Viewing Angle


Illustration and Point of View


Users need to interpret two-dimensional images of three-dimensional objects to carry out three-dimensional tasks.


What is best the manner for depicting three dimensional objects in two dimensional media so users can interpret the image as it relates to the physical world?


  • Users may have low Spatial Visualisation Ability making it difficult for them to interpret two-dimensional representations of three dimensional objects.
  • Many users will have limited, if any, experience with technical pictorial conventions such as orthographic projection, assembly drawings, exploded views and sections.


Perspective representations of the object are the most realistic and the most easily interpreted illustration method.

Isometric can be used for small objects where isometric views are indistinguishable from perspective views, for example see Lego™ PAIs.


Agrawala et al., (2003)

Novick & Morse, (2000)

click here for complete reference information

Related Patterns:


Stable Point of View

When choosing a Point of view to be maintained for a number of steps a three quarter perspective view is more easily interpreted compared to other views.


Discernable Detail

Some objects may have details that need to be shown to enable the users identify parts and orientation. Sometimes a perspective view will not show these details as clearly as an elevation. Perspective illustrations can make small proportional differences hard to discern, whereas elevation can make proportions easier to perceive. However elevations involve a level of abstraction that can make them difficult to interpret by inexperienced users.


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