Diegetic tool management in a virtual reality training simulation

Patrick Dickinson*, Andrew Cardwell, Adrian Parke, Kathrin Gerling, John Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Researchers and developers have suggested that the use of diegetic interfaces can enhance users’ sense of presence and immersion in virtual reality (VR) applications. While concepts of diegetic interfaces in VR are analogous to those seen on 2D displays, little work has considered how they might integrate with the movement-based controllers commonly used in consumer VR systems, to create higher fidelity interactions. In this paper we present a study (N = 58) in which we compare participants’ experiences of diegetic and non-diegetic tool management interfaces, in a prototype VR crime scene investigation (CSI) training application. Contrary to expectations, we do not find evidence that participants’ sense of presence is elevated when using the diegetic interface; however, we suggest that this may be due to reported higher levels of perceived workload, which can act to degrade user experience and engagement. We conclude by discussing the relationship between diegetic interface design and interaction fidelity, and highlighting trade-offs between fidelity, engagement, and learning outcomes in VR training applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2021
EventIEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2021: Make Virtual Reality Diverse and Accessible - Online
Duration: 27 Mar 20212 Apr 2021


ConferenceIEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleIEEE VR 2021
Internet address


  • human-centered computing
  • human computer interaction (HCI)
  • interaction paradigms
  • virtual reality; human-centered computing
  • interaction design
  • interaction design process and methods
  • user interface designs; human-centered computing
  • HCI design and evaluation methods
  • user studies


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