Comparing Desktop Virtual Reality with handmade sketches and real products – exploring key aspects for end-users’ understanding of proposed products
by Mikael Söderman
J. of Design Research (JDR), Vol. 2, No. 1, 2002

Abstract: The identification and implementation of user requirements are significant issues in product development. For these purposes potential end-users are often invited to evaluate product concepts by different types of product representations, e.g. sketches, mock-ups and computer-based visualisations. However, little is known how they can affect the understanding of the product concept. This study aimed at exploring whether desktop-VR made a difference to end-users? understanding of products compared to sketches and real products. The results indicated that there were generally small differences in the end-users? understanding between the sketches and the desktop-VR. Key aspects such as scale and interaction seemed important to enhanced understanding. Additional factors to understanding of product concepts were the end-users? prior product knowledge, which seemed to have compensated lack of information in the product representations, and prior product representation knowledge. The end-users? limited product representation knowledge appeared to shift the focus from the product to the representation of the product, which call for consideration when choosing product representations in product concept evaluations.

Online publication date: Wed, 10-Aug-2005

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