Designing in virtual reality: a comparison of problem-solving styles between desktop and VR environments

Yan Jin, Sangwon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


With recent breakthroughs in VR devices, new potential of CAD as a design tool is anticipated. Based on the influence of design tools in ideation, we compared the problem-solving styles of WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer) and VRE (Virtual Reality Environment) for an apartment flat design task. Function-Behaviour-Structure ontology analysis revealed that WIMP was problem-driven with clear divisions between problem analysis and solution building, while VRE was predominantly solution-driven with frequent modifications of solutions. Such procedural characteristics led to uneven outcomes wherein spatial efficiency was better in WIMP while arrangement was more diversified in VRE. When the key factor was high manipulability of user interface in VRE, the result suggests that higher usability does not always produce desired outcomes. Time for problem analysis and a match between the tool and given problem must be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-126
Number of pages20
JournalDigital Creativity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 3

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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