Dr Joseph L Gabbard, Virginia Tech

A Perspective on Emerging AR User Interface Trends:  Biases and Opportunities that will Shape the Next Generation of User Experiences

The keynote speaker for PERCxR 2022 will be Dr. Joseph L. Gabbard, an Associate Professor of Human Factors at Virginia Tech.  He holds Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. degrees in Computer Science (HCI) and a B.A. in Sociology from Virginia Tech.  Dr. Gabbard’s work centers on human-computer interaction in augmented and virtual reality.  For nearly 25 years, Gabbard has been researching new methods of design and evaluation for interactive virtual and augmented reality systems.  Currently, Dr. Gabbard directs the COGnitive Engineering for Novel Technologies (COGENT) Lab, conducting basic and applied HCI and human factors research.  His work focuses on the application of principles and theories from several disciplines to the design of augmented reality user interfaces, information presentation and user interaction. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Microsoft, Facebook/Meta, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, and several automotive manufacturers.

As we see augmented reality (AR) applications move from research labs to commercial applications, the need for usable AR-based systems has become more and more evident. Despite the fact that AR technology fundamentally changes the way we visualize, use, and interact with computer-based information, only a modest amount of human-computer interaction (HCI) work has been done to specifically develop new approaches to user interface (UI) design. Encouragingly, traditional HCI methods can be applied to determine what information should be presented to users. However, these approaches do not tell us, and what has to date has not been adequately explored, is how information should be presented to the user and the impacts of interface design on user performance and behavior. In this talk, I discuss how “new” UI designs have traditionally been anchored to past experiences yet sometimes also encouragingly propelled forward by new technological advances; and juxtapose these examples against nascent design opportunities afforded by AR technologies.  I conclude with by describing what I see as the next generation of AR UI design paradigms and a charge to the PERCxR community to inform and shape the creation of emerging AR UI design guidelines through research in perception and cognition.