Spatial Mapping of Physical and Virtual Spaces as an Extension of Natural Mapping: Relevance for Interaction Design and User Experience

  • Daniel Pietschmann
  • Peter Ohler
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9179)


Natural user interfaces are designed to be intuitive, and quick to learn. With the use of natural mapping, they rely on previous knowledge or skills from users by employing spatial analogies, cultural standards or biological effects. Virtual environments with a high interaction fidelity also use rich spatial information in addition to natural mapping, e.g. stereoscopy or head-tracking. However, an additional factor for naturalism is the relationship of perceived interaction spaces: We propose to examine the Spatial Mapping of the perceived physical and virtual spaces as an extension of Natural Mapping. Similarly to NM, a high degree of spatial mapping using an isomorphic mapping should result in more intuitive interactions, reducing the mental workload required. However, the benefits of Spatial Mapping on user experience and task performance are only evident for complex spatial tasks. As a consequence, many tasks do not benefit from complex spatial information (e.g. stereoscopy or head-tracking).


Natural mapping User experience Mental models Spatial mapping 



The work presented has been partially funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the research training group Connecting Virtual and Real Social Worlds (grant 1780).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Media ResearchChemnitz University of TechnologyChemnitzGermany

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