Effects of different methods of sectioning a Virtual Building (63 pages: chapter 1-8)

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Topic Description


People mentally section an environment when navigating a virtual environment. Three different conditions were identified which were believed to effect participants’ ability to section an environment. An experiment was then conducted, which is summarized in the following report. Participants developed spatial knowledge faster when navigating the multi levelled environment and the multi coloured environment than the plain flat environment.
The report reviews some previous research into similar areas and looks into some of the methods used in such experiments. Its goes on to describe the methodology used in the experiment and how some of the key elements in the experiment were implemented. The results of the experiment are given and conclusions drawn. Finally the research is evaluated and suggestions are made as to how it could be developed further.

1 Introduction
1.1 Subject Studied
Most virtual environments and real environments can be split up into a number of sections. People section spaces to help them remember their locations. They allow people to identify the section they are in and how the sections connect with one another. Designers can promote this in a number of ways. In a multi levelled environment people tend to section out the building using floors. For example people will identify where a room is within a building by first giving the floor which it is on.
This research will look at different ways of sectioning an environment and study which of them allow the participant to mentally section the building most efficiently. The three conditions that will be studied are the normal (control), colour and stairs condition. In the normal condition all the sections are the same colour, at the same height and connected via two corridors. In the colour condition each section has differently coloured walls and are at same height connected via two corridors. In the stairs condition all sections are the same colour and at different heights connected via two stairwells.

1.2 Minimum Requirements
Original minimum requirements:
• Design environment layout likely to consist of chessboard arrangement of rooms
• To investigate two hyperlink attributes
• To run three people through the VE (Virtual Environment) finding objects and evaluate what effect the attributes had on their perception of where they were within the VE
• Conclude which attributes give different understanding of position and orientation
Minimum requirements as featured in the mid project report.
• Design environment through which the experiment will take place
• To investigate two different method of sectioning the building (i.e. coloured walls and plain walls)

• To run three people through the VE finding objects and evaluate what effect the attributes had on their perception of where they were within the VE.
• Conclude, which sectioning methods give different understanding of position and orientation
The reason for the change in the minimum requirements is simply because the project switched emphasis at an early stage.

1.3 Report Outline
Review of some of the existing findings and techniques used in this type of research.
Method: The methodology used to conduct the experiment.
Implementation: A brief summary of some of the methods used to create the test environment and some of the problems encountered whilst doing so.
Results: A summary of the results gathered.
Discussion: Any conclusions that can be drawn and interesting findings.
Evaluation: How successful was the experiment?
Follow on Experiments: How this research could be expanded on, or research into similar area.






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