Graduate Research Thesis

Evaluating the impact of display medium (Virtual Reality Headset vs. Screen Display) on perceived user experience and aesthetic value within virtual hotel environments.

This research study was completed as part of my Masters of Science in Human Factors Ergonomics at Cornell University. In this study participant’s rate perceived aesthetic value, spatial presence, and affective reactions (i.e. emotions) after touring two virtual hotel environments, one on a VR headset, and a second on a 65” 4K Ultra HD (UHD) screen display.

research_diagram
IV_Display
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Process_UX
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DV_AestheticValue

Independent Variable- Display Medium

HTC Vive- VR Headset

HTC_Vive

LG 4K UHD - Screen Display

Screen_Display

Virtual Hotel Environments

Luxury Room

Luxury_hotel

Economy Room

Economy_hotel

Dependent Variables + Data Analysis

Hypothesis 1: A virtual environment viewed on a VR headset will provide a higher sense of spatial presence and emotions compared to the same virtual environment viewed on a screen display.

Hypothesis 2: A virtual environment viewed on a VR headset will provide superior perceived aesthetic value compared to the same virtual environment viewed on a screen display.

Hypothesis 3: Process variables, spatial presence, and affective reactions, will also have an impact on perceived aesthetic value.

User Experience-  Emotions

Emotions_Chart1 Emotions_Chart2

The impact of display medium was analyzed for all process and outcome variables using a paired t-test. Emotions were measured using an adapted version of the Semantic Differential and Self-Assessment Manikin. VR had a positive influence on emotions, validating hyothesis 1.

User Experience- Spatial Presence

UX_Chart

VR had a positive influence on spatial presence, validating hyothesis 1. Spatial presence was measured using an adapted version of the MEC-Spatial Presence Questionnaire, which includes three main sub-scales including process, action, and user variables.

Percieved Aesthetic Value

AestheticValue_Chart1

VR had a positive impact of percieved aesthetic value, validating hypothesis 3. An expanded version of the visual properties questionnaire was used to measure aesthetic value, and includes 10 different sub-scales ranging from complexity to materiality.

Mediation Effects of Spatial Presence on Percieved Aethetic Value

AV_vs_SP_Chart

In this model, spatial presence and pleasure had a significant impact on aesthetic value, validating hypothesis 3. This suggests that user experience (spatial presence and emotions) and display medium all had an impact on percieved aesthetic value. This is critical to understand when developing new applications for virtual reality.

Other ProjectsThesis Paper PDF