Jos P. Thalen and M. C. van der Voort
This paper addresses the use of VR to facilitate design tasks in the early stages of a product design process. A preliminary exploratory study, involving over thirty interviews amongst four industrial partners, revealed only few occurrences of VR being used in the early stages of design. While the potential benefits of the applications are generally acknowledged, product designers lack the appropriate design tools that allow them to quickly and easily create the application. The research presented in this paper applies user-centred design principles to identify requirements for useful, usable and accessible VR design tools. The primary challenge in gathering such requirements is the lack of experience product designers generally have with VR technologies; product designers can not provide reliable requirements for tools they have never seen or used. We present a sequence of three concrete steps that provide product designers with sufficient information to express tool requirements, without developing extensive prototypes. The three methods have been developed and applied in an industrial case study, as part of a larger research project. The paper outlines this research context, the three methods and the lessons learned from the case study.
Categories and Subject Descriptors (according to ACM CCS): I.3.6 [Computer Graphics]: Methodology and Techniques-ErgonomicsMultimedia: