Aesthetics and perceived usability of VLEs: preliminary results (Artigo Técnico Resumido)

Interacting Through Spatially Aware Displays

R. Parizotto-RibeiroN. HammondJ. MansanoC. Cziulik

Gustavo M. MachadoMarcelo H. MattosEduardo M. MesquitaAnderson MacielLuciana P. NedelCarla M. D. S. Freitas

This article presents the preliminary results of research on Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), focusing on their aesthetic aspects, with emphasis on five design principles and the perceived usability of their graphical interfaces. The study is based on experiments performed by [2] and [5] on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). These authors found a high correlation between aesthetics and perceived usability. The present work aims to ascertain whether this correlation also applies to different types of computer interfaces such as VLEs. Firstly, the influence of five design principles, based on [1] and [3], on screen layout design was evaluated. Next, a correlation between ratings of aesthetics and of perceived usability of a VLE computer interface was calculated using those principles on three different sets of layout screens. In many real life situations, people work togetherusing their own computers. Such situations alwaysinvolve exchanging digital objects. It is then anatural idea to enlarge the view of individualvirtual spaces so that people may exchangeobjects in such workspace taking advantage of thecollaborators' physical proximity. In this work wepropose a means to allow people's collaborationthrough the interaction with objects in a commonvirtual workspace. We developed such approachas an application based on tablet pcs usingtheir several embodied resources. The concepts ofdynamic multiple displays and real world positiontracking were used, and a multiplayer gamewas implemented to demonstrate how users canexchange information through intercommunicatingtablets. Conclusions are drawn regarding theimpact of the new paradigm of extended multi-userworkspaces.

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