Jump to content

Do you guys think LL is too reserved in communicating the meta appeals of SL to new Residents?


You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 1529 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

So sometimes ago in a video, Philip Rosedale mentioned how looking back, Second Life could use a bit of gamification. On principle I disagreed, and still do. But thinking of it now, what makes the physical world interesting is the "gamified" nature of it - where people are not gods (think of it, if you have complete control of, can conjure and do anything you want in the physical world like a god, it would get boring pretty fast).

Of course the fundamental appeal of "gamification" is a sense of objectives, things to look forward to and achieve. And we as humans in part measure our sense of fulfillment through comparative reasoning, either towards nature or other people - for example, the way most of us live today are many folds better than people who live in the bronze age, but we're probably not that much happier, because we measure our success and sense of fulfillment by comparing the relative state of others and the world through comparative reasoning, while if people who lived in the bronze age see how we live today, they would probably be clueless to how we can be unhappy with everything we have.

Think of Minecraft, people who play it feel fulfilled and happy for surviving and building things. In part it's because the base state of the game is "it's the wilderness, if you don't do anything you die of starvation or killed by monsters" - so when they manage to survive and build things that help them survive, it gives them a sense of fulfillment because it's way better than the base or default state, surviving is better than dying and civilization is better than the wilderness.

Now, one might think that it's impossible to create such a sense in Second Life that is innate or inherent to Second Life itself (not a game within it), because everyone already can do, become and create anything right? But there are things outside those things, meta elements that people can achieve or excel in and be better at compared to others who might not specialize in those things, in Second Life. Things that are not simply given or granted to you the moment you enter Second Life, that you can do, work towards and be better at.

To many Residents these things might simply be things that they can buy - lands, homes, bodies, heads, etc. To creators and business owners these things might be the quality of their creations, the success of their businesses. To people who run a community or an organization these things might be how many people are active in, or join their community, or follow their cause. There are so many of these (which LL themselves have promoted through their videos) so maybe that's why LL probably haven't emphasize these too much in the new user experience, but these are the meat and bread of Second Life so why not put more of them in new user areas so new people can be less confused and "don't know what to do"?

So what if new user areas, an element of the UI, or the onboarding welcome experience emphasize these meta aspects with curated examples? Or if not examples (so that there won't appear to be any favoritism), maybe promotional posters or banners?

Without gamifying Second Life, we can create or cultivate a first impression environment where people are imbued with the idea and understanding that these things exist, happened, can be achieved and can be done in Second Life. To communicate the sense (and truth) that, "Hey, if you dedicate yourself and put your heart to it, you can achieve or do great things here" - which a lot of Residents know, but most new people don't.

As of now, as far as I know, the only thing that does this in new user areas is the "get your own home / land / friends / relationship / things" billboards which are usually coupled with the "click here to buy L$" stand - which are fine and are certainly doing SL a lot of good, otherwise LL would have not put them in those places. I understand that LL probably don't want to overwhelm new users with too much information and I'm sure their reasoning is scientific and solid, but I just think there isn't enough of these.

What do you guys think? Is LL too reserved or holding back too much in this regard?

 

 

  • Like 11
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that various methods of advertising have been used by Linden Lab to try and lure new residents to Second Life. They have explored the social aspect, the possibility of creating a life with a home, and/or a business, mentioned creativity, profits. Indeed there has been much media coverage over the many years that Second Life has been in existence.

Also, the initial orientation process that all newly-created account holders have to navigate their avatars through before being allowed to enter the rest of the world, has changed many times over the years. It's currently is very easy, and user-friendly, but still, a lot of experienced gamers will not have the patience to go through it, and will fall at the first hurdle never to return. It seems quite lengthy, and not fun, even to experienced old me. 

And I personally think that no matter what Linden Lab do, the majority of people will create an account, log in, and give up before giving it a chance, because it always will only really appeal to a relative minority of people. The types who need to be spoon-fed something more akin to a game will have to remain users of games such as World of Warcraft.

Horses for courses and all that. What Linden Lab really need NOT to do, is alienate the residents who have shown loyalty and invested money and time so far, just for the sake of making graphs look good in the form of new users, who may only log in the one time. 

The newest Linden Homes have quite likely been one of the best phases I've ever known in Second Life. At last, appealing homes that do not look like they were just thrown up en masse with little in the way of individuality (I mean, how many of those original Linden Homes had the number 118 over the door? - ridiculous - and then the small pools at the front of some of them was hardly even a paddling pool).  The new Linden Homes range so much in style, and the Moles have worked so hard to make the surroundings homely, yet there has been much more scope for residents to add their own individual styles, thereby creating a much more realistic feeling of community.  

There is an element of "rat race" that has crept in to Second Life over the years, but there is still the original fun to be found, and still I think there is something for everyone, if patience is exercised, and patience is not what typical gamers seem to have much of. 

This is only my opinion, for what it's worth (probably not much I realise).  I am not a typical gamer, and am far from the right person to even be responding to your rather eloquent and verbose original post. 

Adding, because I rushed my reply, 

"Without gamifying Second Life, we can create or cultivate a first impression environment where people are imbued with the idea and understanding that these things exist, happened, can be achieved and can be done in Second Life. To communicate the sense (and truth) that, "Hey, if you dedicate yourself and put your heart to it, you can achieve or do great things here" - which a lot of Residents know, but most new people don't."

When I joined in 2007, I did so because of how Second Life had been promoted, no doubt by someone within the offices of Linden Lab, as a place where money could be made, naming one particular land owner, who had made rather a lot of money buying and selling land.  I had no wish to start a business or make money in Second Life, but was intrigued enough to create an avatar and find out a bit more by myself.

Going back to what I wrote above, if people are wired up in such a way that they are inspired or willing to work hard enough, they can achieve anything. Going back to 2007, the slogan that I often saw associated with Second Life was "your world, your imagination". Those few words spoke volumes to me. 

 

Edited by Marigold Devin
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still think LL ought to hire you, Luca.

I believe LL is being way too reserved when it comes to on-boarding new residents. In the past year, I've created several new alts to upgrade so I can have more Linden Homes. I love LL, and I am an unabashed fan-girl, but the experience from the second you log in for that first time is just awful. I don't know how to make it better. I've but a lot of thought into it and I have a lot of suggestions, but I really think the entire thing needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the beginning.

People see the slick ads and photos showing beautiful avatars in extraordinary areas doing fabulous things, then they log in and see none of that, and there is nothing in the new user experience that shows how to go from looking like an idiot to looking like, and seeing, the things they saw before they logged in. 

While I wouldn't say that it's misleading, because all of those things are possible in SL, I would feel frustrated and disappointed and, perhaps most of all, lost. 

I know SL pretty well. I know how to move and get around and find things and do stuff. I've still not created an alt that has actually figured out how to get off the new user island and move to the social island or welcome area or whatever they are. The experience has somehow managed to be both overwhelming and underwhelming. It goes through all the basics of how to move, which is fine and needed, but it automatically attaches a HUD without explaining what the hell it is or how often residents are going to be encountering HUDs. Right there could be one of the first steps to change. Give the new resident the HUD and then walk them through how to attach it and what its function is. 

@Strawberry Linden makes really awesome tutorials. Why not have those available inworld right there for people to watch? Teach people the things they're really going to need to know - teleporting, how to put on and take off clothing, hair, skins, shapes, etc. Notecards and their function. We all have these default folders - gestures, objects, scripts, textures, photographs, etc. - what are those? How do I use search and what are some good things to search for? What are the the access ratings and how do I change those? What is my profile? How to I update it? Walk me through my preferences and where to find them. What are Linden dollars? How do I get them? Give me a way to easily ask questions and get fast answers. 

Walking, running, and jumping is all good and fine, but there is so much more that people desperately need to at least have the opportunity to learn before they're let loose. 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I' ll give you one example how reserved they are.

If they would actively improve like you suggested, they would have picked up on the wildspread of textureheavy HUDs and intervene by making extra scripting code availiable, so that merchants can make use of standard menus and window libraries from the application (.NET ?, MS Framework?)  instead of the current method of putting it on full load of the users resources.

That' s what professional and indie gaming development anticipate on .. they don' t.

( Saying this from an end-user perspective ; Not a coder or programmer.)

 

Edited by TDD123
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you raise some interesting topics, and I wish that I could respond intelligently, but I don't feel like I can on this topic. From what little I know, I'd say I agree with you more than not. However, fingers crossed, I have forwarded your topic to someone who has a great bit of knowledge in such things, and I hope he weighs in. :) 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree.  The beginner learning curve is not a high hill.  It's a wall... a slick, very intimidating wall.  This goes double if you're a) older b) not hugely technical.  I like the fact that it is a place that anyone can so a lot with... eventually.  I didn't like the first few months where I often felt downright stupid. 

I used to tell people that computers would become ubiquitous when they became as easy to use as it is for someone to learn to drive. (I've been around a while)  My friends, most of whom were engineering students, were very enthused by the computers they were discovering/building and they were almost contemptuous of those who didn't want to follow them down the rabbit hole of a major computer build project...  They (and I) could see some of the potential computers had (some of what we have now, they really probably didn't imagine).

I think the problem is that the designers of SL are mostly of a similar mentality.  If you don't want to learns to use the tools, then you don't belong.  That is not a very welcoming attitude.  I don't mind being a bit of a niche, but I think that SL has the potential to be a lot more than it is...

I am frankly afraid that someone will take the idea from under Linden and turn it into a mass use space, the way Facebook undercut and made redundant its earliest competitors/antecedents.

Because the ideas and the experiences here have such potential, I don't think the idea of Second Life will go away.  I do think that if the Lindens don't open up to at least a small degree, it will be overtaken.  Eventually, even if it doesn't go way, it will become less relevant.  I hope I'm wrong but this is the nature of things.

The first cars required a lot of their drivers...  A lot more than current cars.  Current cars are infinitely more complicated and may be lacking too much in the way of user serviceable and modifiable innards, but most people don't care b/c they can do so much with what a car has evolved into. The modern car has 'everything'. 

I think SL is in danger of becoming the 'model T' of environments... available in any color... so long as it is black.

The model T was innovative... until it wasn't.

The world is so big now.... and so small.  There is so much new happening AND it is so easy for people to cross pollinate their ideas.  I hope Linden doesn't drag its feet.

Blue

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Marigold Devin said:

And I personally think that no matter what Linden Lab do, the majority of people will create an account, log in, and give up before giving it a chance, because it always will only really appeal to a relative minority of people. The types who need to be spoon-fed something more akin to a game will have to remain users of games such as World of Warcraft.

Exactly! no matter how they try to improve things for new users, they will be dam*ed if they do, and dam*ed if they don't, people will still give up even if LL is doing the best it can.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Sassy Kenin said:

Exactly! no matter how they try to improve things for new users, they will be dam*ed if they do, and dam*ed if they don't, people will still give up even if LL is doing the best it can.

What are you basing this on?

We've never seen LL doing anywhere near "the best it can". LL has made many missteps over the years that have often made SL more difficult to get into rather than easier, and the presentation has always been an extremely low priority for LL. Not to mention LL has made costly mistakes with the content creation tools which have directly lead to all of SL's worst performance woes, which is why the general perception of SL is that it looks worse than a 12 year old game, but runs like crap even on modern hardware.

 I'm not saying SL could be as popular as Facebook, or that LL would have ever achieved their goals of a 3D internet, but it stands to reason that an SL that didn't suffer from so many critical, and avoidable, mistakes, a Second Life that looked better, ran better, and was far easier to get into and enjoy, could have been more popular than the SL we got.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, DeepBlueJoy said:

I am frankly afraid that someone will take the idea from under Linden and turn it into a mass use space, the way Facebook undercut and made redundant its earliest competitors/antecedents.

It's called "Fortnite Party Royale", and it opened a few weeks ago.

2 hours ago, DeepBlueJoy said:

I agree.  The beginner learning curve is not a high hill.  It's a wall... a slick, very intimidating wall.  This goes double if you're a) older b) not hugely technical.  I like the fact that it is a place that anyone can so a lot with... eventually.  I didn't like the first few months where I often felt downright stupid. 

Yes. The place to start is the clothing system. That needs to be simplified. A "How to look good in SL" area and class would help. (Caledon Oxbridge, surprisingly, doesn't have one.) New users are often sent to the Free Dove or Freebie Galaxy, which are designer bargain bins. If you don't know what you're doing before you get there, you'll get horribly confused, get items that don't work for your avatar, and may end up with some off-brand avatar for which little clothing is available.

A new user should leave the entry area with one look as good as the ones shown on the Second Life home page.  Anything less leaves new users feeling they've been had. One really good look. From there, they can discover the joys of shopping and dressing.

(Attention Marketing: LL, please stop sticking new users with "70s Disco Guy".)

  • Like 6
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, animats said:
3 hours ago, DeepBlueJoy said:

I am frankly afraid that someone will take the idea from under Linden and turn it into a mass use space, the way Facebook undercut and made redundant its earliest competitors/antecedents.

It's called "Fortnite Party Royale", and it opened a few weeks ago.

I don't see that as SL competition yet.  It **might** get there, but it isn't yet.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, animats said:

Yes. The place to start is the clothing system. That needs to be simplified. A "How to look good in SL" area and class would help.

I don't believe you're thinking big picture enough.

Back when LL was on the verge of releasing mesh, a number of us tried to convince LL that if they released rigged mesh and left it to content creators to create rigged mesh bodies, while they left the system avatar as it was, then it would completely fracture the clothing market. No longer would you be able to buy clothes and simply expect them to work with your body, you would need to shop exclusively for clothing designed to work with whatever rigged mesh body you were using. And that this would greatly increase the difficulty for new users who simply wanted their avatar to look decent.

 LL didn't believe us, but look at SL today and you'll see that's exactly what happened.

 LL can't undo that mistake, not overnight. But they could, finally, release a system av 2.0 that was on par with the mesh bodies on the market and then slowly, over years, we'd eventually start to see an SL were the bulk of mesh clothing would be rigged for the new system avatar. An SL where a new user could log in for the first time, go to a clothing store, buy something, and it would just fit. 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Penny Patton said:

 

well,well,a nice surprise visit from the Queen of Dairy Hooves herself!😉(teasing)

What are you basing this on?

Observation,Interviews & Public Statements by Current & Former Lindens...wishful thinking🙂?

We've never seen LL doing anywhere near "the best it can". LL has made many missteps over the years that have often made SL more difficult to get into rather than easier, and the presentation has always been an extremely low priority for LL.

I agree but they have revamped the orientation system to modern places..I agree still lacking mentors even when some 3rd party viewers offered to provide that community service, when you say "We've never seen LL doing anywhere near "the best it can"." it's almost a sin of the father thing, many current lindens had nothing to do with the things the past CEO's did or the technology mishaps but in the past 5 years after Project Sunshine

Not to mention LL has made costly mistakes with the content creation tools which have directly lead to all of SL's worst performance woes, which is why the general perception of SL is that it looks worse than a 12 year old game, but runs like crap even on modern hardware.

We'll  have to see what optimization plans they come up with after the amazon move. again the current lindens inherited issues created by past employees and owners. it's not given them a crutch to lean on but since they promised to be back dedicated to SL, we can see if any traction really happens in the year ahead.

 I'm not saying SL could be as popular as Facebook, or that LL would have ever achieved their goals of a 3D internet, but it stands to reason that an SL that didn't suffer from so many critical, and avoidable, mistakes, a Second Life that looked better, ran better, and was far easier to get into and enjoy, could have been more popular than the SL we got.

I agree, but it's still not too late if they keep trying, I've always thought they needed to hire someone like you with experience and good observations to give them that firm but gentle push they need.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

What do you guys think? Is LL too reserved

Are you asking if LL should promote the sex part more? If that's it I think that part gets enough word of mouth advertising that they don't really need to.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine, if you will:  A world where the underpinnings of all you know can be changed for the better without breaking any existing user created content.  A world which will be functionally equivalent to the world you live in today, except everything is faster, smoother, and trouble free, but you don't have to know, because you didn't have to fix anything when the change was made.  You didn't even really notice.  Everything just continued working, and all your pet problems faded into indistinct memories.  It can happen in the Twilight Zone.

Edited by Ardy Lay
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Linden do curate on-boarding, at least technically

the Social Island portals and Destinations in the viewer.  At times parcel owners have mentioned an increase in new resident visitors whenever their parcels are listed in Destinations

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

Linden do curate on-boarding, at least technically

the Social Island portals and Destinations in the viewer.  At times parcel owners have mentioned an increase in new resident visitors whenever their parcels are listed in Destinations

I don't think that is really great onboarding.  Random visits to pretty 'destinations' (if you can figure how to teleport) when you have no idea how to function in even a basic way is not a rational strategy.  It's more "throw them in the deep end and see who swims or sinks."

Great onboarding would be an (a) intuitive interface and (b) a simple but structured learning experience in the introductory part of the process that makes it EASIER to know what you're doing once you muster out of the other side of the initial training program. 

It won't happen without a usable, uncluttered, intuitive interface and a PLAN for training. 

The issue is far deeper than just having 'cool destinations' and 'social islands for noobs' -- which social islands can be quite unpleasant if you don't end up lucky and meet good people.  (or if said overworked good people are too busy to help you and aren't easily identifiable as helpers)

Frankly, I didn't have a truly useful 'onboarding' until I found firestorm island - months into my random wanderings in SL, on a day where I was so frustrated, I was utterly ready to quit.  I didn't find them until I went searching in desperation, because I could not get basic things to work. 

On day one, I had walked out of the introductory experience/newcomer island with a very rudimentary understanding of how to use the SL viewer or to do much of anything.  It was overwhelming just dressing without ending up naked. Therefore, I spent my early days running between dressing rooms until I gave up.  I found a basic outfit and figured out how to paint on 'tops' when I wanted to 'change'.  Weeks went by without me changing my clothes.

I spent most of the first six months badly dressed, with crooked hair, going from destination to destination and seeing lots of pretty stuff, but learning next to nothing on my own b/c the system was NOT intuitive and my attempts to take what classes I found felt like I was jumping into calculus without a basic understanding of arithmetic. 

I'm NOT technically clueless, though I had no prior experience  with any kind of online multiplayer environment. 

On my first day, I taught myself how to build my own body shape and to color my hair blue.  Some kind helper at NCI showed me how to get a skin that didn't have nasty white religious looking body underwear that I spent half an hour trying to remove before I figured out it was burned into the initial skin!  Apparently, issuing a human body that looked marginally realistic was somehow immoral?  Seriously? I found myself wondering what prudeville I'd landed in! To be clear: I was just hoping for basic barbie, rather than some kind of religious undies wearing dolly.

Much of the rest of it... it was just as frustrating.  I kept walking into things and falling off of things and getting booted to 'adult hubs' because I had no real idea of private property.  It was embarrassing and I found myself confused most of the time.  I met some knowledgeable people  at the helper places (that I went back to several times) but for newbie helpers, many were surprisingly arrogant. 

Of course, I didn't have a clue!  I was new!!  That is no way to get people eager and wanting to stay. 

The initial noobville I ended up being spit out into was a meat market, full of almost new males, who harassed day old women.  I got hit on repeatedly and I got griefed repeatedly.  I didn't know what was going on.  I didn't know what to do about any of it.  No one did anything about it.

I fled. 

I found some lovely places in the destinations guide... most of them utterly empty... (probably not, but I didn't know yet that people hid behind their property lines) still, they were gorgeous and that made me want to stick around to a degree.  I spent weeks wandering around Whimsy and sitting on Whimsy beach listening to the surf. 

I joined Caledon on day one, and they were way more helpful than anything Linden ever had been, but you can only do so much when people are battling with an interface that is maddening and complicated.  Still, I wish they had been my initial landing point.

 

It was only when I joined Firestorm social and Faery Crossing within weeks of each other that I came to realize there could be newcomer friendly spaces where there were any controls over bad behavior.   People got banned or booted for behavior.  Faeries arrived on scene when a bad actor showed up where I was.   There were classes.  There was learning. There were activities. 

 

They were a world away from my initial noob intake via the Lindens  The helpers were nice and some were knowledgeable, but most were overwhelmed.  It was like walking into a pixel zoo. Chaos.

I think maybe some of the settings should be locked by default until you learn enough to use them... But I think the basic interface is fundamentally clunky and too prone to misbehave even when you know what you're doing.

In my case, I signed in one morning looking down on the top of my head... with no idea how it happened and no idea how to fix it.  Fortunately, that happened with firestorm rather than the SL viewer (though logging in with that viewer did not fix the problem). Thankfully, and someone suggested I get firestorm help.  That WAS actually helpful... their groups and Firestorm Social Island changed my SL experience from struggling blindly to within a few weeks, actually hanging around FS island and being able to help others a little bit.

Sometimes, using SL is like using an unstable early DOS instead of Windows or  mac OS... and like doing word processing using Spellbinder instead of MS word...(Spell binder was a program that came before Word Perfect, and which required that you use a floppy to run it, and then remove and replace it with the 'data' floppy to save your document.)  It was a bear to use and losing your entire document happened with frequency.  SL often feels like that.   People do want to make things and create a livable world, but most of us want to do it with power tools, not a hammer and a dull knife. 

It is a testament to the USERS that SL has survived as well as it has and that so much has been done with it.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unpopular opinion: Phillip Rosedale was 100% right.

See, here's the thing with a lot of people that post here: they've been around since 2007 or 2009 or whatever (and make it a point to point that out....repeatedly), many here have some degree of technical knowledge be it, scripting, content creating, actual coding, etc. People that post here are kind of the 1% as far as SL goes (be proud you nerds!). So, it becomes in effect...an echo chamber. I'd say another 30%-40% of users become interested in one of those things at some point, I know I did, but that was 3-4 years in for me.

The other 60-something percent are completely uninterested in any of those things and they don't want to be either. Maybe, some might get into photography or machinima, but not truly technical stuff.  SL could be a gateway for scripting, 3d modelling, making games, etc, but I don't think we should worry too much about that. So it's not that we should be asking "How do we get more people into those things?" its like fitting a square peg into a round hole. IMO, it would be the wrong direction to go in. I've been talking to a lot of new people lately and they don't seem to interested in creation. What's been neglected are the social aspects of Secondlife and *gasp* yes, the gameification of SL.

There's a very popular game on Nintendo Switch called Animal Crossing which basically does key things you can do in SL. You have your little land, build a little house, you do little chores, you earn money, buy more land, build a bigger house, rinse and repeat. It's so popular, you can't even buy a Switch! And these are adults playing it. Why is the Sims still popular? Because its gamified. People can sit there and watch their little sims do wacky things all day long and its a game about nothing!

Meanwhile the social aspects of Secondlife have diminished:

Why is it groups are broken?

Why doesn't a conference with two other people work properly? TWO people!

Why does the destination guide still take you to empty sims?

The social aspects of Second Life has diminished so much, the people that come here for that are super disappointed and leave. There's nothing wrong with SL being a little more gameified. There's nothing wrong with adding a kind of social game to SL. People have tried, there's a fairly popular game within SL called Be You. It basically turns your avatar into a Sim. People that are into that sort of thing love it. Nothing wrong with that. People do want to play games in SL and we shouldn't brush that element off or minimize it. I'd bet when LL got rid of skill gaming, a large chunk of users left. Nothing really replaced that.

Whoever said there needs to be a do over, I agree with 100%. But there needs to be some careful consideration when it comes to other things besides content creation particularly the social aspects.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only suggestion here that I have an outright objection to is the use if the phrase "intuitive interface".  This is a marketing lie.  The only intuitive interface is the nipple.  Everything else must be learned.  Using the word "intuitive" in place of "familiar" is bad form.  If you mean "familiar", say "familiar", then explain WHY it is familiar.  What is it most like that is already commonly understood, keeping in mind that had to be learned at some time.  If you mean that it is easy to discover how it works, then say that.  "That's what intuitive means" is also a lie that has become very common in the software industry.

What would a good interface be?  For what function?  Count the functions one needs to perform, keeping in mind what happened to the last heretic that went down that road.  Make all those good, easy to discover and remember interfaces coexist without conflicting with each other.  There is your challenge.  Don't preach.  Do.  Tired of the inglorious preaching in the forums.  People always know what's best, what LL should do, what LL should have done.  The viewer is open-source!  Make your perfect interface!  Stop complaining.  Look around at the 3rd party viewers.  Did any of them get the interface perfect?  Hell no.  People are constantly floundering around from one to another because one does something better than another, in the user's opinion.  The user's opinion matters but glittering generalities like "intuitive interface" will get you ignored by designers because they know, no matter how much they have been instructed, cajoled and brainwashed otherwise, "intuitive interface" means nothing.  If you attach a meaning to it then you are jargonizing instead of solving the problem.

Some things are easy for people to figure out, but, if it was intuitive, a baby rabbit could do it without any training at all.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, DeepBlueJoy said:

Great onboarding would be an (a) intuitive interface and (b) a simple but structured learning experience in the introductory part of the process that makes it EASIER to know what you're doing once you muster out of the other side of the initial training program. 

It won't happen without a usable, uncluttered, intuitive interface and a PLAN for training

on a) some background

viewer 1.x was really hostile to new users. It had no context-sensitive help at all. What help there was, was all inworld. There are remnants of this approach still inworld. Orientation Island Public and Help Island Public for example

then Linden decided to make a streamlined UX for the new user experience. Viewer version 2.0. The 2.0 UX design grouped functions by commonality into docked and tabbed dialog windows. Dialog windows were docked in the UX in relation to the activated function and its related functions. Also in 2.O was context-sensitive help, missing from Viewer 1.0. For new users it would seem that this was great. A thing tho is that new users turn into established users/residents

many established residents hated 2.x with a passion. As 2.0 added extra steps (mouse-clicks and keystrokes) for them to get thru, to get to the function they wanted

so Linden then built UX 2.6. It had a Basic and Advanced mode. New signups started in Basic mode - which was even more UX streamlined for the new user experience. And in response to the feedback from the many established residents began to uncouple/undo all of the UX streamlining in Advanced mode. Which culminated in Viewer 3.0 UX

and Linden ended up dropping Basic mode. Because they found that most new users on finding they could switch from Basic to Advanced mode, did so. And many new users on finding out about Firestorm, switched to that viewer, which has even more UX-surfaced advanced functions, features and actions than the Linden viewer has

my point is that it is not the UX that is the issue for new signups

this said there is one thing that the viewer does not have which if implemented would make the world a lot more friendly for new signups (and established residents). An Undo/Redo function for clothing and attachments

it drives new people to distraction when they start editing and adding stuff to their avatars and there is no Undo function. For established users we know about Detach, and that Wear replaces when Add does not, etc.  New users don't know this, it has to be learned. Whereas Undo does not. Undo is a widely known function learned from other experiences prior to signing up to SL

 

on b) this is probably the most difficult thing to do.  Develop a comprehensive training plan for a multi-purpose multi-faceted environment

from my own exposure to new signups, most aren't interested in training. Most just want an immediate answer to an immediate problem that they want a resolution to so they can get past it and move on. Linden have recently recognised this.  Linden have put mentors back in to the Social Islands to help provide these immediate answers

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Why not have those available inworld right there for people to watch? Teach people the things they're really going to need to know - teleporting, how to put on and take off clothing, hair, skins, shapes, etc. Notecards and their function.

Yes. What about some kind of AR agent that flys and walks around with you? Something that is in-world with you that can answer questions and guide you. (Only in areas that it knows, and is programmed for of course). Something only you can see and hear. It could highlight items in your UI. The Siri of SL.

Edited by Evah Baxton
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Evah Baxton said:

Yes. What about some kind of AR agent that flys and walks around with you? Something that is in-world with you that can answer questions and guide you. (Only in areas that it knows, and is programmed for of course). Something only you can see and hear. It could highlight items in your UI. The Siri of SL.

Before Animesh work was announced part of the use case pitch included the ability to wear HUD helper mascot characters like Clippy or the cat from Excel, but the ability to wear animesh on HUD slots was shelved and that use case was lost. 😢

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Janet Voxel said:

Unpopular opinion: Phillip Rosedale was 100% right.

See, here's the thing with a lot of people that post here: they've been around since 2007 or 2009 or whatever (and make it a point to point that out....repeatedly), many here have some degree of technical knowledge be it, scripting, content creating, actual coding, etc. People that post here are kind of the 1% as far as SL goes (be proud you nerds!). So, it becomes in effect...an echo chamber. I'd say another 30%-40% of users become interested in one of those things at some point, I know I did, but that was 3-4 years in for me.

The other 60-something percent are completely uninterested in any of those things and they don't want to be either. Maybe, some might get into photography or machinima, but not truly technical stuff.  SL could be a gateway for scripting, 3d modelling, making games, etc, but I don't think we should worry too much about that. So it's not that we should be asking "How do we get more people into those things?" its like fitting a square peg into a round hole. IMO, it would be the wrong direction to go in. I've been talking to a lot of new people lately and they don't seem to interested in creation. What's been neglected are the social aspects of Secondlife and *gasp* yes, the gameification of SL.

There's a very popular game on Nintendo Switch called Animal Crossing which basically does key things you can do in SL. You have your little land, build a little house, you do little chores, you earn money, buy more land, build a bigger house, rinse and repeat. It's so popular, you can't even buy a Switch! And these are adults playing it. Why is the Sims still popular? Because its gamified. People can sit there and watch their little sims do wacky things all day long and its a game about nothing!

Meanwhile the social aspects of Secondlife have diminished:

Why is it groups are broken?

Why doesn't a conference with two other people work properly? TWO people!

Why does the destination guide still take you to empty sims?

The social aspects of Second Life has diminished so much, the people that come here for that are super disappointed and leave. There's nothing wrong with SL being a little more gameified. There's nothing wrong with adding a kind of social game to SL. People have tried, there's a fairly popular game within SL called Be You. It basically turns your avatar into a Sim. People that are into that sort of thing love it. Nothing wrong with that. People do want to play games in SL and we shouldn't brush that element off or minimize it. I'd bet when LL got rid of skill gaming, a large chunk of users left. Nothing really replaced that.

Whoever said there needs to be a do over, I agree with 100%. But there needs to be some careful consideration when it comes to other things besides content creation particularly the social aspects.

I'm not sure I follow you about Phillip Rosedale.  Please share what he was he right about.  Anyway, what you wrote otherwise makes a lot of sense to me... 

I do think people would like to be able to have a voice conference with two or three people and not have it be difficult to accomplish, even for experienced users.

When it works.

I type really fast, so I don't mind using IM most of the time... but even that lags at times... posts to groups or conferences get dropped altogether at times.

A lot of things in SL break with regularity.  It is annoying and it makes it very hard when someone is relatively new and they have no idea why stuff is behaving so oddly or what they should do about it.

Even getting dressed is complicated... try understand when someone says you need to 'add' this, but 'wear' that... and all our instinct with clothing is to wear it... then of course, as a newcomer, suddenly, you're naked... or wearing a box AND naked.

* Things that should be straightforward are not.

* Things that should work smoothly don't.

I haven't been here since 2007.  I joined in 2015.  A lot of the older empty sims seemed clunky and old fashioned right off the bat... remember, I'm already very experienced with a finely crafted visual world that can create reality inside a computer... both live action cinema and even some animated material -- and it flows well and even the hair on that fuzzy tennis ball creature in that advert moves when the ball shakes its 'head'.  (the Cricket Ad).  Everyone who is joining SL today has that same expectation of what 'animated' is and can do... we have mesh hair that doesn't move, or prim hair that looks lunatic.

In movies and ads, the functionality isn't stuttery and it is often done so well, it's very hard to discern what is CG and what is real.  What you know is CG still functions like 'real'. So here I am in 2015, looking at a world around me with textures that are obviously photographs pasted onto 'branches' to make a 'tree'...  and clothing that renders slowly so people stand around with items attached to their hands and appear completely naked...  or the whole world is gray... and stays that way for a while.  It's disconcerting.  I don't know how many people live in the games my friends play, but they seem to be a lot more responsive than SL.  And some of them have lesser computers than mine.

I am here for the social aspects.  I learn a little bit about creating b/c I like nice stuff, but I don't have the time to invest in that side of it... and I have a little money to spend that I'm happy to give to those with that creative skill and talent.  And I don't expect that end of things to be easy. 

And I don't want it to be 'too' easy... because frankly, I like being around people who have been self selected for at least basic problem solving abilities and often a degree of creativity.

But functional and learnable by more would be nice. 

1 hour ago, Ardy Lay said:

The only suggestion here that I have an outright objection to is the use if the phrase "intuitive interface".  This is a marketing lie.  The only intuitive interface is the nipple.  Everything else must be learned.  Using the word "intuitive" in place of "familiar" is bad form.  If you mean "familiar", say "familiar", then explain WHY it is familiar.  What is it most like that is already commonly understood, keeping in mind that had to be learned at some time.  If you mean that it is easy to discover how it works, then say that.  "That's what intuitive means" is also a lie that has become very common in the software industry.

What would a good interface be?  For what function?  Count the functions one needs to perform, keeping in mind what happened to the last heretic that went down that road.  Make all those good, easy to discover and remember interfaces coexist without conflicting with each other.  There is your challenge.  Don't preach.  Do.  Tired of the inglorious preaching in the forums.  People always know what's best, what LL should do, what LL should have done.  The viewer is open-source!  Make your perfect interface!  Stop complaining.  Look around at the 3rd party viewers.  Did any of them get the interface perfect?  Hell no.  People are constantly floundering around from one to another because one does something better than another, in the user's opinion.  The user's opinion matters but glittering generalities like "intuitive interface" will get you ignored by designers because they know, no matter how much they have been instructed, cajoled and brainwashed otherwise, "intuitive interface" means nothing.  If you attach a meaning to it then you are jargonizing instead of solving the problem.

Some things are easy for people to figure out, but, if it was intuitive, a baby rabbit could do it without any training at all.

Uhm, no! You have zero idea what I was saying and you're throwing shade.

I was NOT saying familiar.  Familiar would mean I had some prior experience of it.  I hadn't.  I didn't have any 'expectation' that it would be something in particular.  I was an online 'game' 'virgin'.  So I did not expect familiar.  I didn't expect it to work a certain way.  I did expect it to work. 

I was saying intuitive because THAT was what I meant.  Something that was created so that its very design would suggest ways to use it instinctively.

NO, I did not say it should be facile and require no learning.  I would not expect to learn to fly a jet in one day either.  For that matter, I didn't learn to use a computer over night.   

The attitude that 'my SL take it or leave it... is going to result in SL being left.  Eventually, something will replace it if it doesn't evolve.  People who want to use it for fun will find something that works better. People with the skills to make a better world will create one.

What I said was that it needed to be designed so that it is more user friendly and it needed to not break quite so often. 

Just because you're obviously smarter than everyone in the room, doesn't mean that everyone else is!  Some of us are merely genius level smart. There's a lot to like about SL or we wouldn't be here arguing about it.  But there is also a lot that could work a lot better.

You think intuitive interface means nothing? Then tell me why no one is still using DOS and better yet, why everyone using a computer today isn't programming it in FORTRAN or COBOL? The end user has no interest in UNIX either.  They just want to get their work done.

No, writing a new version of firestorm won't fix it.  The problems are deeper than a viewer.  Certain things are structural, and Firestorm is like putting a lovely mesh body over a system one... underneath, there's still the same basic machinery... and the mesh body must integrate with it and interact with it or it doesn't work as an avatar.  Same thing with a viewer.  SL is like a foot... A good viewer is like a really great shoe... It's comfy and it makes walking easier, and protects one from pain when climbing on rocks... but if the foot is mangled and bleeding inside the shoe... the shoe cannot fix that.

I cannot fix SL's underlying dysfunction.  Neither can Firestorm or any other viewer. The reasons that stuff doesn't work need to addressed.  I'm not a techie, nor do have have ANY interest in it.  No more interest in it than the average guy who wants to drive a Mercedes wants to be a mechanic! I want to buy a nice car and I want it to drive well.  I will even pay a premium for it.  And if the manufacture of my car decides not to update for 10 years, eventually, I'll find a new brand.

BTW, if I had the skill set to do the kind of world-building required, I'd build my own and leave SL in the dust, something that will happen to SL just as it happened to 'my space' and 'geocities' and 'the well' and a whole lot of other online entities that are either gone or irrelevant. 

 

Edited by DeepBlueJoy
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand there are some other underlying problems with SL but we've discussed those in other threads before. 

The best way for LL to promote the meta aspect of SL is to tell new users a story. Maybe show a video of how an avatar goes about their daily life in SL where they are doing several things like going to a venue and meeting people, then checking on their in-world store and talking to a customer and finally going home and feeding all their pets. All of this with a voice saying that LL gives you nothing but the freedom to find a second life. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

I understand there are some other underlying problems with SL but we've discussed those in other threads before. 

The best way for LL to promote the meta aspect of SL is to tell new users a story. Maybe show a video of how an avatar goes about their daily life in SL where they are doing several things like going to a venue and meeting people, then checking on their in-world store and talking to a customer and finally going home and feeding all their pets. All of this with a voice saying that LL gives you nothing but the freedom to find a second life. 

Fabulous idea!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, DeepBlueJoy said:

I'm not sure I follow you about Phillip Rosedale.  Please share what he was he right about.  Anyway, what you wrote otherwise makes a lot of sense to me... 

It was in the OP. First sentence: So sometimes ago in a video, Philip Rosedale mentioned how looking back, Second Life could use a bit of gamification. On principle I disagreed, and still do. But thinking of it now, what makes the physical world interesting is the "gamified" nature of it - where people are not gods (think of it, if you have complete control of, can conjure and do anything you want in the physical world like a god, it would get boring pretty fast).

The interface is clunky and it could use some zhushing up. I'm not arguing that....its a platform that danged near 20 years old. I'm pretty sure at this point, its nearing the limits of what it can theoretically do. And the fact that newer things look as good as they do is a oft overlooked feat.

But my thing is, the part of SL that gets overlooked the most are the social features and yes, the gaminess of SL. Let's not over complicate this. As those features became broken and obsolete or gone, that's when SL started losing users. I say this all the time, you shouldn't have to log on to SL, to meet your friend to jump on Discord, to play a video game, because guess what? You're not on SL anymore! Eventually, you're going to stop logging on to SL. You shouldn't need a discord for a product group, because the groups in SL are that bad that you need a discord. Eventually....you're going to stop logging onto SL because you can fullfill those needs elsewhere. Those are the people that are missing from SL, those are the people that are missing or won't stay. It's not just because SL has a learning curve, if there is something people feel is worth staying for, they'll stay.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 1529 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...