Publications

Designing Spaces to Support Collaborative Creativity in Shared Virtual Environments (📃pdf)

PeerJ Computer Science

(SCI Indexed)

L Men, N Bryan-Kinns, L Bryce

Shared Virtual Environments (SVEs) have been researched extensively within the fields of education, entertainment, work, and training, yet there has been limited research on the creative and collaborative aspects of interactivity in SVEs. The important role that creativity and collaboration play in human society raises the question of the way that virtual working spaces might be designed to support collaborative creativity in SVEs. In this paper, we outline an SVE named LeMo, which allows two people to collaboratively create a short loop of music together. Then we present a study of LeMo, in which 52 users composed music in pairs using four different virtual working space configurations. Key findings indicated by results include: i) Providing personal space is an effective way to support collaborative creativity in SVEs, ii) personal spaces with a fluid light-weight boundary could provide enough support, worked better and was preferable to ones with rigid boundaries and iii) a configuration that provides a movable personal space was preferred to one that provided no mobility. Following these findings, five corresponding design implications for Shared Virtual Environments focusing on supporting collaborative creativity are given and conclusions are made.

Multi-modal Approaches to Supporting Collaborative Sonic Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments

Invited Springer Nature book chapter under review.

L Men, N Bryan-Kinns

This chapter examines user experience design for collaborative music making in Shared Virtual Environments (SVEs). Whilst SVEs have been extensively researched for many application domains including education, entertainment, work and training, there is limited research on the creative aspects. This results in many unanswered design questions such as how to design the user experience without being detrimental to the creative output, and how to design spatial configurations to support both individual creativity and collaboration. Here, we explore multimodal approaches to supporting creativity in collaborative music making in SVEs. We outline an SVE, LeMo, which allows two people to create music collaboratively. We then present two studies, the first explores how free-form visual 3D annotations instead of spoken communication can support collaborative composition processes and human-human interaction. Five classes of use of annotation were identified in the study, three of which are particularly relevant to the future design of Sonic Interactions in Virtual Environments. The second study used a modified version of LeMo to test the support for creative collaboration of two different auditory configurations. Results indicated that different auditory configurations changed participants’ behaviour and affected their collaboration. Design implications for auditory design of SVEs focusing on supporting creative collaboration are given.

LeMo: Exploring Virtual Space for Collaborative Creativity (📃pdf)

In Proceedings of the ACM 2019 on Creativity and Cognition (pp. 71-82).

Honourable Mention for Best Paper Award

L Men, N Bryan-Kinns

Shared Virtual Environments (SVEs) have been extensively researched for education, entertainment, work, and training, yet there has been limited research on the creative aspects of collaboration in SVEs. This raises questions about how to design virtual working spaces to support collaborative creativity in SVEs. In this paper, we outline an SVE named LeMo, which allows two people to create music collaboratively. Then we present a study of LeMo, in which 42 users composed music together using three different virtual working space configurations. Results indicate that (i) two types of territory and working configurations emerged during collaborative composing (ii) when made available to them, personal working spaces were extensively used, and were considered to be essential to successful collaborative music making and (iii) a publicly visible personal working space was preferable to a publicly invisible one. Based on these findings, three corresponding design implications for Shared Virtual Environments focusing on supporting collaborative creativity are given.

LeMo: Supporting Collaborative Music Making in Virtual Reality (📃pdf)

In 2018 IEEE 4th VR Workshop on Sonic Interactions for Virtual Environments (SIVE) (p. 1-6). doi: 10.1109/SIVE.2018.8577094

L Men, N Bryan-Kinns

Abstract:When engaged in music composition and improvisation, composers who are working together may want to communicate in modalities other than sound since that is the primary medium of the creative activity. This raises questions about the Sonic Interaction Design of Virtual Environments, specifically in terms of how to design user experiences which support collaboration without being detrimental to the product actually being created. In this paper we explore a multimodal approach to supporting creativity in collaborative music making in Virtual Reality. We outline the design and study of our two-person Virtual Reality step sequencer named LeMo, in which people are enabled to communicate via visual representations including free-form 3D annotations instead of spoken communication, leaving their full auditory sense to experiencing the joint creation of music. We studied how people used the annotations in LeMo to support their composition process and human-human interaction and identified five classes of use of annotation, three of which are particularly relevant to the future design of Sonic Interactions in Virtual Environments.

The impact of transitions on user experience in virtual reality (📃pdf)

In 2017 IEEE Virtual Reality (VR) (p. 285-286). doi: 10.1109/VR.2017.7892288

L Men, N Bryan-Kinns, AS Hassard, Z Ma

Abstract: In recent years, Virtual Reality (VR) applications have become widely available. An increase in popular interest raises questions about the use of the new medium for communication. While there is a wide variety of literature regarding scene transitions in films, novels and computer games, transitions in VR are not yet widely understood. As a medium that requires a high level of immersion [2], transitions are a desirable tool. This poster delineates an experiment studying the impact of transitions on user experience of presence in VR.

A BLE RSSI ranking based indoor positioning system for generic smartphones (📃pdf)

Z Ma, S Poslad, J Bigham, X Zhang, L Men

Wireless Telecommunications Symposium (WTS), 2017, 1-8

Abstract: Indoor navigation in physical retail type spaces aids the navigation of users to find physical items at known destinations. WiFi Fingerprinting using a mobile phone is perhaps the most widely used method. However, this is power-hungry, and its typical positioning accuracy (2.0 to 3.0 meters) is not enough to differentiate between adjacent narrow aisles to locate items. In this paper, we present a novel (Bluetooth Low Energy) BLE Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) ranking based fingerprinting method that uses Kendall Tau Correlation Coefficient (KTCC) to correlate a new signal position with the signal strength ranking of multiple low-power iBeacon devices situated in a retail space. This offers a higher positioning accuracy and is supported in recent smartphones. An important source of error is the RSSI, which varies depending on the model and orientation of the phone. We present …

Analysis of the Characters and the Information Flow of UGC Platforms (Publication in Chinese; 📃pdf )

L Men, X Yang

Design, 05, 201, 52-54

Abstract: It has been 10 years since User-Generated Content was initially defined. Compared with other kinds of platforms (include website platforms and mobile application platforms), UGC platforms have some unique charters. Through analysis of related literature and examples, these characters will be detailed to help people better understand UGC platforms; By analysing the information flow of mainstream UGC platforms, their commonality will be found and then be summarised, which will provide a strong reference to future construction of UGC platforms.



©2021 by Liang Men
Lecturer & Researcher in VR | Liverpool Live LabLiverpool John Moores Universityl.men@ljmu.ac.uk