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Human centred design of 3-D interaction devices to control virtual environments

: Patel, H.; Stefani, O.; Sharples, S.; Hoffmann, H.; Karaseitanidis, I.; Amditis, A.


International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 64 (2006), No.3, pp.207-220
ISSN: 1071-5819
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAO ()

It is commonly acknowledged that user needs should drive design, but often technical influences prevail. Currently, there are no standard interaction devices or interfaces used in 3-D environments, and there is a lack of specific best practice guidelines to develop these. This paper discusses the process of collecting feedback on prototype designs for VR/VE interaction devices from both expert users and non-expert users, and demonstrates how the information gained from human centred evaluation can be used to further the design process. Experiment 1 examined the usability of two magnetically tracked interaction devices with three different types of menus (Sphere, Linear and Fan). Quantitative and qualitative analysis was carried out on the results, and usability problems with the menus and devices are discussed. The findings from this experiment were translated into general design guidance, in addition to specific recommendations. A new device was designed on the basis of some of these recommendations and its usability was evaluated in Experiment 2. Feedback from participants in Experiment 2 demonstrated that the design recommendations emerging from Experiment 1 were successfully applied to develop a more usable and acceptable device.