Virtually Usable

Virtually Usable | A Review of Virtual Reality Usability Evaluation Methods

Virtually usable is a literature review exploring academic and industry research in virtual reality usability evaluation. I wrote this paper for my final project in Design and Usability at Parsons School of Design in Spring 2016.

You can find the full paper here: Virtually Usable

Impetus

Given rapidly accelerating advances in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications are finally moving into the mainstream. More than ever, designers, developers, and project managers find themselves producing, testing, and delivering the experiences to a wide variety of people, the majority of whom are completely unfamiliar with the technology. My goal for this paper was to help frame the robust and informative, yet dense and overlapping, body of academic research into a more digestible roadmap or toolkit that helps those tasked with building and evaluating virtual reality applications –often not human computer interaction (HCI) experts – to quickly and easily identify which of the prevailing evaluation methods might best meet their needs.

Goals for Paper

My goal for this paper was to help frame the robust and informative, yet dense and overlapping, body of academic research into a more digestible roadmap or toolkit that helps those tasked with building and evaluating virtual reality applications –often not human computer interaction (HCI) experts – to quickly and easily identify which of the prevailing evaluation methods might best meet their needs.

In addition, I realized that there was a dearth of new formal research (after 2010) in the field. Since much of the earlier research assumes the available evaluation tools and technological constraints at the time of the study, I believe that current and emerging technologies such as wearables, facial & feature recognition, and more accessible/easy-to-use VE creation tools & (e.g. Google Cardboard) distribution platforms have the potential to support these evaluation methods in new ways. Thus  I also sought to briefly sketch out some of my ideas for how these technologies might be used, and outline some related areas for further inquiry and experimentation.

Virtually Usable Presentation

To support the paper – which became a bit lengthy – I also thought it would be useful to translate the research into a shorter presentation that could be given to developers, designers, and engineers looking to build VR/AR applications.

Read more on my blog.

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