Comparison Between Virtual Reality and Physical Flight Simulators for Cockpit Familiarization
2021, Auer, Stefan, Gerken, Jens, Reiterer, Harald, Jetter, Hans-Christian
Airlines and flying schools use high-end physical flight simulators (PFS) to reduce costs and risks of pilot training. However, such PFS with full-scale cockpits have very high acquisition and operation costs. In contrast, recent consumer-grade and off-the-shelf soft- and hardware can be used to create increasingly realistic virtual reality flight simulators (VRFS) that could potentially serve as cost-efficient and flexible alternatives. We present a user study with 11 participants to determine whether consumer-grade VRFS can supplement or even replace a PFS during cockpit familiarization training (CFT). We compared a full-scale Boeing 737-800NG PFS with a VRFS based on off-the-shelf flight simulator software combined with a consumer-grade head-mounted display and either finger tracking or a handheld controller as input device. Participants performed instrument reading tasks and check procedures from the aircraft’s operating manual. We did not observe statistically significant differences in successful instrument reading tasks, error rates and task completion between PFS and VRFS during CFT. However, we found that VRFS’ Mental Demand, Physical Demand, Effort, task completion times, and levels of simulator sickness were significantly higher and exceeded acceptable levels. We conclude that future consumer-grade VRFS will need to improve soft- and hard- ware for interacting with simulated switches and reduce simulator sickness before they can serve as PFS alternatives for CFT.
The concept maps method as a tool to evaluate the usability of APIs
2011, Gerken, Jens, Jetter, Hans-Christian, Zöllner, Michael, Mader, Martin, Reiterer, Harald
Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the interfaces to existing code structures, such as widgets, frameworks, or toolkits. Therefore, they very much do have an impact on the quality of the resulting system. So, ensuring that developers can make the most out of them is an important challenge. However standard usability evaluation methods as known from HCI have limitations in grasping the interaction between developer and API as most IDEs (essentially the GUI) capture only part of it. In this paper we present the Concept Map method to study the usability of an API over time. This allows us to elicit the mental model of a programmer when using an API and thereby identify usability issues and learning barriers and their development over time.
Pocket Bee : a multi-modal diary for field research
2010, Gerken, Jens, Dierdorf, Stefan, Schmid, Patric, Sautner, Alexandra, Reiterer, Harald
In this paper we present Pocket Bee, a multi-modal diary tool that allows researchers to remotely collect rich and in-depth data in the field. Based on the Android smart phone platform, we especially focused on an easy to use user interface. We introduce the notion of core questions that serve as cognitive triggers for pre-defined events. Multiple modalities allow participants to compose notes in the most appropriate and convenient way. Instant network synchronization allows researchers to view and analyze the data on-the-fly while also being able to create new tasks or questionnaires during an ongoing study. These can also be linked to certain trigger events, such as time and date. Thereby, Pocket Bee supports diary and Experience Sampling (ESM) studies. The system was developed in a user-centered design process and its potential value is described in a scenario of use illustrating an upcoming study.
Does (Multi-)Touch Aid Users’ Spatial Memory and Navigation in ‘Panning’ and in ‘Zooming & Panning’ UIs?
2012, Jetter, Hans-Christian, Leifert, Svenja, Gerken, Jens, Schubert, Sören, Reiterer, Harald
Recent findings from Embodied Cognition reveal strong effects of arm and hand movement on spatial memory. This suggests that input devices may have a far greater influence on users’ cognition and users’ ability to master a system than we typically believe – especially for spatial panning or zooming & panning user interfaces. We conducted two experiments to observe whether multi-touch instead of mouse input improves users’ spatial memory and navigation performance for such UIs. We observed increased performances for panning UIs but not for zooming & panning UIs. We present our results, provide initial explanations and discuss opportunities and pitfalls for interaction designers.
Hidden details of negotiation : the mechanics of reality-based collaboration in information seeking
2011, Heilig, Mathias, Huber, Stephan, Gerken, Jens, Demarmels, Mischa, Allmendinger, Katrin, Reiterer, Harald
Social activities such as collaborative work and group negotiation can be an essential part of information seeking processes. However, they are not sufficiently supported by today’s information systems as they focus on individual users working with PCs. Reality-based UIs with their increased emphasis on social, tangible, and surface computing have the potential to tackle this problem. By blending characteristics of real-world interaction and social qualities with the advantages of virtual computer systems, they inherently change the possibilities for collaboration, but until now this phenomenon has not been explored sufficiently. Therefore, this paper presents an experimental user study that aims at clarifying the impact such reality-based UIs and its characteristics have on collaborative information seeking processes. Two different UIs have been developed for the purpose of this study. One is based on an interactive multi-touch tabletop in combination with on-screen tangibles, therefore qualifying as a reality-based UI, while the other interface uses three synchronized PCs each controlled by keyboard and mouse. A comparative user study with 75 participants in groups of three was carried out to observe fundamental information seeking tasks for co-located collaboration. The study shows essential differences of emerging group behavior, especially in terms of role perception and seeking strategies depending on the two different UIs.
Can "Touch" get annoying?
2010, Gerken, Jens, Jetter, Hans-Christian, Schmidt, Toni, Reiterer, Harald
While touch interaction with tabletops is now widely accepted as a very natural and intuitive form of input, only little research has been carried out to understand whether and how it might interfere with our natural ways of gestural communication. This poster presents a study that aims at understanding the importance of touching physical and virtual artifacts during discussion or collaboration around a table. Furthermore, it focuses on how users compensate for conflicts between non-interactivity and interactivity created by unintended touch interaction when using a multi-touch enabled tabletop. In our study, we asked participants to explain illustrations of technical or physical mechanisms, such as the workings of an airplane wing. We observed whether and how they used gestures to do so on a touch sensitive Microsoft Surface tabletop and on a sheet of paper. Our results suggest that touching is an essential part of such an activity and that the compensation strategies people adapt to avoid conflicts may reduce precision of communication and increase the physical strain on the user.
Materializing the query with facet-streams : A hybrid surface for collaborative search on tabletops
2011, Jetter, Hans-Christian, Gerken, Jens, Zöllner, Michael, Reiterer, Harald, Milic-Frayling, Natasa
We introduce "Facet-Streams", a hybrid interactive surface for co-located collaborative product search on a tabletop. Facet-Streams combines techniques of information visualization with tangible and multi-touch interaction to materialize collaborative search on a tabletop. It harnesses the expressive power of facets and Boolean logic without exposing users to complex formal notations. Two user studies reveal how Facet-Streams unifies visual and tangible expressivity with implicity in interaction, supports different strategies and collaboration styles, and turns product search into a fun and social experience.