For performing a product evaluation with VICON, the designer specifies a virtual user, an environment and a task. The user can do that by selecting appropriate items from a list. Depending on the task and constitution of the product design the user may further be asked to select one component. After this initial input has been provided, VICON is able to run the performance analysis for the given product. In the evaluation phase a product model, a human model and an environment model are loaded into the scene regarding the results of the sketch and design phase. During a task simulation the system detects usability issues and provides feedback in form of a visual report where necessary. This feedback is saved and incorporated, for usage in further design iterations.
For the evaluation of visual impairments, the view into a virtual scene is realized as a first-person perspective. The designer has the possibility to see the user interface of a product through the eyes of the simulated user who interacts with that product. Through a menu it is possible to setup the visual impairment type applied to the virtual user. This results in a visual effect which is directly applied to the view giving an impression of the problem the beneficiary encounters when interacting with the product. The figures below show different types of visual impairment applied for a mobile phone and for a washing machine.
The simulation of hearing impairments is based on considerations of several aspects during task execution. The following items provide examples of considerable factors:
- Type and strength of the hearing impairment
- Sound type and volume emitted by the product
- Sound absorption due to the path of the sound to the ear of the user
- Environmental acoustic noise
The different aspects are considered during a simulation to calculate the success of a task based on the recognition of a product sound. The parameters and formulas used for the analysis need to be evaluated independently to ensure feasible results.
Manual Dexterity Impairments
For the simulation and analysis of tasks considering dexterity impairments VICON uses the Jack Toolkit by Siemens in order to simulate and analyse the different aspects of the virtual user. For simulating the posture of the user, and the applied forces to calculate performance results for individual tasks, a complimentary C++ library was used. The Jack toolkit provides anthropometric human models based on the statistical data of healthy working population and a Task Simulation Builder (TSB) component, which is able to calculate a target human posture from given postures of both hands. The figure below shows a simulation example with the JACK Human model.
VICON papers1, 2, 3 and books4, 5 published during the Project runtime were:
For further information please see the Dissemination page (1.6, 1.9, 1.10, 2.1, 2.2) or access the papers directly:
1 Dissemination 1.6 http://ceur-ws.org/[…]
2 Dissemination 1.9 http://link.springer.com/[…]
3 Dissemination 1.10 http://link.springer.com/[…]
4 Dissemination 2.1 http://www.intechopen.com/[…]
5 Dissemination 2.2 http://link.springer.com/[…]