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Viewer-Managed Marketplace: Inworld Feedback Session

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Friday, December 12, 2014, at 11am Pacific time, several Lindens will be inworld to get your feedback on the Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM). We’ll be meeting on Aditi in the “ACME F” region (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/ACME%20F/128/128/24).

For those of you not yet familiar with VMM, it allows you to easily manage your inventory on the Second Life Marketplace using the Second Life Viewer. Items no longer need to be loaded into the Merchant Outbox or a Magic Box, and are instead sold directly from your inventory.

If you are interested in attending the session, please try out VMM* and bring your feedback to the meeting. If you are unable to attend, you can submit feedback through JIRA or by commenting on this post.

* If you are prompted in the viewer to sign up for Beta access, you must first log into Marketplace on Aditi and Create a Store before signing up.

[Added December 10, 2014]

Thank you for the feedback so far. The original announcement of VMM is here, for those who missed it. The question of agenda came up. Here it is:

  • Overview of VMM
  • Review questions/concerns from this thread--so please post them here
  • Give Merchants in attendance the opportunity to bring up additional concerns and let us know what you like

This meeting will be in voice. We will record it for those not in attendance to listen at a later time.

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Do we get a burning direct delivery bear to match magic box burning bear?

Third time is the charm, or so they say. My Magic 8-Ball won't commit on this one.

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/me waves to Dart

 

Since the LL viewer is unsuitable as a building tool, i am just hoping by the time i am forced onto the new marketplace, there will be som alternative viewer i can use. (i am assuming it is still too hard for LL to add, say, copy rotation, size, and position.)

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The previous thread had questions which were unanswered, it would have been helpful to answer those first instead of deleting the thread.

 

Second "in case you're not familiar" is a curious phrase since unless I'm mistaken, this is the first post giving public details of how to test VMM. When we're we expected to become familiar?

 

Forgive me for bringing this up but as ever, the level of engagement and communication from the commerce team with respect to changes that impact their stakeholders remains poor.

 

From previous experience, most of us have seen the train wrecks of inworld meetings devoid of prior published points on the agenda. The gesture is welcome but please post the transcript. You may be lucky, I may still be on a flight during the time of the meeting :P

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Here again LL seems to be shooting itself in the foot.  LL viewer does not work on my computer.  I am sure I am not the only one with this problem.  Don't tell me to upgrade my system with a new computer.  When YOU want to pay my bills so I can upgrade, then fine.  I will upgrade then.  LL needs to understand that they are purposely and with forethought getting rid of their customer base (or they are just incredibly stupid).  Its the beginning of the end of a company when they do that.  I run XP pro on my computer.  I will upgrade when the new Windows 10 is released.  Not until then.  If LL wants to improve their viewer, make functional with XP.  Alot of people worldwide still use it.  A fairly large chunk still use it.

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No. XP is out of support by MS, no security patches for months.

 

It's not reasonable to expect a third party to provide support for an unsupported platform just because some refuse to modernise. Compared to other platforms, you are in the minority.

 

Kaspersky stats in June report 16% with 4% still using XP in the USA for example.

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You should be able to login on the Linden viewer on XP for now, as long as you have the latest service pack installed. XP isn't officially supported by LL anymore but it should still allow login and be functional - though with a high crash rate.

How does the LL viewer "not work" on your computer?

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Sorry Pam, I didn't mean to reply to you.

 

Personally, I have neither the time nor the money to waste testing things for LL, especially when I have to do alot of work to get that set up on the beta grid. Who is going to pay me for that time? What benefit do I get helping to test LL's stuff? How can myself, doing all that work to test this on the beta grid, actually reflect what will happen on the real grid? They are night and day, especially for something like this. Now, if LL wants to pay me, for my time, I'd be very happy to test whatever the F they want, where ever they want. Maybe, as some kind of basic incentive, you should eliminate the commission fees for those that help you, at the very least.

Allow me to also point out the difference between LL asking for help, and some other developers, like for instance the team that made Avastar, or even Blender. Everything they do helps me. if they ask me to test something, I'll gladly do it, even if it doesn't directly affect what I do. I know that what I say to them will be taken seriously, even if it doesn't result in a change. I'm not banging my head against a wall. Helping to make Avastar or Blender better could never hurt me, no matter what they do. LL on the other hand, has literally thousands of bugs they simply chose to ignore. Go look at all those people that spent hours of their life trying to fix something, and it doesn't get fixed because LL did nothing. Go look at Blender's open bugs, and compare those to your own. Seriously, if LL wants help with something, they should pay people, just so that their time spent is not ignored or wasted.

I'll just add that I don't blame this on the employees of LL, but the management over the years.

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/me waves back and wishes you a happy holiday season.

That brings up a good question, whether third party viewers will be able to add this functionality.

And from what I understand, the new system is still not coping well with no copy items, so it'll be interesting to see if it actually does do away with magic boxes, unlike direct delivery which couldn't manage those unique items after all was said and done.

@Medhue: True, that. And hopefully this time around they'll test it much better before rolling it out. And by that I mean the bugs that only they can or should identify and fix when they make these changes, like the mis-matched listings that still persist after direct delivery. I'm still amazed that they can manage to rework the inventory/sale system and not fix the recurring billing problem with marketplace enhancements.

And this while they're working on Second Life 2. Or 2.5 Life. Maybe it's far too soon to think about feature freezes and that the system is going to change yet again at that point.

Off to shovel some snow.

 

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Thank you for the feedback so far. The original announcement of VMM is here, for those who missed it. The question of agenda came up. Here it is:

  • Overview of VMM
  • Review questions/concerns from this thread--so please post them here
  • Give Merchants in attendance the opportunity to bring up additional concerns and let us know what you like

This meeting will be in voice. We will record it for those not in attendance to listen at a later time.

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Thank you.  I suspect i'm not the only one who doesn't bother with the blog unless someone posts a link to it, this is the only place that I look for merchant info.

One problem with meetings in voice is that it requires us to sit through the whole thing again to listen to it.  Personally, i'd prefer to scan through a text transcript, it's much faster.  Will the recording be audio only?  If so, will you be taking questions in text from those who choose not to or cannot use voice at the time or just don't have a mic?  If you do take those questions in text, please be very sure to repeat the question to the audio if audio only recording.

On to error messages, having read through the KB page, it's a pet hate of mine from developers that error messages have to be interpreted when there's an opportunity to present the solution in the error.  I don't expect a paragraph of prose but take this one for example:-

"Unsellable item in folder"

I should not have to interpret this if the problem is lack of transfer permission and that is the only issue throwing the error.  Is there any reason at all as to why this error does not say:-

"Items in folder require transfer permission"

Which tells me why the error case has been thrown and what needs to be done about it.  For someone new to listing items on MP, they may start to wonder, is it because it's an adult item and they need to correct something to make it available to the right segment, is it because the thing is too scripted, too large, bad words in the listing.  Yes I know you may think "why would it be any of these?" but that's the point, weak error messages don't tell the answer!

Another, "You are not set up for merchant activity" ok... how about this as a message instead:-

"You are not set up for merchant activity, register as a merchant first, see here for more information KB: Selling on Marketplace"

If you know the answer to the fault condition, give it, don't make the user scratch their head and have to go and hunt, we're the old timers, consider how you'd direct new users efficiently or let me put it another way, if you're in the zone coding, would you prefer a new user to phone you up every single time a new user hit that condition to ask the answer or would you rather just tell them in the error message?

Because LL doesn't really engage with it's customer base, what you don't see are what to many of us, the very simple questions asked by new users in the SLCM inworld group.  This is the sort of stuff that comes up, more experienced sellers who themselves have had to interpret vague messages and have to relay this down as a rite of passage to become a merchant.  Ok so I know this isn't directly related to the VMM functions themselves but it's all part of the overall experience.

I'm pretty sure that the viewer isn't byte code memory space constrained and thus doesn't have limited string space for this.

 

 

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CommerceTeam Linden wrote:

Friday, December 12, 2014, at 11am Pacific time, several Lindens will be inworld to get your feedback on the
. We’ll be meeting on
in the “ACME F” region (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/ACME%20F/128/128/24).


This meeting was recorded for those who could not attend.

Thanks to Chakat Northspring (panterapolnocy) for the recording.

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Overall, I like the changes being made to item association for the SLMP. But let's not kid ourselves, this is NOT Viewer Management. This is ONLY about item association. I was -very- disappointed when I realized that description fields, documents, and images would all still be "Managed" exactly the same way they have been for some time now.

 

WIll item association be easier? Especially when it comes to changing it? Yes. Bravo for that. Qualified by the issues on the Jira, of course, most notable to my mind (right now) being that items are moved into the VMM folder instead of copied... with no notification, I might add... and then are simply vanished from creation if you happen to delete them while they are there. That certainly doesn't seem consistent with other inventory behavior. If VMM folders are "In inventory" then deleted items should go to the Trash. If they are are not "In inventory" then we should be prompted (with a toggle to turn it off) to warn us they are being moved. Or better yet... they should be Copied, with a prompt to move if Copy perms are lacking.

 

Additionally, I wanted to say bravo for the work at more open communication, and having some half donzen Lindens at the meeting. It reminded me of days gone by, when the Lab really seemed interested in the community it serviced. I hope that is a sign of continued positives on that front. I do hope that LL will take other input as seriously as they seem to be taking that of 3PV developers.

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Summary of the meeting:-

VERY VERY poorly attended by the key stakeholders...merchants!

Most of the attendees appeared to be Linden employees or viewer deverlopers who admitted to not being merchants and so don't really have a good handle on how merchants will use this although it's important that they know what's involved for integration.

Here's my feedback LL...

Because this floater for managing is NOT part of the main inventory and that the action is to move items for sale to the Marketplace Listings floater, this has huge potential for merchants to accidentally move something and wonder where it went.  To avoid this, it requires a merchant to first make a duplicate folder, one for their own keeping and then one to copy to the Marketplace Listings folder.  Surely the default should be to "Copy to Marketplace Listings" instead?

Second, it appears that the actual listing to be associated can only be done via a top level folder.  How do you think this will be managed by people who have hundreds or even thousands of listings?  Think "file management", you don't keep everything in the root of your file system now do you?

Please consider reworking it such that listings can be created off any folder level in the hierarchy.  Logic dicates that a merchant should be able to create top level folders that might relate to their product offerings, Shirts, Pants, Houses, Plants etc. and within each of these, have subfolders with the actual listings as appropriate.  You are dicating a very cumbersome approach with the present offering.

Next up a bug,  I really can't be bothered to create a JIRA so it's here instead.

You can create a listing, then activate it and then list it, all actions within the viewer.  When you do this, you get this dialog, I presume because the listing is incomplete (no price)  From a software perspective, why offer an option that can be selected if in doing so the outcome is a known fail?  Surely the "list" option should only be selectable IF the correct conditions were met?  Better would be a dialog that says "Your item cannot be listed because the listing is not complete, click <link> in order to edit and list your item" and that comes right back to my previous post about errors and positive actions that lead to success:-

mp1.png

Next bug:-

I copied the first item that I listed, I then used the "Associate" option to associate that with an existing listing and was told that I had to create a version folder.  No other useful information and it didn't do it for me.  (Not good).

I unassociated it and then choose to associate again and got this error:-

mp2.png

What's "Not Found"?!!!  Why doesn't the dialog say what it is that is not found?

"Audit Marketplace Listings" seems to serve no useful function at this point correct?  It just gives me a text folder view without reporting even if the items are listed or not or what the listing ID is.  It would be more useful for this to allow a dowload in xml/csv.  I can't see much purpose for such an audit as a non interactive dialog that does nothing.

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Sassy Romano wrote:

 

Because this floater for managing is NOT part of the main inventory and that the action is to move items for sale to the Marketplace Listings floater, this has huge potential for merchants to accidentally move something and wonder where it went.  To avoid this, it requires a merchant to first make a duplicate folder, one for their own keeping and then one to copy to the Marketplace Listings folder.  Surely the default should be to "Copy to Marketplace Listings" instead?

Second, it appears that the actual listing to be associated can only be done via a top level folder.  How do you think this will be managed by people who have hundreds or even thousands of listings?  Think "file management", you don't keep everything in the root of your file system now do you?

Please consider reworking it such that listings can be created off any folder level in the hierarchy.  Logic dicates that a merchant should be able to create top level folders that might relate to their product offerings, Shirts, Pants, Houses, Plants etc. and within each of these, have subfolders with the actual listings as appropriate.  You are dicating a very cumbersome approach with the present offering.


hierarchy.JPG

Would it help if you had sub-folders that followed the hierarchy of the MP?

With the abilty to show only the ones that you use?

So for instance you might have Apparel > Womens > Dresses

And when you place an item in the correct folder it automatically gets listed in the correct category in the MP.

Or would it be better to just let people use their own organization?  My idea might be too complicated.

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omg, that sounds awful -- not much if an improvement, if any, over what we have now. Thank you Sassy for taking the time to test and report. Too bad this team does not realize what a potentially valuable resource they would have in you. tsk

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Perrie Juran wrote:

 

And when you place an item in the correct folder it automatically gets listed in the correct category in the MP.

Or would it be better to just let people use their own organization?  My idea might be too complicated.

I quite like that idea to a point Perrie and it certainly has merit although i'm not sure i'd want to be constrained by MP's categories.  In terms of consistency though and achieving the secondary objective of putting something in a category and reducing a step in the web task, i'd take it over a flat structure.

As a refinement, perhaps new entries would go into "Uncategorised" (flat structure) and then right click one of these and choose the category, then the item is put into that category and if there's no other item already in that category, at that point the new category is show and the item moved.

This way, you'd only have category folders for the categories in which you actually have items and all new would be easy to find in "Uncategorised".

Same cat, just skinned different ;)

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Broken it again.

I created an inworld Object (called Object), took it to inventory and dragged it to the Marketplace Listings floater.

Next I right clicked, "Create Listing", then chose Associate Listing, then Unassociate Listing.

Now, if I right click, the only thing I can do is Create and Unassociate, I can NO LONGER choose Edit Listing for this item and after Unassociating the other listing that I created, I can no longer Edit Listing for that either.

In other words, it is now totally broken, I cannot edit listings from the floater.

Relogged, just in case it was a viewer flag that hadn't been updated, no change.

Logged into the web management, I have nothing under the VMM section and the new object that I created and have "associated" which has an item number after it, does not appear under Unassociated, in fact it doesn't appear anywhere so where is it? 

Next up, I deleted everything, both from the Marketplace Listings and also completely cleared everything on MP via the web.  Re-performed the above steps.

Just to summarise then, I now have precisely ONE object and these are my options on right click having put it in the folder and chosen to Create Listing:-

mp3.png

and corresponding web view:-

mp4.png

Completely broken now.  It would appear that testing has only included unit testing of expected actions because if this has been in development for "quite a while" and I can break it this fast, it seems to me that edge cases haven't been touched at all?

MORE...

Additional UI feedback since I can no longer test anything with regard to listings.

If I drag an object from the Marketplace Listings floater to the ground, the tool tip floater is "You can't list items on the Marketplace", well i'm not, i'm trying to rez the item ON the ground.  The message should be "You can't list items listed on the Marketplace" (or "from").  The Marketplace is not the ground!  Picky yes but this is all that I can now test, yeah, i'm going to beat it up a bit more. :matte-motes-evil-invert:

If I drag something from the MP floater such that the listing is now "empty", what happens?  The correct behaviour is that if the listing folder is completely empty, the listing should automatically be unlisted or at minimum, a warning that the listing contains no deliverable content.  I cannot test this because mine is now broken. 

Ah!  Choosing the Audit button now tells me that the version folder must contain at least 1 item but this should be an automatic reminder when the folder becomes invalid for delivery.

Moving the item "back" into the folder of the item, performs what feels like odd behaviour.  It doesn't actually put it in the version folder from where it came but now creates another new folder.  Why?  This appears that it would need to now require me to associate this item with the old listing but surely it's incredibly more intuitive to have a folder associated with a product listing and then just manipulate the inventory window content.

In illustration, this.  Start with an item and create listing:-

mp5.png

Now drag the object to normal inventory window, no warning that the listing is in any way broken.  However, if I think to "Check for Errors" (something that the user shouldn't have to do, this is determinable by code upon folder content change!

mp6.png

and now lets correct that, the logical end user action is to just drag the object back in, because it was a silly mistake, my bad, i'll correct that in an instant.  Easy, just put the item bach from whence it came...

mp7.png

So at this point I ask "WTF?!"  What's the purpose now of creating yet another folder and leaving the first "listed item" in a broken state, this makes no sense to me at all and is completely unintuitive.

At this point, i'm playing dumb end user and say "well that's just nuts, i'll drag that object in the object folder into the one with the number in because that's where it needs to be, that's how inventory works!"...Nah...

mp8.png

Now it's totally goofed so at this point, I throw my end user hands up in the air and say "I know, i'll check for errors" but this is even worse because now it's telling me that I have two version folders that need an item but I only have one listing.  Whoah!  You might know what you mean but unless there's an active listing associated with a version folder, it shouldn't matter to MP whether there's anything in the version folder or not.  The integrity of the listing is only relevant when the item is available for sale.

mp9.png

Now, the reality is that this is because I didn't drag the item ONTO the previous folder but below it into a region of the MP Listing window not detected as being droppable for that folder so my suggestion is this. 

DO NOT allow this action but create a split in the floater window similar to the Merchant Outbox which says "Drag items here to create folders".  This way, either the user is forced to create a new folder by using this different area, or they'll end up dropping the item onto an existing folder associated wtih a listing.  It removes the ambiguos option.

Finally, in the Audit MP Listings dialog, it MUST contain the information about the listing, where's the listing number?  How can I identify from which of the following "Object" folders has the missing content?  At present, this check for errors is not fit for purpose and a scrollable dialog with no ability to save to file, could be cumbersome.

mp10.png

In fact even better, the audit dialog is implemented the wrong way.  The better way to do this would be to indicate listings that need attention in the MP Listing window itself, then i'm already looking at the broken listing.  Add another tab at the top that says "Incomplete Listings" or whatever but a list that I then have to cross reference is unhelpful, I should be able to click in that dialog and go straight to the errant location, hence my suggestion above.  Make the listing itself indicate a poorly state.

At the meeting, much was said about there being a requirement for every Linden to create a Linden Bear.  The discussion was cute and jovial but i'd much rather it be a requirement for every Linden who deals with Marketplace to operate a store.

Curiously, this "inventory" window appears to honour object permission change and doesn't have the same issues with the slam bit that the regular inventory view does.  By this, I mean that I had an item with transfer permission, I copied it in the MP Listing floater and pasted into the same version folder and then changed permission to Copy from Transfer.  I then moved it to my normal inventory view and did not rez it.  Sent it to another avatar who then rezzed it and it was Copy.  Different behaviour to changing permission of objects in normal inventory and sending to others prior to rezzing.

What I will say is that so far it looks like the development has considered how this will work with a dozen or so listings and hasn't given any consideration whatsoever to those merchants with vast quantities of listings.  Would that be accurate?  If this isn't an accurate statement, what evidence exists to suggest otherwise?

Anyway, since I can no longer test anything due to breaking it within minutes, i'm done for a while :matte-motes-nerdy:

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ok... so now it's working again and I create a listing and right click the object and I get this:-

mp11.png

I haven't done anything yet and if I only want to look at the properties, what is being changed and why?  This dialog makes no sense unless something in the properties is actually changed.  It's a premature dialog.

Is there a caching issue or a database table propgation issue?  I've created a listing and although it appears in Merchant Home, it does not appear in My Store until some time after.

"Unassociate Listing" is misleading.  It appears to DELETE the item listing in the web view while leaving the folder and content in Marketplace Listings.  If it's going to delete the listing then the better wording would be... "Delete Listing".

Having Unassociated, the only option to re-list the folder content is now to create a new listing, any other way?

Worse, there's no warning that the listing will be deleted in entirety in the website (yet i'm warned that i'm going to change the listing content by viewing the properties of an item in it, even though it won't - lack of consistency and one is critical and requires a re-list which is agains thte MP rules)

It seems that the communications between the viewer and the MP is poor.  Since I have to go to the website to finish the listing, I might as well choose to set it to listed there but returning to the Marketplace Listings, the item isn't white bold and there's an option to "List".  Ok, it's inert to do it again but there's no way to refresh the view to sync it with the web view.  Why aren't they talking to each other more dynamically?

Presently, test purchasing doesn't work and a test of delivery doesn't work so it's hard to determine the result of content meddling in the listings window where things like permissions changes are concerned.

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mp12.png

This has potential, how about adding "Sort by age of listing creation"?  (I don't know how much value that would actually have, it's just a thought, maybe others have better suggestions).

Limited stock items, since there's a count maintained within the Marketplace Listings system, this would be helpful if it were reflected on the listing page for the customer instead of just (Limited Quantities Available).

This is an important sales function, if the item is exclusive or in demand, customers should be furnished with information that tells them that.  It gives them information as to whether they need to buy now if they really want it and there's only one available or whether they can wait a while if there's 1000.  (Clue: It can aid a sale, merchants like this stuff).

Think about RL shops that have a big sticker saying "LAST ONE AVAILABLE!"  They do this for a reason.

You have this information now, it's readily available in a database that's near to hand, please use it effectively.

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

 

And when you place an item in the correct folder it automatically gets listed in the correct category in the MP.

Or would it be better to just let people use their own organization?  My idea might be too complicated.

I quite like that idea to a point Perrie and it certainly has merit although i'm not sure i'd want to be constrained by MP's categories.  In terms of consistency though and achieving the secondary objective of putting something in a category and reducing a step in the web task, i'd take it over a flat structure.

As a refinement, perhaps new entries would go into "Uncategorised" (flat structure) and then right click one of these and choose the category, then the item is put into that category and if there's no other item already in that category, at that point the new category is show and the item moved.

This way, you'd only have category folders for the categories in which you actually have items and all new would be easy to find in "Uncategorised".

Same cat, just skinned different
;)

One reason I had said "too complicated" was because I was thinking LL would need to pre-create all these folders on the Servers but got to thinking when ever you create a new folder it gets mirrored on the Servers anyways so its not as big a deal.

But another thing is that it could be used to stop people from either accidentally or on purpose placing listings in top level folders.  Also it could simplify things if you need to change an items listing category.  Just drag and drop into the new category.

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Sassy Romano wrote:

 

At the meeting, much was said about there being a requirement for every Linden to create a Linden Bear.  The discussion was cute and jovial but i'd much rather it be a requirement for every Linden who deals with Marketplace to operate a store.

 

Bullseye. How can they know how to design a tool for use in doing something they have no experience with?

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