User Studies for Toolkit Development in Virtual Reality

Authors: Vasilakis, C.

Publication: Sixth Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG-6), England, pp. 61-76

This paper reports the results of preliminary studies conducted towards the development of a virtual reality user interface toolkit. Before an interface can be described and developed, studies need to be conducted which investigate the viability of using current known methods of interface design within an immersive environment. Methods that work successfully on one particular platform, for instance, a workstation, may not be suited for use in a virtual reality environment. The first section briefly describes these studies and outlines the implications designing interfaces in virtual reality. In particular, parallels are drawn between interface design in the workstation environment and in an immersive environment, and differences between them are listed and analyzed. Next, two sessions of user surveys are described. In the first, a survey session, expert users were asked questions about their experiences in writing ineterfaces for a virtual reality application. They also described difficulties they encountered as a result of programming for this environment. During the second, a simulation session, users were asked to evaluate a toolkit metaphor and schemes for implementation of interfaces. The final section of this paper is devoted to the discussion of users’ responses and the implications they have for suggesting future research topics.

Date: January 1, 1994

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