Is virtual reality so user-friendly for non-designers in early design activities? Comparing skills needed to traditional sketching versus virtual reality sketching
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Virtual reality (VR) sketching has many advantages for product design and tends to be more and more used among designers and non-designers (end-users). Nevertheless, few studies have focused on the skills needed to use VR sketching for non-designers especially VR novices in VR software. This study focuses on identifying the cognitive impact of VR sketching compared to traditional sketching on VR expert and VR novice in an experimental setting. Thirty-one participants composed of VR experts (N = 15) and VR novices (N = 16) completed a mental rotation test and then performed one traditional paper and pencil sketching task and two VR sketching tasks. We also measured the participants’ movements when using the VR sketching. Results show that VR experts perform better than VR novices in VR sketching because training is an essential element for the quality of traditional and VR sketching. Nevertheless, VR novices with previous training in traditional drawing and/or high mental rotation skills will be able to produce good-quality sketches. In addition, the results show that users moving more in the immersive environment performed better quality sketches if the drawing requires more complex shapes. Our results suggest that VR sketching can be complex to use for a part of the population that may be end-users, especially for those with little experience in traditional and VR sketching and with poor visuospatial abilities. We, therefore, advise to check the non-designers’ prior skills, otherwise, it will be necessary to train these users in VR sketching.
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