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PhD Proposal: Enhancing Multi-user Experiences in XR: Interface Design for Workspace Awareness
Geonsun Lee
Thursday, April 25, 2024, 3:00-4:00 pm Calendar
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Effective communication and workspace awareness are crucial in the development of user interfaces for Extended Reality (XR). As VR and AR technologies integrate into diverse settings such as educational and collaborative workspaces, the challenge emerges to design interfaces that accurately convey user intentions and enhance interaction. This thesis focuses on assessing and advancing XR interfaces to support improved multi-user interactions and collaboration in virtual environments.

This research specifically explores how interface design can enhance workspace awareness and facilitate communication among multiple users. Here, we address the implementation of XR interfaces for practical collaboration scenarios such as document-based tasks, including a gaze-based interaction tool for users to read documents in VR, and interfaces to fragment instructional documents to support students training in a virtual environment to read and perform tasks effectively in a collaborative manner. Moreover, this thesis also investigates developing interface tools to facilitate communication in the co-creation of virtual world building, where designers with different expertise need to be aware of each other's work to provide proper feedback in discussions.

Continuing work seeks to further refine these interaction models, focusing on natural communication enhancements in social VR settings. Advanced interface designs incorporate multi-modal attention guidance systems that intuitively direct user focus, promoting seamless conversational dynamics in virtual meetings. Upcoming projects will also explore incorporating emotional expression into user avatars to enhance social connectivity, with an emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility in XR communications.
Examining Committee


Dr. Dinesh Manocha

Department Representative:

Dr. Huaishu Peng


Dr. Ming Lin

Dr. Jennfier Healey (Adobe Research)


Geonsun is pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, under the guidance of Prof. Dinesh Manocha. Her research focuses on developing interfaces and interactions that enhance multi-user experiences in Extended Reality (XR). She completed her Master's degree in Computer Science and Engineering in 2020, following a Bachelor's degree where she double-majored in Business Administration and Computer Science and Engineering, both at Korea University. She has previously interned at Adobe Research, Meta Reality Labs, and Dolby Laboratories.

This talk is organized by Migo Gui