Interactive applications are often evaluated by scholars according to just how interactive they are.

Applications are positioned on a scale: it is seen to be better when there are more opportunities for the audience to interact, and better still when those interactions have more power to change the media product with which the interactions are occurring.

This is rather subjective. Does more frequency or more visible impact really make an interactive experience more fun, more interesting, more exciting? I think not.

Consumers value interactivity the most when it makes the most sense.

The best interactive opportunities are natural extensions of existing behaviour. More on this (and a typology, my favourite!) in a future post. But for now, imagine that someone is watching a gameshow – what are they doing while they watch? Thinking of or shouting out the answers to the questions. So the ‘best’ type of interactivity to offer is a way to answer the questions. That’s what the audience is already doing – you’re just providing a new outlet. Add in a couple of social features and you’ve probably done 90% of the best you can do.

When considered like this, it’s clear that more frequent or more impactful interactivity should not be the aim. There’s no need. Keep it simple and keep it aligned with existing behaviours.

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