Designing Explicit Numeric Input Interfaces for Immersive Virtual Environments

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Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

User interfaces involving explicit control of numeric values in immersive virtual environments have not been well studied. In the context of designing three-dimensional interaction techniques for the creation of multiple objects, called cloning, we have developed and tested a dynamic slider interface (D-Slider) and a virtual numeric keypad (VKey). Our cloning interface requires precise number input because it allows users to place objects at any location in the environment with a precision of 1/10 unit. The design of the interface focuses on feedback, constraints, and expressiveness. Comparative usability studies have shown that the newly designed user interfaces were easy to use, effective, and had a good quality of interaction. We describe a working prototype of our cloning interface, the iterative design process for D-Slider and V-Key, and lessons learned. Our interfaces can be re-used for any virtual environment interaction tasks requiring explicit numeric input.

Virtual environments