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Evaluating the usability of virtual reality user interfaces

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A walkthrough method for evaluating virtual reality (VR) user interfaces is described and illustrated with a usability assessment of a virtual business park application. The method is based on a theory of interaction that extends Norman's model of action. A walkthrough analysis method uses three models derived from the theory. The first model describes goal-oriented task action, the second exploration and navigation in virtual worlds, while the third covers interaction in response to system initiative. Each stage of the model is associated with generic design properties that specify the necessary support from the system for successful interaction. The evaluation method consists of a checklist of questions using the properties and following the model cycle. Use of the method uncovered several usability problems. Approaches to evaluation of VR applications and future work are discussed.

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Centre for HCI Design, Department of Computation, UMIST, PO Box 88, Mancheser M60 1QD, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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