This study explores the influences of virtual reality (VR) on creative design performance and design thinking processes. In this pretest−posttest experiment, nonequivalent groups of 180 seventh-grade students from a junior high school in Taipei were enrolled as research participants. For interior design lesson activities, the experimental and control groups were taught using VR applications and multimedia lectures, respectively, after which their creative design performance and design thinking processes were assessed and compared. The main conclusions are as follows: VR has a significant and positive influence on the creative design process (particularly the design and planning, testing and modification, and thinking and sharing stages), but it did not influence the data collection stage; VR has moderate effects on the functional integrity, technical requirements, sophistication and esthetics, and originality and novelty of creative design outcomes; and VR users have comprehensive design thinking processes that transition smoothly from empathy to problem definition, creative ideation, prototyping, and testing and verification. The experimental group significantly outperformed the control group in empathy.
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