Thursday Research Bulletin 6.9.2015

Browser bunnies – and the only question that remains is, ‘why’?”

About this week

This week’s been about finishing some conference paper submissions and getting close to the end of transcribing interviews from my recent data collection.

If time for it, I recommend transcribing interviews yourself. This is the second study where I’m doing it myself, and it really immerses you into the accounts – if you keep an open mind and focus, which is naturally a difficult endeavour. Writing stuff up on a journal helps to not to get discouraged when you are not finding what your consciousness hoped you would, but also when you do “meet” your preconceptions in the data. For this, I applaud the existence of phenomenological epoche/bracketing. Its constant presence in the same room with you keeps you from jumping in to quick conclusions.


My paper with a title, “You Are Your Avatar Is You: Phenomenological Literature Review of Virtual Embodiment in Virtual Environments” was accepted to the annual Curtin Business School Higher Degree by Research Colloquium. Find the current version of the working paper at ResearchGate. In the near future, I hope to expand it a bit to a journal article. I am mildly satisfied with it, but I feel there’s yet more to grasp in this construct.

Find also a recently published journal article, “Big Data Visualisation in Immersive Virtual Reality Environments: Embodied Phenomenological Perspectives to Interaction“, also on ResearchGate. This is an initial work in this area, and I feel the idea of different modes of interaction in VR visualisation environments should be studied further. Otherwise, why bother with interactive 3D VR for big data visualisation if the process of looking at/interacting with data is similar to 2D media? The in-depth question to be asked: instead of just superficially cool, what are the useful affordances, or are there any?

From the web

This reminds me from my undergrad time as a beginning interaction designer. When all else fails, return to Nielsen:

There’s so many new head mounted display tech and news coming out lately that it’s good to have someone to aggregate that a bit. Here’s one for that:

I’m starting to get ideas for further studies and connecting the following ideas with some Minecraft:

As it says: first I was excited, but then I saw it was directed to US citizens. Oh, too bad. I hope cool stuff will come out of this, as at least the marketing presentations are done well for the Hololens:

Interesting (academic) reading this week

Bernhaupt, Regina, ed. 2015. Game User Experience Evaluation. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Gallagher, Shaun. 2015. “How Embodied Cognition Is Being Disembodied.” The Philosophers’ Magazine, no. 68: 96–102. doi:10.5840/tpm20156819

Goodman, Elizabeth, Mike Kuniavsky, and Andrea Moed. 2012. Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research, 2nd ed. Waltham, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.

Mestre, Daniel R. 2015. “On the Usefulness of the Concept of Presence in Virtual Reality Applications” 9392: 93920J. doi:10.1117/12.2075798


I won’t be coating it.

Image by kevandem (Licence)

I like start-ups. I like, and want to see how people get excited about their innovation, their product, their ‘child’. What I hate to see is them ignoring the realism by force, and asking me to feed or go along with their madness. Here are some of my humble tips to all you there starting a new service or a concept idea. These are just basic, little things, which in the end add up to be big things.

When you are excited about something, you sometimes may have a problem in facing the fact that something is wrong. You won’t probably even confess it to yourself, even if someone else tells you so. And that’s OK. It’s human.

But, you can’t hide from the fact, that in developing a new product or service, in addition to just creating the product, you have to:

  1. Map the market you are going to
  2. Do some amount of research
  3. And above all, you have to test. Ignore this, and you’ll be knee deep in it.

And of course, you’ll have to have the real people for the real jobs, or the road will be bumpy and may even end too soon. Even if you are a da Vinci. He only draw a tank, he didn’t actually manufacture or test a single one – as far as I know.

If you have done these 3 little things I mentioned, and then come to me for help, I’ll be glad to assist.

Ignore even one of these deliberately, and come to me and say ‘I don’t need to do that, could you just do something for this to make it look better?’, I have to say, no. Because it won’t work. I most likely get paid, but your concept’s core won’t get the benefit. Because there probably isn’t any.

Some new coming ways of HCI

When Nintendo published Nintendo Wii and thus the Wiimote, everyone were really excited about its new unique motion detection: It’s fun and in most cases really brings a lot more to gaming. But still, sometimes it is a bit inaccurate and clearly just a small step towards a different way of controlling devices. Still, most likely as the time goes by, people will still remember Wiimote as the first this kind of HCI device made for consumer use.

Well, now there’s a lot more coming. Almost daily you can hear news about new ways of controlling devices or UI’s, and how the technologies are going to be more accurate and versatile than the current ones. When you think of it, did you really believe that the ‘mouse way of controlling’ was going to last forever? After all, in many cases it’s not that good or efficient way.

Motion detection techniques could bring more intuition for example to 3D modeling, and most likely we the gamers wouldn’t be complaining either. It would be interesting to see how these kinds of UI controlling systems could be applied to mobile phones. Touch screens are a step forward, but how about mobile motion detection in UI usage? Probably someday we’ll see.

Here’s a couple of interesting links about this subject. When you look at these videos, you can have a glimpse of the future – technically these are already real functioning concepts – and I have to say, all of a sudden, the Wiimote doesn’t feel that cool and unique anymore.

If you have something to say about the subject or more links to this area, please share them here if you will.