Designing Explicit Numeric Input Interfaces for Immersive Virtual Environments
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.