Display Techniques in Information-Rich Virtual Environments


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Virginia Tech


Across domains, researchers, engineers, and designers are faced with large volumes of data that are heterogeneous in nature - including spatial, abstract, and temporal information. There are numerous design and technical challenges when considering the unification, management, and presentation of these information types. Most research and applications have focused on display techniques for each of the information types individually, but much less in known about how to represent the relationships between information types. This research explores the perceptual and usability impacts of data representations and layout algorithms for the next-generation of integrated information spaces.

We propose Information-Rich Virtual Environments (IRVEs) as a solution to challenges of integrated information spaces. In this presentation, we will demonstrate the application requirements and foundational technology of IRVEs and articulate crucial tradeoffs in IRVE information design. We will present a design space and evaluation methodology to explore the usability effects of these tradeoffs. Experimental results will be presented for a series of empirical usability evaluations that increase our understanding of how these tradeoffs can be resolved to improve user performance. Finally, we interpret the results though the models of Information Theory and Human Information Processing to derive new conclusions regarding the role of perceptual cues in determining user performance in IRVEs. These lessons are posed as a set of design guidelines to aid developers of new IRVE interfaces and specifications.



Virtual Environments, Information Visualization, Visual Design