Experience Design and X-Reality for sensory fusion


The competitive challenge today lies in the ability of companies to continuously innovate their products, processes, services, customer journey, leveraging on three fundamental aspects: reduce lead time, improve performance and functionality (high degree of customization) and finally meet the needs of the consumer by acting on physical factors (physical and functional ergonomics), psychological (cognitive ergonomics) and social (stimulating the sense of affection and recognition). The last two aspects highlight the fundamental role of the consumer in the product development process, which today is no longer oriented only towards reducing the gap between the quality designed and that perceived by the end user, according to a traditional User-Centered Design (UCD) approach, but is increasingly oriented towards creating meaningful experiences. Experience Design (XD) represents today the fundamental paradigm of integrated design that aims to develop products, more and more complex and interactive, but at the same time inclusive, able to offer emotion and psychophysical well-being to individuals while ensuring high levels of performance. The main problems that can be found in the implementation of an XD approach are: difficulty in involving the user/consumer in the evaluation of the design from the early stages of design, high costs of physical prototyping necessary to perform tests for the evaluation of the user experience, increase in time to market due to a highly iterative process that involves designers, psychologists, cognitive science experts and designers.
The research activity carried out in this area focuses mainly on the following aspects

  • Benchmark of virtual prototyping technologies (VR/AR/MR) in order to determine the most appropriate ones based on the types of products, the objectives of the evaluation and the characteristics of end users (1, 2).
  • Realization of low cost and interactive virtual prototypes and development of protocols for the evaluation of the user experience able to analyze the cognitive-affective response of classes of users based on specific product features (3).
  • Developed experimental protocols for the evaluation by Virtual Prototyping techniques of the user’s response to different product features, and the determination of the quality of the resulting UX. The ultimate goal is to define design guidelines that reduce the gap between perceived and designed quality, improving the chances of success of the product on the market (4).
  • Development of new tactile and haptic technologies to involve the sense of touch during the interaction with the virtual prototype. Thanks to the reproduction of multisensory stimuli, these technologies, together with MR technologies, allow to increase the user’s sensitive experience during the interaction with the virtual prototype (5).
  • Development of new multimodal and multisensory user interfaces and new integration paradigms using VR/AR/MR technologies (e.g., tracking systems, tactile technologies), in different application fields (e.g., industrial products, museum environment, etc.) in order to enrich the user experience with the product and make the design more inclusive (6, 7, 8).
  • Development of tools and methods for the design of the User Experience, Shopping Experience and more generally of the Customer Experience (CX) in areas ranging from retail to hospitality, from the health sector to the museum sector. The study focuses on the search for CX Management models for the management of the complex network of relationships between the customer and the various corporate stakeholders for the entire life cycle of the product / service, on the search for tools for the formalization of the customer journey map in order to identify the different touchpoints between customer and company and improve the experience through the design of a series of environments (sensible spaces), interaction technologies (adaptive AR interfaces) and custom services (9).
  • Search for new tools, based on artificial intelligence algorithms, aimed at identifying emotions (emotion detection systems) and tracking the eye (eye tracking) of the person during the interaction with the product / service, along its customer journey thanks to the acquisition of video images of the face. These tools, implemented in mobile or web applications, thanks to SDKs, allow to acquire information useful for the evaluation of the UX “in the wild” (10).


The activities are carried out in the Virtual Prototyping and Virtual Reality laboratory

  1. Mengoni, M., Bordegoni, M., Germani, M., 2007, A Method for the Selection and Evaluation of VR Technologies Combination in Product Development Processes, Proc. XVI ADM – XIX INGEGRAF International Conference, Perugia, Italy, 6-8 June. (ISBN: 978-884671932-7)
  2. Mengoni, M., Raponi, D., Ceccacci, S., 2016, A method to identify VR-based set-up to foster elderly in design evaluation, International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics, Vol. 4, No.1, pp. 46-70. (WOS: 000385884000003, DOI: 10. 1504/IJIEI.2016.074501, ISSN:1758-8715)
  3. Mengoni, M., Germani, M., Peruzzini, M., 2009, Products experience: how can Virtual Prototyping improve usability testing?, Innovative developments in design and manufacturing – Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping, P.J. Bártolo et al., Eds., Taylor & Francis, pp. 505-514 (Scopus: 2-s2.0-78649887628. ISBN 978-0-415-41602-3).
  4. Ceccacci S. & Mengoni, M (2017) Designing Smart Home Interfaces: Traditional vs Virtual Prototyping. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA ’17), pp. 67-74. ACM, New York, NY, USA. (Scopus: 2-s2.0-85024865263, DOI: 10.1145/3056540.3056556.
  5. Germani, M., Mengoni, M., Peruzzini, M., 2013, Electro-tactile device for material texture simulation, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 68 (9), pp.2185-2203. (Scopus: 2-s2.0-84887625820, WOS: 000325261400025, ISSN 0268-3768. DOI 10.1007/s00170-013-4832-1)
  6. Cavalieri, L., Germani, M., Mengoni, M., 2016, A gesture-based application for aspiring orchestra conductors. Proc. of the ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference IDETC2016, August 21-24, Charlotte, NC (Scopus: s2.0-85007529839; WOS: 000393001300040)
  7. Mengoni, M., Cavalieri, L., Raponi, D., 2015, A haptic knob as an innovative user interface for visually impaired, in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics), (Eds by Stephanidis C.,Antona M.,), Vol. 9176, pp. 127-138, Springer Verlag Berlin. (Scopus: 2-s2.0-84945900928. WOS: :000364183800012, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-20681-3_12, ISBN: 978-331920680-6)
  8. Mengon, M., Leopardi, A., (2019) An Exploratory Study on the Application of Reverse Engineering in the Field of Small Archaeological Artefacts, Computer Aided Design and Application, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp. 1209-1226 (Indexing in Scopus, DOI: 10.14733/cadaps.2019.1209-1226)
  9. Mengoni, M., Ceccacci, S., Giraldi, L., Generosi, A., 2018, “A Tool to Make Shopping Experience Responsive to the Customers’ Emotions”, International Journal of Automation Technology, Vol.12 (3), pp.319-326 (DOI:10.20965/ijat.2018.p0319)
  10. Generosi, A., Altieri, A., Ceccacci, S., Foresi, G., Talipu, A., Turri, G., Mengoni, M., Giraldi, L. (2019) MoBeTrack: A Toolkit to Analyze User Experience of Mobile Apps in the Wild, IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), Las Vegas, NV, USA, pp. 1-2. (Indexing in Scopus) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCE.2019.8662020
Scientific Manager
Working group