Sea-sickness (was RE: XGL Linux Desktop GUI)

19 Sep 2006 - 6:41am
917 reads
Dave Malouf

> Most of our usability metrics (laws, etc) are based on the
> constraints of 2D, what are the 3D analogues? Why are some users
> totally intimidated by 3D representations? Why do some 3D
> simulations
> make some people feel seasick?

I think about this topic often, and to me it is b/c the I/O devices we have
available to us were not intended to work in 3D environment and the "hacks"
we have created to make them work, are not as approachable as they should

As for seasick ... The inner ear is doing its job.
If my monitor takes up my field of vision, there is nothing to tell my
visual brain that I myself am not in motion when using Google Earth. My
visual brain is in motion, but my inner ear feels no gravitational or
inertial pulls. The two areas that tell the body there is motion are out of
sync. This happens on an airplane the opposite way where your vision tells
you that you are stationary and your inner ear knows you are in motion.
Simple bio-mechanics.

The examples here using XGL on KDE to me are not 3D environments, but
rather, using 3D objects as a means of richening an experience. You can
easily get the same effect well with multiple desktops represented on tabs.
It won't look as cool and you won't have those in between states, but the
same use pattern would be achieved.

Regarding "eye-candy" ... It does help sell, for a reason. Ushering back to
Don Norman's book, "Emotional Design", eye-candy is part of the visceral
experience. It engages our pleasure centers and so long as the candy is not
too "tart" or "sweet" it can be sustained through regular use. That is as
long as the features don't get in the way of real use, it is fine.

--- dave

-- dave

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