The Definition (what):
I definitely agree that interactivity requires at least two parties exchange, process and produce information. Like the author pointed out the term “interactivity” is often misunderstood. It is a loop of input, process and output. What interested me is that he described interactivity as not a Boolean but a “continuous variable with relative measures.” I have always thought interaction is either there or not there during a process, however the degree of interaction is not something I am consciously aware of comparing to function or visual attraction (maybe because I was an architectural designer). In the future this would be something to consider when doing projects.
The Reason (why):
Right now we are in this big movement of digitalizing everything. Interaction is one of the most primary and ancient way of exchanging and producing information in our society. However, “automated interactivity” is new and a revolutionary way to communicate. I don’t necessarily agrees that as digital designer we all need to focus on the interactivity on software developing and not audio, graphic, etc. I do think, though, the interactivity is what makes digital design stand out from the traditional media, and it will bring us new opportunities to enrich our society.
As of “how”, that will be determined by each individual of us.