DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Berni, Aurora; Nezzi, Chiara; Piazzolla, Nadia; Borgianni, Yuri
Series: ICED
Institution: Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3821-3830
DOI number:


Product development stages are typically characterized by different forms of representations and degrees of specification, which potentially affect user’s perception and evaluation. These effects are worth investigating more closely also because of the growing relevance of new technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) in the design field. The objective of this paper is to elucidate the mutual relations between forms of representation, visual behaviour, and people's evaluations. The focus is on differences between virtual and physical prototypes. In the illustrated experiment, participants visited a tiny house in an immersive VR (360° images acquisition). The results were compared with a past experiment where the physical prototype of the same product was similarly evaluated. The dwell times on Areas of Interest (AOIs) pertaining to the tiny house were compared and correlated to variables concerning subjective evaluations. The results show just a few similarities of visual exploration in terms of gazed AOIs. Substantial differences in terms of how the duration of gazing affects evaluations have been found too. The larger number of significant correlations between observations and evaluations in the virtual exploration emerged.

Keywords: Representation form, Virtual reality, Prototype, Evaluation, Case study

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