Usability Engineering Lab Center for Human-Computer Interaction Virginia Tech


Joseph L. Gabbard, M.S.

jgabbard [AT]


Background and History


·       Human-computer interaction project begun at Virginia Tech in 1979, with $1.3 million in funding from Office of Naval Research

·       Since then, more than $10 million in funding (ONR, NRL, NSF, numerous corporations)

·       Major goal of Virginia Tech usability engineering research and development activities over the years:

To produce cost-effective, efficient methods for ensuring usability of emerging and novel interactive systems


Current Research and Funding Sources


·       Design and evaluation of Bioninformatics, Military and other interactive systems to:

·       Ensure usability of the user interface

·       Develop and verify a cost-effective, systematic approach to usability engineering research from a user’s perspective

·       Identify general principles and most important parameters of usability engineering

·       Identify effective, efficient techniques for usability engineering


·       Current funding sources and collaborators include:

·       Naval Research Laboratory

·       Office of Naval Research

·       Concurrent Technologies Corp.

·       National Institutes of Health




·       A complete list of online publications can be found here.


Impact of Our Work


·       Seminal usability engineering methodology, especially for user-based usability evaluation activities


Deborah Hix, Joseph L. Gabbard, J. Edward Swan II, Mark A. Livingston, Tobias H. Höllerer, Simon J. Julier, Yohan Baillot, Dennis Brown, "A Cost-Effective Usability Evaluation Progression for Novel Interactive Systems”, In Proceedings of Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences, January 5-8, 2004, Big Island, Hawaii.


J. Edward Swan II, Joseph L. Gabbard, Deborah Hix, Robert S. Schulman, Keun Pyo Kim "A Comparative Study of User Performance in a Map-Based Virtual Environment", Proceedings IEEE Virtual Reality 2003, March 22-26, Los Angeles, CA: IEEE Computer Society Press, 2003, pages 259-266. (Note: Only 28% (29 of 103) of submissions to this conference were accepted.)


Mark A. Livingston, J. Edward Swan II, Joseph L. Gabbard, Tobias H. Höllerer, Deborah Hix, Simon J. Julier, Yohan Baillot, Dennis Brown, "Resolving Multiple Occluded Layers in Augmented Reality", (to appear in) The 2nd International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, October 7-10, 2003, Tokyo, Japan. (Note: Only 33% (25 of 75) of submissions to this conference were accepted.)


Doug Bowman, Joseph L. Gabbard, Deborah Hix, "A Survey of Usability Evaluation in Virtual Environments: Classification and Comparison of Methods". Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, vol. 11, no. 4, 2002, pp. 404-424.