Synthetic Environments as visualization method for product design

F. Meijer, Egon van den Broek, Theo E. Schouten, Roy Gerhardus Johannes Damgrave, Roy G.J. Damgrave, Huib de Ridder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we explored the use of low fidelity Synthetic Environments (SE; i.e., a combination of simulation techniques) for product design. We explored the usefulness of low fidelity SE to make design problems explicit. In particular, we were interested in the influence of interactivity on user experience. For this purpose, an industrial design case was taken: the innovation of an airplane galley. A virtual airplane was created in which an interactive model of the galley was placed. First, three groups of participants explored the SE in different conditions: Participants explored the SE interactively (Interactive condition), watched a recording (Passive Dynamic condition), or watched static images (Passive Static condition). Afterwards, participants were tested in a questionnaire on how accurately they had memorized the spatial layout of the SE. The results revealed that interactive SE does not necessarily provoke participants to memorize spatial layouts more accurately. However, the effect of interactive learning is dependent on the participants’ Visual Spatial Ability (VSA). Consequently, this finding supports use of interactive exploration of prototypes through low fidelity SE for the product design cycle when taking the individual’s characteristics into account.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XV
EditorsBernice E. Rogowitz, Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780819479204
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2010
EventHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XV: Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XV - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: 21 Jan 201021 Jan 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE-IS&T Electronic Imaging
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XV
Other18-21 Jan 2010


  • Product design
  • Interactive learning
  • HMI-HF: Human Factors
  • virtual environments
  • Visual spatial abilities (VSA)
  • HMI-VRG: Virtual Reality and Graphics


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