About the lab

LabDesign research activity is structured in three lines:
1.- Advanced technologies in the product development process: virtual reality, augmented reality, CAD modeling strategies for design reuse.
2.- Development of cognitive abilities: spatial skills and "tecnology enhanced learning".
3.- Advanced tools for conceptual design support: Sketch-based modeling and VR modeling tools.

Labdesign focuses its efforts on developing technologies to facilitate the development of human capabilities that are related to design activities such as spatial skills and the development of intelligent tools to support product design (3D) in a manner as transparent as possible, using a user-centered design approach.

Featured research (9)

Understanding consumer behavior is crucial for increasing the likelihood of product success. Virtual Reality head-mounted displays incorporating physiological techniques such as eye-tracking offer novel opportunities to study user behavior in decision-making tasks. These methods reveal unconscious or undisclosed consumer responses. Yet, research into gaze patterns during virtual product evaluations remains scarce. In this context, an experiment was conducted to investigate users' gaze behavior when evaluating their preferences for 64 virtual prototypes of a bedside table. Here, 24 participants evaluated and selected their preferred design through eight repeated tasks of an 8-AFC, with individual evaluations conducted for each design to ensure the reliability of the findings. Several eye-tracking metrics were computed (i.e., gaze time, visits, and time to first gaze), statistical tests were applied, and a Long Short-Term Memory model was created to recognize decisions based on attentional patterns. Our results revealed that the Gaze Cascade Model was replicated in virtual environments and that a correlation between product liking and eye-tracking metrics exists. We recognize subjects' decisions with a 90% accuracy, based on their eye patterns during the three seconds before their decision. The results suggest that eye-tracking can be an effective tool for decision-making prediction during product assessment in virtual environments.
Virtual product presentations that rely on static images and text are often insufficient to communicate all the information that is necessary to accurately evaluate a product. Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) have enabled more sophisticated representation methods, but certain product characteristics are difficult to assess and may result in perceptual differences when a product is evaluated in different visual media. In this paper, we report two case studies in which a group of participants evaluated three designs of two product typologies (i.e., a desktop telephone and a coffee maker) as presented in three different visual media (i.e., photorealistic renderings, AR, and VR for the first case study; and photographs, a non-immersive virtual environment, and AR for the second case study) using eight semantic scales. An inferential statistical method using Aligned Rank Transform (ART) proceedings was applied to determine perceptual differences between groups. Our results show that in both cases product attributes in Jordan's physio-pleasure category are the most affected by the presentation media. The socio-pleasure category was also affected for the case of the coffee makers. The level of immersion afforded by the medium significantly affects product evaluation.
Fast-growing global markets are forcing companies to continuously reassess customer needs when designing new products. Product evaluation is a critical task to ensure success, but it can require significant financial and time investments. From an end-user standpoint, consumers must also evaluate multiple design options before purchasing a product, which is often a complex process, especially in online environments where traditional formats coexist with more sophisticated media. Modern extended reality technologies have become an effective tool for product assessment in professional design environments as well as a powerful mechanism for consumers during decision making activities. However, the modality used to view and evaluate the product may affect the perceptual response and thus the user's overall evaluation. In this paper, we examine the influence of visual media in product assessment using different designs of a particular product typology. We discuss two studies where a group of participants used the semantic differential technique to evaluate four chair designs displayed in three different media. In our first study, participants used simultaneous evaluation to assess the products as presented in photographs, a non-immersive environment, and an Augmented Reality (AR) experience. In the second study, participants evaluated the product separately as viewed in non-photorealistic rendering, AR, and virtual reality (VR). We used the "Aligned Rank Transform" proceedings to find differences between groups for the semantic scales, the overall evaluation, the purchasing decision, and the response confidence. Our results show that visual media influences product perception. Certain characteristics in Jordan's physio-pleasure category are particularly significant as perceptual differences are more pronounced. Immersive media can highlight some product attributes and a joint evaluation can help minimize these differences.
Recent advances in visualization technologies have changed how products are presented to consumers. Sophisticated digital media modalities are gradually replacing traditional formats, but certain product features are difficult to evaluate, which may result in significant perceptual differences. In this paper, we report the results of a within-subjects study in which a group of 40 volunteers evaluated three different designs of a common household product (i.e. a coffee maker) presented in three different visual media: photographs, a non-immersive virtual environment, and an augmented reality experience. Our results show that the presentation medium has a significant effect on product evaluation, and that the semantic scales in Jordan’s socio-logical pleasure category are the most affected by the change of medium.

Lab head

Manuel Contero
  • Institute for Research On Human Centered Technology (Human-Tech)
About Manuel Contero
  • Manuel Contero is a full professor of Engineering Graphics and CAD with the Graphic Engineering Department at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain (UPV). He earned an MSc degree in Electrical Engineering in 1990, and a PhD in Industrial Engineering in 1995, both from UPV. In 1993 he joined Universidad Jaume I of Castellón, Spain (UJI) as assistant professor, promoting to associate professor in 1997. In 2000 he returned to UPV, being appointed full professor in 2008.

Members (7)

Jorge D. Camba
  • Purdue University
David Pérez López
  • Universitat Politècnica de València
Ferran Naya
  • Universitat Politècnica de València
Gustavo Salvador-Herranz
  • Universitat Politècnica de València
Jeffrey Otey
  • College of the Ozarks
Janaina Cavalcanti
  • Universitat Politècnica de València
Almudena Palacios-Ibáñez
  • Universitat Politècnica de València

Alumni (7)

Jorge Martin-Gutierrez
  • Universidad de La Laguna
José L Saorín
  • Universidad de La Laguna
Jorge De La Torre Cantero
  • Universidad de La Laguna