Improving User Experience and Usability for Data Visualization in Virtual Reality
The aim of the proposed project is to investigate how to transfer traditional 2-D representations of data into the richer 3D virtual reality (VR). Specifically, a focus of the proposed project is on how data can be presented in a virtual environment in an intuitive way to maximize User Experience and Usability. In a second step it will be analysed how the richer spatial environment can be fully utilized helping the user and companies to fully take advantage of their data.
Talking about data representation in virtual reality is a challenge, as end users who are working in industry everyday with lots of data feel in the comfort zone while sitting in front of their screen and 2D graphic representations. End user will not willingly change if there is no beneficial information in a new system or if the system itself makes the user uncomfortable. That is why it is important to address questions about user experience and usability of representing data in VR. Aim of this project is to find out why, where and how it is best to display data in VR.
The way data is presented has evolved from simple pie charts and bar graphs to sophisticated interactive visualizations drawing on real-time data sets. For a lot of things, 2D representations on screens is still the best solution. But VR offers a lot of advantages over existing data visualization solutions, especially when dealing with really high dimensional data. It is difficult to keep track of all information with a high amount of 2D screen based graphics and it becomes a challenge to track them on multiple screens at once. In VR more intuitive ways could be used to process information, that a 2D screen can’t offer. Therefor the following research question arises: Can data visualization represented in virtual world add additional value and therefore be better than in 2D?