
characteristics
 o Message
dimensions
(direction,
time
and
place)
 o Participant
dimensions
(control,
responsiveness
and
perceived
goals)
  Koolstra
and
Bos
(2009):
“the
degree
to
which
two
or
more
communication
 parties
[human
or
computer]
act
on
each
other
in
an
interrelated
matter”
 o High
level
of
interactivity
results
in
more
effective
communication
 o K&B
scorecard
–
elements:
synchronicity,
timing
flexibility,
control
 over
content,
number
of
additional
participants,
physical
presence
of
 additional
participants,
use
of
sight,
use
of
hearing,
use
of
other
senses
  Nathan
Shedroff
–
Continuum
of
Interactivity
 o Examines
‐‐
feedback,
control,
creativity/co‐creativity,
productivity,
 communications,
adaptivity
–
from
passive
to
interactive
  Le
Manovich
–
five
principles
of
new
media
 o Numerical
representation,
modularity,
automation,
variability,
 transcoding
 Sprouting
from
the
notion
of
interactivity
is
interactive
design
(first
proposed
by
Bill
 Verplank
and
Bill
Moggridge
in
the
late
1980s),
which
is
defined
in
Wikipedia
as
the
 “discipline
of
defining
the
behavior
of
products
and
systems
that
a
user
can
interact
 with
…
[It]
centers
around
software,
mobile
devices
and
other
electronic
devices,
 however
it
can
also
apply
to
other
types
of
products
and
services
and
even
to
 organizations
themselves.”


 Interaction
design
has
been
broken
into
six
major
steps:
design
research,
research
 analysis
and
concept
generation,
alternative
design
and
evaluation,
prototyping
and
 usability
testing,
implementation
and
system
testing.

Overall,
there
are
to
key
 aspects
of
interaction
design
–
social
and
affective.
 
 Key
points
of
social
interaction
design
(SxD)
  accounts
for
inter‐user
interaction
as
well
as
interaction
between
user
and
 device
  “dynamic
of
interpersonal
communication,
speech
and
writing,
the
 pragmatics
of
talk
and
interaction
–
are
critical
factors
in
interaction
design.”
 Key
points
of
affective/emotional
response
in
interaction
design



Erik
Furlan
  awareness
of
aspects
of
the
design
that
ellict
emotional
responses
in
users
  “need
for
products
to
convey
positive
emotions
and
avoid
negative
ones
is
 critical
to
product
success.”
 Emotional
and
pleasure
theories
  emotional
design
(Don
Norman):
human
nature
to
“equate
good
design
with
 intrinsic
quality
….”;
pretty
things
are
considered
more
positively
  Human
factors
model
(Patrick
Jordan):
good
design
looks
“beyond
usability
 to
see
how
people’s
values,
aspirations,
hopes,
fears
and
dreams
…
can
be
 studied
and
implemented.)
  Technology
as
experience
framework
(McCarthy
and
Wright):
to
understand
 the
“felt
experience
of
technology”
…
“consider
the
sensual,
emotional
and
 intellectual
aspects
of
our
interactions
with
technology
tools”
 Key
characteristics
of
a
good
interaction
designer
  ability
to
conceive
ideas;
ability
to
communicate
the
ideas;
ability
to
critique,
 analyze
and
judge
  IxDA
president
Robert
Reimann
–
interaction
designer
skill‐sets
 o Core
skills
in
research
and
design
 o Business
skills
 o Communication
skills
 o Interpersonal
skills
 o Usability
skills
 o Media
skills
 o Technical
skills
 o Personal
skills
 Now
we
move
on
to
actual
media
theories
and
examining
how
valid
are
they
in
 relation
to
interactive
media.

But
first,
a
few
key
terms:
  quantitative
research:
“systematic
scientific
examination
[using]
 mathematical
models,
theories
or
hypotheses,
and
specific
measurement
is
 its
fundamental
basis.”
(statistics
most
commonly
used0
  qualitative
research:
examination
of
“underlying
meanings
and
the
patterns
 of
relationships
…”
looking
at
“language,
symbols,
signs
and
meaning.”
 o Not
totally
based
in
math
 o Data
collection
‐‐
Observation,
interviewing
and
content
study
  Ethnography
(culture
study)
  Content
analysis
of
written,
physical
material
  Focus
group
  Case
study
 One
of
the
earliest,
simplest
descriptions
of
communications
theory
comes
 from
Harold
Lasswell
(1948)
when
he
defined
the
communications
theory
field
as
 “the
study
of
‘who
says
what
to
whom
in
what
channel
with
what
effect’.”

A
2004
 model
from
Davis
Foulger
expanded
on
this
simple,
linear
construction,
showing
the
 interplay
and
feedback
that
exists
in
communication
today.

Robert
Craig
(1999)
 outlines
seven
“traditions”
of
communication
theory:
rhetorical,
semiotic,
 phenomenological,
cybernetic,
sociopsychological
and
sociocultural.
 Early
on
as
well
came
the
discipline
of
information
theory
from
the
arena
of
 engineering.

Claude
Shannon
(1948)
founded
the
field,
focused
on
how
“the



Erik
Furlan
 fundamental
problem
of
communication
is
that
of
reproducing
at
one
point,
either
 exactly
or
approximately,
a
message
selected
at
another
point.”

It
can
best
be
 defined
in
the
following
diagrams:


   

Key
points
of
activity
theory
(courtesy
of
the
arena
of
HCI)
 key
players:
Kant,
Hegel,
Marx
and
Engles;
Vygotsky,
Leont’ev,
Luria
 “originated
as
a
way
to
assess
the
developmental
process
by
which
a
person
 is
shaped
by
and
shapes
experiences
through
his
or
her
actions”
 based
on
that
“people
work
to
achieve
their
expectations
ideals
or
utopian
 visions
by
taking
actions
and
[changing]
the
social
and
material
world
 [where]
they
exist”
 1990s
–
human‐computer
interaction
(HCI)
begins
incorporating
AT
in
its
 work
 o Henderson
(1991)
–
all
the
circumstances
and
influences
and
factors
 that
may
impact
HCI
need
to
be
taken
into
account
in
research


o Kuutti
(1995)
‐‐
 
 o AT
used
by
HCI
people
to
“understand
and
classify
the
social,
physical
 and
cognitive
processes
involved
in
performing
tasks
and
how
those
 tasks
fit
into
a
bigger
picture”
 Key
points
of
Symbolic
Interactionism
(courtesy
of
sociology
and
information
 science)
  came
from
the
work
of
George
H.
Mead
and
Charles
Cooley
  “Symbolic
interactionism”
–
Herbert
Blumer
(1969)
–
three
key
elements
 o “human
beings
act
toward
things
on
the
basis
of
meanings
they
 ascribe
to
those
things”
 o “the
meaning
of
such
things
is
derived
from,
or
arises
out
of,
the
soial
 interaction
that
one
has
with
others
and
the
society”
 o “the
meanings
are
handled
in,
and
modified
through,
an
interpretative
 process
used
by
the
person
in
dealing
with
the
things
he/she
 encounters”
  in
essence,
individuals
interact
with
each
other
not
by
just
 reacting
to
the
other’s
actions,
but
by
the
 interpretation/definition
assigned
to
the
action
by
the
 ‘receiver’
 Key
points
of
Social
network
theory
(courtesy
sociology,
information
science)



Erik
Furlan
  “assesses
how
the
structure
of
ties
influences
individuals,
their
relationships
 and
the
results
of
these
relationships.

Social
network
analysis
attempts
to
 expose
how
ties
develop
and
illuminate
the
ways
in
which
structure
and
 composition
of
ties
affect
norms.”
  Mark
Granovetter
(1973)
–
smaller,
closer
networks
with
strong
ties
often
 less
useful
than
larger
networks
with
many
weak
ties
  Key
researchers
today
–
Barry
Wellman,
Danah
Boyd
  The
idea
of
“small‐world
phenomenon”
(the
“six
degrees
of
separation/Kevin
 Bacon”
principle)
‐‐
Ithiel
de
Sola
Pool;
Stanley
Milgram
 o Duncan
Watts,
Steven
Strogatz
–
small‐world
networks
exist
 throughout
the
universe
 o Albert‐Laszlo
Barabasi
–
“scale‐free”
networks
–
have
few
“high
 connected
‘super
nodes’
or
‘hubs,’
…
most
nodes
…
weakly
connected”
  Everett
Rogers
(1962)
–
diffusion
of
innovations
–
“process
by
which
an
 innovation
is
communicated
through
certain
channels
over
time
among
the
 members
of
a
social
system”
  Memes
–
Richard
Dawkins
(1976)
–
“a
self‐propagating
unit
of
cultural
 evolution.
…
[similar]
to
the
gene,
…
information
passed
along
to
the
next
 generation.
…
memes
can
undergo
alterations”
 “…
social
network
analysis
is
more
than
a
method;
it
is
a
perspective
on
the
world
 armed
with
tools
and
a
body
of
applications
ranging
from
questions
of
social
 isolation
(and
inclusion)
to
the
structure
of
international
relations
and
the
web.”
 
 Key
points
of
Online
Communities
theory
  groups
that
communicate
mainly
through
“media
such
as
blogs,
e‐mail
lists,
 synthetic
online
worlds
[Second
Life]
and
other
digital
forms
rather
than
 face‐to‐face”
  Peter
Kollock
(1998)
–
motivations
behind
contributing
to
online
 communities
 o Anticipated
reciprocity
–
contribute
information
expecting
the
favor
 to
be
returned
 o Increased
recognition
–
driven
by
a
desire
for
prestige,
“egoboo”
(ego
 boost),
higher
visibility/fame
 o Sense
of
efficacy
–
feeling
they
have
some
effect
on
the
environment
 o Sense
of
community
–
getting
feedback
to
contributions
serves
as
 motivation
to
contribute
again/more
  Phenomenon
of
“lurking”
(join
and
not
contribute)
 o Get
what
they
need
without
active
participation
 o Thinking
that
not
posting
is
helpful
 o Wanting
to
scout
the
community
before
diving
in
 o Inability
to
use
the
software
 o Dislike
of
observed
group
dynamics
 Now
that
we
have
touched
on
some
of
the
more
communications
specific
theories,
 there
are
several
broader
theories
regarding
humans
and
their
behavior
that
have
 been
applied
to
the
study
of
communications.
 
 Key
points
of
Uses
and
Gratifications
(U&G)
theory
  focuses
on
what
people
do
and
why
they
do
it



Erik
Furlan
  “identifies
how
people
are
motivated
to
use
particular
communications
tools
 to
meet
particular
needs”
  tied
to
Maslow’s
Hierarchy
of
Needs
from
the
social
sciences
–
physiological
 needs,
safety
and
security,
love
and
belonging,
self‐esteem,
self‐actualization
  Lasswell
(1948)
–
functions
of
media
on
a
macro‐sociological
level:
 surveillance,
correlation,
entertainment,
cultural
transmission
  Katz,
Gurevitch,
Hass
(1973)
–
media
users
have
the
same
categories
of
 needs:
cognitive,
affective,
personal
integrative,
social
integrative,
escapist
  User‐oriented
dimensions
of
interactivity,
part
of
U&G
–
involvement,
 benefits,
threats,
inconvenience,
sociability,
isolation
  Ha
and
James
(1998)
‐‐
Five
dimensions
of
interactivity
–
playfulness,
choice,
 connectedness,
information
collection,
reciprocal
communication
 Before
we
travel
too
far
down
the
rabbit
hole,
let’s
step
back
and
examine
why
U&G
 is
important,
especially
to
the
interactive
media
profession.

Simply
put,
to
make
 your
communication
as
effective
as
it
can
be,
you
have
to
take
into
account
your
 potential
audiences
and
what
gratification
they
may
be
seeking
when
using
your
 communication.

Also,
the
“interactive
communicator”
needs
to
remember
that
uses
 and
gratifications
are
not
static
and
set
in
stone,
they
differ
from
person‐to‐person,
 novice
user‐to‐experienced,
even
day‐to‐day.

Especially
today,
the
multitude
of
 multimedia
options
available
to
users
has
opened
the
floodgates
to
a
wide
range
of
 uses
and
gratifications;
each
user
with
a
smorgesboard
of
choices,
their
unique
 approach
and
a
level
of
control
thanks
to
the
interactive
realm
in
which
they
 operate.
 Key
points
of
Knowledge
Gap
Theory
  Tichenor,
Donohue,
Olien
(1970)
–
first
stated
  “with
each
new
medium,
the
gap
between
the
information‐rich
and
 information‐poor
widens
because
of
differences
in
access
to
the
new
medium
 and
the
individuals’
capacity
to
use
it
effectively”
  AKA
–
digital
divide
when
talking
about
Internet
 Schools
of
thought
when
it
comes
to
theory
–
constructivists
and
determinists
  social
construction
of
reality/social
constructionism
–
social
factors
and
 technology
features
are
connected
and
affect
use
together
 o Adoni,
Mane
(1984)
–
Three
part
model:
Objective
reality
(real
world,
 facts);
Symbolic
reality
(art,
literature,
media);
Subjective
reality
 (constructed
from
objective
and
symbolic
by
the
person)
 o Gerbner
–
cultivation
theory
–
approach
to
research
on
social
 construction
  Exposure
to
the
same
messages
produced
a
“long‐term
 teaching
(cultivation)
of
a
common
worldview,
common
roles
 and
common
values”
  Technological
determinism
–
advances
in
technology
are
the
“central
causal
 element
in
processes
of
social
change”
 o McLuhan
(1964)
–
“the
medium
is
the
message”
 o 1965
–
technology
effects
don’t
appear
at
the
opinion
level,
“but
alter
 sense
ratios
or
patterns
of
perceptions
…”
(the
technologies
used
 affect
habits
or
perception
and
thinking)



Erik
Furlan
 Key
points
of
Diffusion
of
Innovations
theory
  diffusion
research
–
how
do
innovations
spread
through
a
social
system
  Ryan,
Gross
(1943)
–
four
main
elements
of
diffusion:
 innovation/communicated
through
certain
channels/over
time/among
 members
of
a
social
system
  Everett
Rogers
 o innovation
characteristics
that
affect
adoption
rate:
relative
 advantage,
compatibility,
complexity,
observability
  “generally
innovations
that
are
perceived
by
receives
as
having
 a
greater
relative
advantage,
compatibility,
trialability,
 observability
and
less
complexity
will
be
adopted
more
rapidly
 than
other
innovations”
 o Innovation
decision
process:
Knowledge,
persuasion,
decision,
 implementation,
confirmation
 o Categories
of
adopters:
Innovators,
Early
adopters,
early
majority,
late
 majority,
laggards
 o Consequences
classifications:
desirable
vs.
undesirable;
direct
vs.
 indirect;
anticipated
vs.
unanticipated
 Key
point(s)
of
Spiral
of
Silence
Theory
  Elisabeth
Noelle‐Neumann
(1973,
1980):
mass
media’s
“ubiquity,
cumulation
 and
consonance
[the
single
view
shared
by
the
majority]”
cross
to
affect
 public
opinion,
“sometimes
inspire
individuals
to
contain
their
opinion
for
 fear
of
social
isolation
or
reprisal”
(if
someone
thinks
their
view
does
not
 mesh
with
the
view
of
the
majority,
they
will
likely
not
share
that
view
out
of
 fear
of
isolation/ostracization
or
backlash)
 Key
points
of
Powerful
Effects
Theory

  Noelle‐Neumann
(1973);
Mendelsohn
(1973);
Maccoby
and
Farquhar
 (1975);
Ball‐Rokeach,
Rokeach
and
Grube
(1984)
  Mendelsohn
–
“campaigns
that
are
successful
in
changing
an
audience
…”
 o “spell
out
extremely
specific,
reasonable
campaign
objectives
clearly
 o “pinpoint
the
target
audience”
 o “work
to
overcome
indifference
on
the
audience
to
the
particular
 issue”
 o “find
relevant
themes
to
stress
in
the
messages”
 Let’s
stop
here
again
and
examine
the
powerful
effect
theory
and
its
relation
to
 interactive
media.

“Media
effects
are
most
powerful
when
they
reach
 communications
participants
on
multiple
levels”
(essentially,
for
a
more
powerful
 effect,
the
communicator
needs
to
reach
the
audience
in
more
ways
than
one).

 Here’s
where
the
interactive
comes
in:
by
using
multiple
interactive
platforms
to
 convey
the
message,
the
odds
of
reaching
more
of
the
audience
(on
more
than
one
 level)
increases,
making
the
effect
of
the
message
greater
than
if
it
was
repeated
 over
just
one
channel.
  Power
law
effect
–
“system
drives
activity
to
reinforce
unnaturally
the
 behavior
that
caused
something
to
be
there
in
the
first
place”
(i.e.
–
seeing
 that
something
is
the
‘most
clicked‐on’
draws
people
to
click
on
it,
making
it
 even
more
clicked
on;
things
on
kept
on
top
because
they
are
on
top)



Erik
Furlan
 Key
points
of
Agenda‐setting
and
media
framing
theories
  McCombs,
Shaw
–
key
people
  “the
media
we
consume
tell
us
what
to
think
about,
and
how
to
think
about
 it”
 o agenda‐setting:
“transfers
the
salience
of
items
of
established
 communicators’
news
agendas
to
our
agenda”
 o framing:
“transfers
the
salience
of
selected
attributes
to
prominence
 among
the
pictures
in
our
heads”
  “a
central
organizing
idea
for
new
content
that
supplies
a
 context
and
suggests
what
the
issue
is
through
the
use
of
 selection,
emphasis,
exclusion
and
elaboration”
  can
be
suggested
by
visual
imagery,
headlines,
leads,
pull
 quotes,
nut
graphs,
word
choice;
“advanced
organizers”
 o inter‐media
agenda
setting:

media
reports
influence
and
set
the
 agenda
for
other
media
reports
(i.e.
–
’09
Iran
election
coverage
from
 Twitter,
mass
media
covered
using/talking
about
the
online
postings)
 Key
points
of
Perception
Theory
  “process
by
which
we
interpret
sensory
data”
  Vidmar,
Rokeach
(1974)
–
“selective”
processes
 o Selective
perception
–
tendency
for
people
to
be
influenced
by
wants,
 attitude,
needs,
other
psychological
factors
 o Selective
exposure
–
tendency
to
expose
selves
to
communications
 that
agree
with
their
existing
attitudes,
avoiding
those
that
don’t
 o Selective
attention
–
tendency
to
pay
attention
to
the
parts
of
a
 message
that
jive
with
personally
held
attitude,
beliefs,
behaviors;
 avoiding
those
that
don’t
 o Selective
retention
–
tendency
for
recall
of
information
to
be
 influences
by
wants,
needs,
attitude
and
other
psychological
factors
 Key
points
of
Schema
Theory
  schema
–
“cognitive
structure
consisting
of
organized
knowledge
about
 situations
and
individuals
that
has
been
abstracted
from
prior
experiences”
–
 used
for
processing
new
and
recalling
stored
information
(Graber
1988)
  people
are
“cognitive
misers”
forced
to
practice
“cognitive
economy”
through
 simple
mental
models
(like
schemas)
because
of
limited
ability
to
handle
 information
  people
tend
to
store
the
conclusions
drawn
from
evidence/facts
instead
of
 the
evidence
itself
(Graber)
 Let’s
pause
here
again
and
examine
the
theories
in
relation
to
interactive
media.

 The
information
people
pay
attention
to
and
how
they
perceive
the
information
they
 are
paying
attention
to
can
be
drastically
affected
by
these
“filters”
through
which
 the
message
passes
before
reaching
the
audience.

People
are
most
likely
to
retain
 and
pay
attention
to
things
that
fit
their
predetermined
views
and
discard
things
 that
don’t
fit.

They
see
the
world
through
their
own
personal
set
of
glasses,
 recognizing
only
the
things
they
can
“see”
based
on
the
criteria/specs
for
those
 “specs.”

If
the
message
you
are
trying
to
communicate
doesn’t
fit
into
a
persons
 schema
or
frame,
they
aren’t
going
to
get
the
message,
provided
that
the
message



Erik
Furlan
 was
even
“picked
up”
by
the
mainstream
media
and
put
on
the
agenda
in
the
first
 place.

The
bottom
line
is
“interactive
communicators”
need
to
keep
all
these
 theories
in
mind
as
they
construct
the
platforms
to
convey
their
message.
 
 Key
points
of
Image‐perception
theory
  way
to
discuss/define
how
people
process
images/pictures
  Linda
Scott
(1994)
–
three
ways
of
thinking
about
mass
media
pictures:
 transparent
representations
of
reality;
conveyors
of
affective/emotional
 appeal;
complex
combinations
of
symbols
assembled
to
make
rhetorical
 arguments
  “pictures
and
images
can
be
used
to
construct
subtle
and
complicated
 arguments”
 Key
points
of
Propaganda
Theory
  Harold
Lasswell
(1927):
“Propaganda
in
the
broadest
sense
is
the
technique
 of
influencing
human
action
by
the
manipulation
of
representations”
  Lee
and
Lee
(1939)
–
seven
devices
of
propaganda:
name
calling,
glittering
 generality,
transfer,
testimonial,
plain
folks,
card
stacking,
band
wagon
  Generally
effective,
but
only
on
some
people
(can’t
fool
all
the
people
always)
 Key
points
of
Persuasion
Theories
  fear
appeal
–
three
key
parts:
magnitude
of
noxiousness
of
a
depicted
event;
 probability
of
that
event’s
occurrence;
efficacy
of
a
recommended
response
 (Rogers)
[highly
unsatisfactory
event,
with
a
high
likelihood
and
a
solution
 shown
as
effective]
  Functional
approach
to
attitude
change
(Katz)
 o humans
are
both
rational
and
irrational,
depending
the
situation
 (rational
–
people
are
intelligent,
critical
thinkers,
make
own
 decisions;
irrational
–
people
are
easily
influences
by
those
around)
 o Functions
attitude
can
serve
–
Instrumental,
adjustive
or
utilitarian;
 ego‐defensive;
value‐expressive;
knowledge
 o Attempt
to
change
attitude
must
be
based
on
knowing
what
 function(s)
the
attitude
is
serving
  Techniques
of
persuasion
–
visuals,
humor,
sexual,
repetition
  Process
models
of
persuasion
theory
 o McGuire’s
information‐processing
theory:
exposure,
perception,
 comprehension,
agreement,
retention,
retrieval,
decision
making,
 action
 o Anderson’s
information
integration
theory:
“cognitive
algebra”
 Key
points
of
Media
Richness
Theory
  the
richer,
more
personal
means
of
communication
are
generally
the
most
 effective
  rich
media
tend
to
be
most
effective
in
terms
of
feedback,
use
of
many
cues,
 message
tailoring,
emotional
response
  sometimes
“rich
media”
is
equated
with
“interactive
multimedia”
–
multiple
 platforms,
multiple
methods;
audio,
video,
graphics
integrated
 Let’s
pause
here
again
and
recap
the
theories
and
how
they
may
relate
to
our
 discussion
of
interactive
media.

Overall,
the
same
rule
expressed
before
applies
 here
–
the
“interactive
communicator”
needs
to
keep
all
of
these
theories
in
mind



Erik
Furlan
 when
working
to
build
the
platforms
to
convey
the
message.

A
key
piece
of
any
 interactive
media
is
often
images
or
pictures.

Understanding
how
those
images
can
 be
used
to
aid
in
conveying
the
message,
or
even
how
those
pictures
can
be
 misinterpreted,
conveying
an
unintended
message,
is
paramount.

Effective
 interactive
communication
is
going
to
make
use
of
all
the
tools
available,
including
 images
and
pictures.

As
far
as
media
richness,
interactive
media
is
often
viewed
as
 the
most
‘media‐rich’
method
of
communication
–
engaging
the
user
on
multiple
 levels,
using
multiple
means
of
conveying
the
desired
message,
combining
multiple
 forms
of
displaying
the
message.

Interactive
media
offers
a
degree
of
 personalization
as
well,
which
helps
increase
its
effectiveness.

The
more
personal
 the
means
of
communication
often
the
more
effective
it
is.

With
the
personalization
 potential
of
interactive
media
(each
user
in
control
of
their
experience),
each
person
 can
have
a
unique,
personal
experience,
making
the
interactive
means
of
 communication
highly
effective.
 
 Key
points
of
the
Human
Action
Cycle
model
(HAC)
  developed
by
Don
Norman
(1988)
  used
to
evaluate
user
interfaces
  involves
the
ways
“humans
pursue
goals
through
a
series
of
steps
to
achieve
 that
goal
through
the
use
of
computing…”
(includes
physical,
cognitive)
  Stages
of
HAC
–
Forming
a
goal;
translating
the
goal
into
a
task
or
set
of
tasks
 needed
to
achieve
the
goal;
planning
an
action
sequence
by
ordering
the
 tasks
needed
to
achieve
the
goal;
executing
the
action
sequence;
perceiving
 what
happened/the
results;
interpreting
the
outcome
according
to
expected
 outcome;
evaluating
what
happened
against
what
was
intended
to
happen
 Key
Points
of
Media
Ecology
  Neil
Postman
–
“looks
into
the
matter
of
how
media
of
communication
effect
 human
perception,
understanding,
feeling
and
value
and
how
our
interaction
 with
media
facilitates
or
impedes
our
chances
of
survival”
“the
word
‘ecology’
 implies
the
study
of
environments:
their
structure,
content
and
impact
on
 people”
  Christine
Nystrom
–
“the
study
of
complex
communication
systems
as
 environments”
  McLuhan
–
“means
arranging
various
media
to
help
each
other
so
they
won’t
 cancel
each
other
out,
to
buttress
one
medium
with
another”
 So,
we
have
bullet‐pointed,
divided
and
subdivided
countless
communications
 theories,
looked
at
their
relative
implications
and
overall
relevance
to
the
realm
of
 interactive
media,
and
where
does
that
leave
us?

Generally,
with
a
better
 understanding
of
the
nature
of
communications
as
a
whole,
the
history
of
 communication
theory
and
an
idea
of
how
those
past
theories
apply
to
the
new
 frontier
of
interactive
media,
if
at
all.
 
 First
and
foremost,
the
“interactive
communicator”
needs
to
be
a
student
of
 the
industry,
learning
what
they
can
about
the
history
of
communications
–
 including
the
history
of
the
study
of
communications
and
the
theories
derived
from
 that
study.

Even
though
the
theories
were
formed
long
before
the
idea
of
interactive
 media
was
even
imagined,
they
provide
the
base
on
which
the
house
of
interactive
 media
will
be
built,
because
at
its
core,
interactive
media
is
still
communications.



Erik
Furlan
 
 The
thing
to
keep
in
mind
is
that
all
of
these
communications
theories
are
 just
that,
theories;
none
of
them
are
set
in
stone
as
absolute
law.

The
very
nature
of
 communications
‐‐
the
constant
change,
the
numerous
variables
(technology,
 audience,
etc.)
–
make
the
theory
of
communications
a
moving
target.

Much
like
the
 need
for
constant
horizon
scanning
in
futures
thinking,
communication
theory
 needs
constant
evaluation
and
study.

The
multiple
moving
parts
involved
in
 communications
–
technology,
audience
(each
with
their
own
set
of
variables)
‐‐
and
 their
ability
to
change
at
a
rapid
pace
require
communications
scholars
and
 professionals
to
always
be
monitoring
the
state
of
communications.

Those
 monitoring
need
to
keep
the
established
theories
in
mind
as
well
as
keeping
an
open
 mind
to
altering
or
tweeking
the
theories
if
needed
or
constructing
an
entirely
new
 theory
because
the
circumstances
have
changed
that
much.



An Introduction to Interactive Media Theory