3D User Interfaces: Theory and Practice

Chapter 1: Introduction to 3D User Interfaces

On desktop computers, good user interface (UI) design is now almost universally recognized as a crucial part of the software and hardware development process. Almost every computing-related product touts itself as "easy to use," "intuitive," or "designed with your needs in mind." For the most part, however, desktop user interfaces have used the same basic principles and designs for the past decade or more. With the advent of virtual environments (VEs), augmented reality, ubiquitous computing, and other "off-the-desktop" technologies, three-dimensional (3D) UI design is now becoming a critical area for developers, students, and researchers to understand. In this chapter, we answer the question, What are 3D user interfaces? and provide an introduction to terminology that is used throughout the book. We describe the goals of 3D UI design and briefly look at some application areas for 3D user interfaces. Keeping these applications in mind as you progress through the book will help provide a concrete reference point for some of the more abstract concepts we discuss.

1.1. What Are 3D User Interfaces?

1.2. Why 3D User Interfaces?

1.3. Terminology

1.4. Application Areas

1.5. Conclusion


Devoted to the design and evaluation of three-dimensional user interfaces