Designing (for) experiences in photorealistic VR environments

Fiona Carroll

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This paper investigates the role of aesthetics in the design of “intended” experiences in photorealistic virtual reality (VR) environments. It is motivated by the very notion that the aesthetic potential of photorealistic VR content is, and continues to be, underestimated whilst the emphasis on the development of newer and more efficient visualisation technologies to create new and exciting VR experiences increases. Challenging this, the paper looks beyond the technological (and the more traditional human computer interaction approaches that have primarily focused on the performance and efficiency issues of the technology) in order to explore more human values and the experiential side of VR. It focuses on the design of an “engaged interaction” and in doing so, implements a comparative study to explore how the strategic patterning of the aesthetic elements (particularly colour) within a photorealistic VR environment can allow for the design of a certain experience. In conclusion, the paper demonstrates that aesthetics and the “engaged interaction” can play an important role in getting to the heart of the photorealistic VR “user” experience. It highlights how we might design for (i.e. suggest, coax and guide) an “intended” VR experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181 - 194
Number of pages13
JournalNew Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • experience design
  • vr environments
  • design
  • user experience
  • virtual reality
  • engaged interaction
  • strategic patterning aesthetic
  • human computer interaction (hci)


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