The fourth session of the Second Life Views 1 panel, led by Ryan Linden, Creative Director, focused on the user experience, and included a look at some new designs for the orientation islands.
Notes follow after the break. A final summary for all 4 sessions will follow in a separate blog post.
User Experience – Ryan Linden
Top 3 things to improve new user experience
– start with simple low lag environment
– (LL) would you trade off a larger download for lower lag?
– (Res) offer choice?
– (Res) might give a false impression of the rest of the world
– (Res) once you have a little more experience you’re more prepared to handle the lag
– auto check the computer and configure it for optimal experience
– (LL) this is done to a point.
– (LL) we autodetect hardware, but hard to detect software since version numbers tend to change. we don’t have a great solution to figure out whether you have a drivers problem.
– (Res) distance is set to default at 128 — should be 64 and network performance should be at 500 or less
– (Res) – a slider that would allow everyone to adjust performance wherever they are. To reduce lag it would change draw distance and other graphics settings.
– help them know what to expect
– language (rez, prim, etc.)
– weather report that shows where lag is currently on the grid
– (Res) appreciates the idea of volunteers, but many people don’t want early contact. need self-paced guided tutorial download from web with instructions to move through the world. should hit interesting experiences and explore key functional skills. tutorials help to set expectations.
Remember that there are very different ways of approaching learning. Some want to point and click, some would use a printed tutorial, some want human help.
Azure islands is building an orientation. Video at each station, but video isn’t a default install.
Top 3 things to make SL more fun
– improve region crossings and vehicle control
– 2D area that serves as a zone with no lag where people with low-end machines could at least experience some part of SL. teleporting together would make things easier for new people.
Follow scripts use apply impulse. large groups defeat these scripts.
– Direct manipulation of the avatar shape. LL – we allowed you to grab a vertex but that didn’t work
– look at Oblivion with Face Gen. new users have a hard time making their av look good with the sliders (Res – one of the least developed systems in SL)
– new avatars in the library (5 types) will be made available in the registration process so people can start with a more unique av
– (LL) – it would be easy to reduce the number of choices
– (Res)- newbies often lose their original avatar that they created because they don’t understand the inventory
– mapping MyVirtualModel to SL avatars would have a real value to the fashion industry
Top 3 things to make SL easier
– UI for new users that toggles to full interface
– more iconic, visual, feedback
– way to give something to someone without going through inventory system
– first land with incompatible builds. could they submit their interests in terms of land type/neighborhood type so they end up in a place where there is a community with common interests
– what got in the way:
– slice stuff off the UI that wouldn’t be needed
– what are the things that are getting in the way now
– collaborative building doesn’t really work; permissions get in the way; choose something that allows two people to share permissions and ownership; very clumsy right now; must be a local experience
-> get feedback on whether group tools increase the ability to collaborate
– need interface tutorial
– better use of the library
– improve info flow to people about news, what’s happening
– group inventory
New Orientation Island
– HUD display needs a compass similar to mini-map
– self-paced tutorial
– some information about the culture of SL
– streaming audio tour guide
– being a little more gamelike is probably a good thing at this stage
– goal is to create comfort, allow success quickly, provide as little or as much information as the individual wants
– need a page greeter or page mentor in the HUD
– basically a visual way to indicate receptiveness to help