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dc.contributor.authorGabbard, Joseph L.en_US
dc.description.abstractDespite intense and wide-spread research in both virtual environments (VEs) and usability, the exciting new technology of VEs has not yet been closely coupled with the important characteristic of usability --- a necessary coupling if VEs are to reach their full potential. Although numerous methods exist for usability evaluation of interactive computer applications, these methods have well-known limitations, especially for evaluating VEs. Thus, there is a great need to develop usability evaluation methods and criteria specifically for VEs. Our goal is to increase awareness of the need for usability engineering of VEs and to lay a scientific foundation for developing high-impact methods for usability engineering of VEs.

The first step in our multi-year research plan has been accomplished, yielding a comprehensive multi-dimensional taxonomy of usability characteristics specifically for VEs. This taxonomy was developed by collecting and synthesizing information from literature, conferences, World Wide Web (WWW) searches, investigative research visits to top VE facilities, and interviews of VE researchers and developers.

The taxonomy consists of four main areas of usability issues: Users and User Tasks in VEs, The Virtual Model, VE User Interface Input Mechanisms, and VE User Interface Presentation Components. Each of these issues is progressively disclosed and presented at various levels of detail, including specific usability suggestions and context-driven discussion that include a number of references. The taxonomy is a thorough classification, enumeration, and discussion of usability issues in VEs that can be used by VE researchers and developers for usability assessment or simply design.

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dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the right to archive and to make available my thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.en_US
dc.subjectVirtual Realityen_US
dc.subjectVirtual Environmentsen_US
dc.subjectUser Interface Process Improvementen_US
dc.titleA Taxonomy of Usability Characteristics in Virtual Environmentsen_US
dc.contributor.departmentComputer Science and Applicationsen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US of Scienceen_US Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US Science and Applicationsen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairHix, Deborah S.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHenry, Sallie M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHartson, H. Rexen_US

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