Master thesis on Software development for collaborative design reviews in Virtual Reality

Jonas Trezl will start to conduct his master thesis at the Human-Machine Interaction Lab. On the following lines you will see his motivation aim and work plan. For further information contact Max Bernhagen.

 

The increasing competition in the field of new product development is a major challenge for all companies. This development is accelerated by consumer behavior, new competitors and the use of new approaches in product development. In order to pass the requirements of the international sales market, the complex process of innovative product development must be as efficient and time-saving as possible and consider the user requirements. The user requirements are derived from the life cycle of a product, and include technical function, reliability, durability, ecology, design and ergonomics. A continuous improvement of these factors is decisive of a successful market launch of a new product.

Virtual prototyping has established itself as an integral part of computer-assisted product development processes, also known as Computer-Aided x (CAx), to ensure user requirements and to avoid future cost-intensive changes. Typical fields of application for virtual prototyping include simulations of the technical product services, evaluations of product concepts in the form of design reviews, visibility and operating analyzes, ergonomic and assembly tests. Virtual prototyping is based on the use of digital models, which represent real objects and serve as the foundation for the interdisciplinary product development process and especially for the evaluation of product design concepts. In contrast to the real prototypes, the digital models can be exchanged, edited, and partially distributed via networks within or between companies via internet-based communication in real-time. Globally operating corporations increasingly rely on virtual prototyping to realize the use of global and local data as well as the communication between regionally separated departments. This flexibility supports the interdisciplinarity and the collaboration capability of the product development process. Through the participation of developers, engineers, reparators or usability experts in virtual prototyping, the communicated expertise and the interaction with the virtual prototype as well as with other participants can provide information about necessary corrections of the real product design. Technologies from the field of virtual reality (VR) serve, among other things, as a visualization tool and enable the three-dimensional representation as well as the interaction possibilities of the virtual prototypes.

This work outlines a software for collaborative design reviews within a virtual environment. The software supports virtual model evaluation, communication of the participants and documentation of the research results to find possibilities for improvement of the product design through a collaborative work process. DIN EN ISO 9241 part 11 is the guideline for the iterative software development. The participation of future software users in the usability context analysis is implemented by a moderated workshop with experts from the fields of ergonomics and usability engineering. The design of the user interface is based on the design criteria of the DIN EN ISO 9241 part 110 relating to dialogue design. Finally, the three usability aspects effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction according to DIN EN ISO 9241 part 11 of the developed VR-software will be evaluated and the results of the work summarized.

 

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