The software campus project ViRUX - Virtual Reality to Improve the User Experience in the Exploration of Process Models through Haptic Feedback investigated how virtual reality (VR) in combination with haptic feedback can lead to an improved user experience (UX) when viewing abstract data sets. The project dealt with event-driven process chains (EPC), i.e. abstract data structures which represent time-logical sequences (e.g. business processes). These digital process models are typically visualized as 2D graphs and only address the visual perception of the viewer.
The aim of ViRUX was to integrate further senses of the user, in particular auditory and haptic perception, into the user experience in order to turn the exploration of process models into an enjoyable, interactive, immersive and memorable virtual experience. For this purpose, a novel VR interface was developed in the project for viewing EPC process models. The resulting system automatically converts 2D process models for immersive data visualization into virtual 3D environments, which can be explored in VR using various locomotion techniques and interactively explored through haptic interactions. Gamification allows the user to explore the process in a logical order to understand dependencies and decisions in the process. Thanks to two different types of haptic feedback, the user becomes an actor in the process, interacting with functions and logical connectors to control the flow of information in the process. In a user study it was shown that although learning a process with traditional 2D visualizations takes less time than with VR, the interest of users in exploring multisensory virtual reality is significantly higher.
- Scheer Holding