Have An Interaction On Me

So go to your media player, whichever one it might be, crack open AC-DC’s “Have a Drink on Me”. Forward it to 03:01. Try to stay away from any sharp corners and try to not go completely insane from the riff that is about to hit you. If I recall, its driven me to just throwing things. What does this have to do with design? Everything. Why can’t interaction design do this?
Take this song “Dog Bumped” from Tim Barry. (Links only work if you’re in Spotify territory incidentally.)

One quick minute got me 28 long years
But I’d do it again, I don’t regret it
He laid his hand on my sister
Too many times when I was near
And I shot him dead and I don’t care

So here’s a life of regret, longing, duty and family summed up in five lines. Five lines. No geotags, Arduino, or Twitter (thank god). Five lines, that’s it. It might not have taken him that long to write either. There wasn’t any funding or crowdsourcing to help him pull this off and yet I’m sure there’s at least a couple of people out there in Internetland that are really bowled over by this song for reasons they can’t really explain. Someone, somewhere, maybe in Oregon or maybe in London might become depressed listening to this thinking of their own sister, or maybe they just fall into the melody and the singable chorus and start tapping their feet. The thing Tim does in these five lines and some guitar is tell you a story, a really good story in a really simple, catchy and poweful way. ACDC take some amazing riffs and describing somewhere just about everyone I know has been (“So don’t worry about tomorrow, Take it today, Forget about the check, We’ll get hell to pay”) in an utterly rocking way.

I bang on and on a lot about this meaning stuff because, well, it should be obvious. It’s the reason we can’t stand getting up in the morning to go to the job we hate, or the reason we smile just watching our kids do nothing except bang a piece of tupperware and scream. It’s what makes us human. Its something you just feel that the PowerPoint at the conference doesn’t really do justice. For instance, way back in the Dark Ages (1993) Myst looked really cool and a lot of people played it, but is it something that gives you the chills when you just think about watching it like “Schindler’s List” which came out that same year did? Don’t think so.