Search is a vital element in Second Life that enables you to find interesting people, places, events, items for sale, and other things to make your inworld experience more fun, collaborative, and meaningful. It has been a while since we last updated you on search and that’s because we’ve chosen to take a big leap forward versus smaller, incremental improvements. We believe that new search is a vast improvement over current search both in terms of usability and relevance. But we’re not the only ones who think that. We conducted a quiet test with a savvy group of Residents who preferred new search results over 75% of the time compared with current search results.
Now it’s time for you to test it out. Today, we have released a Search Project Viewer, that works on the main grid. Here are a few things that you’ll notice right away:
- Better Search Results User Interface: It’s not just prettier (we had to say it), but it’s also much more usable. Our new search engine considers Second Life specific data, such as how many people are at an event versus web-based data, so search results are more relevant and less subject to spam. And, now search results are compiled on a single scrollable page instead of several pages that require multiple clicks to see. You can even view multiple search results at one time by expanding results!
- Delivers More Relevant Results: The new search engine also serves more relevant results than the current search technology, based on four rounds of double-blind testing. And, we’ll always continue to test and tweak the results to ensure that you find what you’re looking for.
- To Buy or Rent? That is the Question.: The land sales category has been revamped, separating sales and rentals and giving you better options to limit your search by price range and land size. Now, it’s much easier to find that perfect place to settle in Second Life.
- Find Out What’s Happening Now: You can also search Events by either the exact start time or ”happening now,” but might have started earlier. That way, you can quickly find out what’s happening in Second Life right now.
- Search Results Are Saved: Many of you have shared with us how you use search to discover your world and shop, and how you want your search results saved. We’ve all had this experience. We search for something, find an interesting event or place to go shopping, and then want to go back to our search results and find another place to go--but they are gone. When using the new Search, results are saved for 15 minutes so that you can easily go back and explore other options.
Take a look at this video and see for yourself.
For those who want more details, the Search Project Viewer FAQ explains the test process and the search terms that landowners will need to use when listing their land for sale or rent.
One of the first questions many will have is, “Will new search work in Viewer 1.23 and Third-Party Viewers?” New search will soon be available to you in the official SL Viewer and we will not be implementing it for the 1.23 Viewer. To be clear, you can still use the 1.23 Viewer, but search functionality will be impaired once new search is released into general availability, after the test period. (We cannot speak to which Third-Party Viewers will adopt the new search technology.) All of our development efforts are focused on making SL Viewer with Basic and Advanced modes exceptional for all Residents--new and seasoned.
So, test out new search using the Search Project Viewer that makes finding cool people, places, and things in Second Life easier than ever before.