Computing Reviews

Human-centered VR design: five essentials every engineer needs to know
Jerald J.  IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 38(2): 15-21, 2018. Type: Article
Date Reviewed: 05/29/19

When virtual reality (VR) is not pleasing to see and/or hear, users will remove their headsets or glasses. One main reason is that engineers don’t consider all human aspects of the VR experience when developing VR systems and applications. This paper discusses possible solutions for engineers, that is, “five essentials” of human-centered VR design.

The most important essential, engineers need to know the multimodal input and output systems involved in the design. The author presents the “most common VR example of multimodal input[:] head-gaze pointing combined with a button press.” Simultaneous input reduces the time the user needs to select a visual object.

The second essential: engineers should be aware of any “adverse health effects,” for example, visually induced motion sickness. To work around the risks, the author recommends “high-quality hardware” and “high frame rate with low latency.”

Next, engineers should not assume that VR experiences are more intuitive than other mediums. In-app tutorials are needed to teach VR interfaces how to behave, like the author’s “introductory tutorial set in MakeVR.”

The fourth essential has to do with users: engineers need to design around the specific target audience’s interests, goals, and skills.

Finally, engineers should “iterate [a VR project] upon many modifications through rapid testing.” An application that works well in one situation but may not work in a different situation.

The author keeps the presentation informal, with a table on the use of input modalities and several pictorial examples on the use of the MakeVR tutorial. Those interested in the challenges of improving human-centered VR design in different situations should read this paper.

Reviewer:  J. Myerson Review #: CR146582 (1909-0347)

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