Effects of variation in system responsiveness on user performance in virtual environments

Benjamin Watson, Neff Walker, William Ribarsky, Victoria Spaulding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


System responsiveness (SR) is defined as the elapsed time until a system responds to user control. SR fluctuates over time, so it must be described statistically with mean (MSR) and standard deviation (SDSR). In this paper, we examine SR in virtual environments (VEs), outlining its components and methods of experimental measurement and manipulation. Three studies of MSR and SDSR effects on performance of grasp and placement tasks are then presented. The studies used within-subjects designs with 11, 12, and 10 participants, respectively. Results showed that SDSR affected performance only if it was above 82 ms. Placement required more frequent visual feedback and was more sensitive to SR. We infer that VE designers need not tightly control SDSR and may wish to vary SR control based on required visual feedback frequency. These results may be used to improve the human-computer interface in a wide range of interactive graphical applications, including scientific visualization, training, mental health, and entertainment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-414
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of variation in system responsiveness on user performance in virtual environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this