In spite of getting more complex and hard to handle sometimes, human relationships still follow the basics of nature.
Recently I had the opportunity to give my first workshop at the University to a group of students that will start their internship this year; one of the challenges was to show them how get into the digital business considering their background (marketing and advertising) because their projection around their profiles at that time was very limited, so I felt glad when commented about working on areas like social media or Information Architecture at the end of the workshop.
During the sessions I explained that interaction could be quickly understood as the relationship between the user and the object through an interface and the influence of other internal/external factors that could affect this interaction process to later define the whole thing as an experience. That thought kept me thinking about how this statement could be applied in daily situations because sometimes you start a conversation with someone with a specific purpose but you don’t always get the expected result, right? probably you didn’t use your best cards or maybe the question was not clearly defined, so neither the answer . The thing is that at some point the objective fails because the trade goal faded out while arguments were exposed during the conversation and there is when you start hearing conclusions like “I was about to say it but I couldn’t find the right moment” or “close enough, maybe next time”. You can quickly check if have this happened to you when you keep thinking about the “ideal conversation” you should have had with the person you wanted to talk to but never happened in the real life.
So I wanted to explain it in a very didactic way to also help me organize my ideas in a better way the next time I need to find the essential result of any conversation: Answers.
As you noticed the objective for user A failed due to several factors around the conversation that made impossible to achieve it; however the objective for user B seemed to be clear since the beginning. If we would represent their objectives as coins, the coin for user A could be support and for B could be maybe concentration; since support means for providing additional effort to an additional task and focus is about driving all the effort to a specific task, this transaction was not naturally possible. Well, probably this conversation would be completely different if it would happen 5 minutes later but that’s another story.
To summarize, human interactions work pretty much like those natural relationships you learned in school (mutualism, predation, parasitism, etc.) where two individuals trade something to get something else; the success of this process depends on the way the obtained result matches with the intended objective, so if is not clear since the beginning, the result rather than good or bad will be always unexpected.