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User-centered design and evaluation of a real-time battlefield visualization virtual environment

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6 Author(s)
Hix, D. ; Virginia Polytech. Inst. & State Univ., Blacksburg, VA, USA ; Swan, J.E. ; Gabbard, J.L. ; McGee, M.
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The ever-increasing power of computers and hardware rendering systems has, to date, primarily motivated the creation of visually rich and perceptually realistic virtual environment (VE) applications. Comparatively very little effort has been expended on the user interaction components of VEs. As a result, VE user interfaces are often poorly designed and are rarely evaluated with users. Although usability engineering is a newly emerging facet of VE development, user-centered design and usability evaluation in VEs as a practice still lags far behind what is needed. This paper presents a structured, iterative approach for the user-centered design and evaluation of VE user interaction. This approach consists of the iterative use of expert heuristic evaluation, followed by formative usability evaluation, followed by summative evaluation. We describe our application of this approach to a real-world VE for battlefield visualization, describe the resulting series of design iterations, and present evidence that this approach provides a cost-effective strategy for assessing and iteratively improving user interaction design in VEs. This paper is among the first to report applying an iterative, structured, user-centered design and evaluation approach to VE user interaction design

Published in:

Virtual Reality, 1999. Proceedings., IEEE

Date of Conference:

13-17 Mar 1999

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