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School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering


"Designing Usable Virtual Environments"

Staff and funding

PhD researcher:  Kulwinder Kaur Deol
Supervisors: Prof Alistair Sutcliffe (Now at UMIST) and Prof Neil Maiden

Project description

DUVE was an EPSRC funded PhD project into interface design requirements to support user interaction in Virtual Environments (VEs). Key research activities were:

- Investigating the design and use of VEs to assess the need for interface design guidance specifically for VEs;
- Theoretical work predicting general patterns of interaction with VEs, through interaction modelling;
- Theoretical work predicting design properties required for interaction using these general patterns;
- Evaluating studies testing the theories and refining predictions in light of results;
- A controlled study showing improvements in usability with predicted design properties present in a VE;
- Converting theories into practical guidance and testing this with industrial VE designers;

Major contributions of the research for virtual environments are:

- A set of interaction models providing a comprehensive and improved understanding of user interaction;
- A set of design properties providing an identification of key requirements of a design for supporting interaction;
- Practical design guidance to aid development and improve usability;

The Ph.D. work was completed in June 1998. Continuing work includes an evaluation method based on the theoretical work. Further information about the research can be found on the home page of Kulwinder Kaur Deol.

Publications include