Multimedia and Virtual Reality: Designing Multisensory User Interfaces

Multimedia and Virtual Reality: Designing Multisensory User Interfaces

Multimedia and Virtual Reality: Designing Multisensory User Interfaces

Multimedia and Virtual Reality: Designing Multisensory User Interfaces

Synopsis

This book is primarily a summary of research done over 10 years in multimedia and virtual reality, which fits within a wider interest of exploiting psychological theory to improve the process of designing interactive systems. The subject matter lies firmly within the field of HCI, with some cross-referencing to software engineering. Extending Sutcliffe's views on the design process to more complex interfaces that have evolved in recent years, this book: introduces the background to multisensory user interfaces and surveys the design issues and previous HCI research in these areas; explains the basic psychology for design of multisensory user interfaces, including the Interactive Cognitive Subsystems cognitive model; describes elaborations of Norman's models of action for multimedia and VR, relates these models to the ICS cognitive model, and explains how the models can be applied to predict the design features necessary for successful interaction; provides a design process from requirements, user and domain analysis, to design of representation in media or virtual worlds and facilities for user interaction therein; covers usability evaluation for multisensory interfaces by extending existing well-known HCI approaches of heuristic evaluation and observational usability testing; and presents two special application areas for multisensory interfaces: educational applications and virtual prototyping for design refinement.

Excerpt

The title of this book owes more than it should to marketing. Multimedia and virtual reality (VR) are media-friendly terms that may have caught your eye, so if you are browsing the preface before deciding whether to buy this book, here is my explanation of its motivation and contents. It is primarily a summary of the research I have done over 10 years in multimedia and VR, which fits within my wider interest of exploiting psychological theory to improve the process of designing interactive systems. I have tried to make the text accessible to designers, students, and researchers, with as few assumptions about prerequisite knowledge as possible; however, in curriculum terms, student readers would benefit from an introductory course in human-computer interaction (HCI) before progressing on to this book.

The subject matter lies firmly within the field of HCI, with some crossreferencing to software engineering (SE) because I believe that HCI and SE should be integrated components in the development process. Indeed, the terms user interface and human-computer interface are probably responsible for this false separation; I prefer designing interactive systems, which does not differentiate the user interface as a special entity. Although I am taking a system-wide view, there is only minimal treatment of the technology, system architecture, or history of either multimedia or VR in the following chapters. History can be finessed for interactive technology, which, apart from Ivan Sutherland's pioneering work (Sutherland, 1963), is less than 10 years old. Sutherland invented many of the elements of what we now call virtual reality, including 3D immersive graphics projected from head-mounted displays. There are plenty of books that cover these topics, and I do not intend to duplicate their coverage. Furthermore, the pace of technical change is accelerating so I don't think there is much point in describing the merits of devices that may have become obsolete by the time you read this book.

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