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Exploring Button Designs for Mid-air Interaction in Virtual Reality: A Hexa-metric Evaluation of Key Representations and Multi-modal Cues

: Bermejo, C.; Lee, L.H.; Chojecki, P.; Przewozny, D.; Hui, P.


Proceedings of the ACM on human-computer interaction 5 (2021), Nr.EICS, Art. 194
ISSN: 2573-0142
Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems (EICS) <13, 2021, Online>
Fraunhofer HHI ()

The continued advancement in user interfaces comes to the era of virtual reality that requires a better understanding of how users will interact with 3D buttons in mid-air. Although virtual reality owns high levels of expressiveness and demonstrates the ability to simulate the daily objects in the physical environment, the most fundamental issue of designing virtual buttons is surprisingly ignored. To this end, this paper presents four variants of virtual buttons, considering two design dimensions of key representations and multi-modal cues (audio, visual, haptic). We conduct two multi-metric assessments to evaluate the four virtual variants and the baselines of physical variants. Our results indicate that the 3D-lookalike buttons help users with more refined and subtle mid-air interactions (i.e. lesser press depth) when haptic cues are available; while the users with 2D-lookalike buttons unintuitively achieve better keystroke performance than the 3D counterparts. We summarize the findings, and accordingly, suggest the design choices of virtual reality buttons among the two proposed design dimensions.