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We have the power to make SL a "big thing" again (really) and tip the ongoing narrative, let's do this! c= let's do our part (for our sake)


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17 hours ago, Mr Amore said:

What does Second Life need for sustainable growth?

New Players.

 

What happens to new players who install the Second Life viewer?

They are traumatized by the harrowing UI experience and uninstall it 30 minutes later.

 

I recently used the official viewer and even as a seasoned SL'er, I was lost. The interface is confusing and the search was utterly dysfunctional. Telling new residents to install Firestorm is not the answer, most will never stay in the game long enough to learn about TPVs.

 

Nothing will change until LL rollback the hideous changes to the official client and finally trash the 'web search' panel. Even reviving the SL client from a decade ago would result in a cleaner first-time-user experience than the present.

 

 

You were confused because you were used to something else. If they go back to the Beloved and Miraculously Intuitive Viewer 1 Interface (which I believe is what you're referring to, because 10 years ago the default viewer was Viewer 2) new people will do no more and no less well. I started with Viewer 2 a little over 10 years ago and after being nagged to, "Download Phoenix because it's so much better (now hang on while I clear my cache)," I tried the Viewer 1 interface and found it unusable.

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I went to Firestorm Help Island yesterday, talked to the helpers, and visited all the teleport gates. Their new user experience is pretty good. Something LL could copy.

  • They usually have live helpers on duty. They get people unstuck, and keep the place pleasant. While I was there, they got someone with an open microphone to mute it, for example. This avoids the hell of the Linden safe hubs.
  • They have a small freebie store, and a portal to more freebie stores. So people can get out of their default.
  • They have various portals - freebies, games, adventure, roleplay, adult - which send users to other curated locations. Each portal has a list of locations, and you get one at random.
  • They have a social area, where people can just hang out and talk. It's within range of the helpers.

That seems to work. It's not rocket science.

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm. SL has a few practical problems if successful promotion is going to make it "a big thing".

I'd look at how it scales first. Have a limited number of avatars in a scene and you have nice graphics at a high framerate. A few more avatars or more intense scenes quickly ruin that. Without better resilience at scale, it's pretty hard to promise anyone the most immersive and addictive experience, which they might get elsewhere.

The cost of land is also another sticking point. Ownership ties people down, whether in RL or in SL. The current cost of tier makes it pretty hard for many people to justify investing in a large enough plot, or a full region, to build and maintain lovely scenes. The result is little plots often surrounded by unpleasantly decorated/furnished little plots. Hardly the most engaging experience for users to showcase to potential future users.

I won't pretend that I have all the answers and LL has more knowledge on the feasibility regarding my suggestions. I write this criticism from the user experience point of view. 

Edited by Alesia Schumann
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14 hours ago, Kittie Hexem said:

I would also happily participate in an "adopt a newbie" type of thing to help new players get oriented. 

 

Actually, that used to be the case... we'd have personal tutors (volunteers), and, over time, we'd become tutors for newbies. That system was stopped when it became clear that some unscrupulous tutors were just interested in having newbies in order to sell them their content (newbies used to come in to SL very rich and not really knowing how much things costed...)

The idea has its merits; the problem is always the same: how to 'police' volunteers to make sure they behave according to a strict Code of Conduct?...

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5 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

I couldn't agree more.  There really is no excuse for LL not seeing how useful FS was and importing THOSE FS features into the official SL viewer.  I always wonder what are the Linden's thinking by not adopting the liked FS features into the LL viewer.

In terms of things the FS viewer has which the LL viewer does not, there are only 2 things that I would like to see in the LL viewer - parcel markings in the mini-map, and being able to have the Viewer Texture Memory Buffer larger than 512.  Otherwise I prefer the LL viewer look and feel, and I do think that the LL viewer (and the TPV's that stay close with it) are easier to learn to use.  Most of the time I use either a TPV very close in look and feel to the LL viewer, or I use the LL viewer. 

 

5 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

I went on the official SL viewer as I believe the new EEP FS gave me a horrible bug and I have to do a clean install which sounds like a mega hassle and a half and I'm dreading it.  The LL viewer updates used to be automatic and hassle-free.

The LL viewer updates are still automatic and hassle-free.   The clean install that was suggested you perform, is a clean install of FS to ensure that things from the current FS install won't remain when you revert back to a previous FS version - that has nothing to do with the LL viewer. 

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The issue about 'we're not being paid to do LL's own marketing' (something that has been always discussed over and over again) reminded me of a current ad being ran by the German supermarket chain LIDL. Around here, they have recently launched a campaign under the slogan Nobody sells us like our customers — clearly pointing out that the best form of advertising a product or service is word-of-mouth (even though LIDL, naturally enough, uses all sorts of advertising, on both traditional and digital media).

I find it amusing that a supermarket chain has no problem in engaging their customers as their 'best' evangelisers, while here at Second Life, we trust Linden Lab to do a better work than the residents...

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Posted (edited)

If someone asks me about Lidl or any other supermarket, I will tell what I think about it. Sure.
I ain't gonna bother my family and friends advertising Lidl though.

Same goes for SL. If someone wants my 2 cents about it, sure I will tell about SL. It even will be mostly positive.
But nobody ever asks. And just as with the supermarkets, I ain't gonna bother my family and friends with advertising SL either.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Gwyneth Llewelyn said:

find it amusing that a supermarket chain has no problem in engaging their customers as their 'best' evangelisers, while here at Second Life, we trust Linden Lab to do a better work than the residents...

A common thread in many of the replies here is that many residents have valid practical reasons to find it hard to advocate the use of SL to those who aren't already around.

Having been on the platform in the past, I've learned to put up with the limitations although I'm baffled by the fact that some have not been addressed after many years. What will a new user think if they are told to join? It's pretty easy for anyone to say "I can have more fun and better graphics elsewhere".

Edited by Alesia Schumann
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3 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

That's not from firestorm .. That's from Catznip :P

Thanks for the correction :) 

I know it's in most TPV viewers that I've tried, and should have referenced it that way, rather than thinking it came from FS initially. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

I couldn't agree more.  There really is no excuse for LL not seeing how useful FS was and importing THOSE FS features into the official SL viewer.  I always wonder what are the Linden's thinking by not adopting the liked FS features into the LL viewer.

Why should they? They don't make money selling their viewer so it's all the same for them if people choose a TPV.

As for new users, all those extra functions are the reason I say Firestorm is marginally less user friendly. The SL viewer is confusing enough for somebody not familiar with it.

That does not mean all those functions should be removed but the interface needs to be better organised with an absolute minimum of clutter on the "normal default" screen.

Edited by ChinRey
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19 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

Alternatively, people need to stop pretending that the answer is always "simplify this" .... Some simplification is good, yes. Oversimplification is quite another story.

In some areas it would be a good start.

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8 minutes ago, MoiraKathleen said:

I know it's in most TPV viewers that I've tried, and should have referenced it that way, rather than thinking it came from FS initially. 

People attribute a feature to the first viewer they see it in. This is probably the only remaining source of inter-TPV friction, especially when some viewers like to release imported features before the authors get a chance to publish.

Rule of thumb .. If something exists in Catznip, it's either a Linden feature or Catznip, we don't import code/features from other projects (the very idea makes Kitty itch), but are a source for every other project.

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37 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

Alternatively, people need to stop pretending that the answer is always "simplify this" .... Some simplification is good, yes. Oversimplification is quite another story.

The viewer presents a complex canvas to both users and creators. Streamlining and refining is one thing, simplification is something else entirely and would almost certainly involve reducing interface flexibility.

What are you comfortable having removed ?

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1 minute ago, Solar Legion said:

People's expectations for a "simple" Viewer.

Nooo nonono no. You have to be very specific.

We have had a basic viewer from LL in the past and it irked everyone who used it.

Just demanding a simpler viewer .. and the not saying what that might be is no different from showing up to a dev meeting and yelling "FIX THE BUGZ" or "YOU SUCK". 

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1 hour ago, Alesia Schumann said:

I'd look at how it scales first. Have a limited number of avatars in a scene and you have nice graphics at a high framerate. A few more avatars or more intense scenes quickly ruin that. Without better resilience at scale, it's pretty hard to promise anyone the most immersive and addictive experience, which they might get elsewhere.

That's a really hard problem. SL allocates resources to land, permanently. The world continues to run even if nobody is nearby. This makes SL a living virtual world. But there's no way in the SL architecture to allocate more resources to an area that has lots of avatars in it.

Still, the fact that regions choke at 40-50 avatars is probably a fixable problem. Getting to 200 avatars, now that's tough.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Nooo nonono no. You have to be very specific.

We have had a basic viewer from LL in the past and it irked everyone who used it.

Just demanding a simpler viewer .. and the not saying what that might be is no different from showing up to a dev meeting and yelling "FIX THE BUGZ" or "YOU SUCK". 

You are assuming I want it to be "simpler" according to your definition of removal of features/interface flexibility. No. Hard no.

Shifting and renaming functions to make more sense is acceptable. Giving easier access to functions normally locked behind the Debug Settings dialog ... is acceptable.

So no, I don't have to be very specific. Unless something drastically changes, I'll have few issues tracking down any moved/renamed functions. As long as ample documentation exists somewhere that can be relied upon, even fewer issues.

To sum up: You're asking the wrong person, the wrong questions.

ETA: Do reread the post you quoted as it as edited to clarify what I want removed. I want people's expectations for a "simple" Viewer removed. No, not the functions they suggest ... the expectations themselves. Removed. From them.

Edited by Solar Legion
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11 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Just demanding a simpler viewer .. and the not saying what that might be is no different from showing up to a dev meeting and yelling "FIX THE BUGZ" or "YOU SUCK". 

Well... they don't fix very many bugs and they do kinda suck depending on what POV you take. I mean, they'd look kinda silly blowing on a lollipop. 😉

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9 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

What are you comfortable having removed ?

I'd make most of the graphics adjustments automatic. When frame rate drops below 20FPS, reduce LOD, draw distance, number of non-impostor avatars, etc. to get the frame rate back up.

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7 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

You are assuming I want it to be "simpler" according to your definition of removal of features/interface flexibility. No. Hard no.

Shifting and renaming functions to make more sense is acceptable.

Firestorm renames and moves almost everything from the Linden defaults (for .. reasons, I guess).

Has this helped with accessibility or usability ?

Quote

Giving easier access to functions normally locked behind the Debug Settings dialog ... is acceptable.

Rarely! Plenty of debug settings are literally that .. left over Linden debug code. Most are poorly named, many have non obvious consequences and a few can brick the viewer. Many of them exist solely because whoever was developing a feature on the day could fiddle with some numbers and not have to recompile or mess with a debugger.

The useful debug settings are already in preferences. 

I would support the entire removal of all viewer developer features (much of the advanced & develop menus) and access to debug settings from the release viewer. 

2 minutes ago, animats said:

I'd make most of the graphics adjustments automatic. When frame rate drops below 20FPS, reduce LOD, draw distance, number of non-impostor avatars, etc. to get the frame rate back up.

We explored that .. the problem is it's entirely contextual and the viewer has no way of knowing what your intent at any given moment is.

Frame rate alone might be a priority, so might rendering everything, or everyone, or no one and so on. Are you diving about, exploring, shopping, building, enjoying the view, taking a picture, making a video or making a mess.

The viewer would invariably pick the wrong set of conditions every time or get stuck bouncing up and down between settings the moment something in a scene changed or when someone new arrived. The shift also wouldn't be seamless and without cost .. because this is the SL viewer and that's just how that roles.

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20 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Nooo nonono no. You have to be very specific.

We have had a basic viewer from LL in the past and it irked everyone who used it.

Just demanding a simpler viewer .. and the not saying what that might be is no different from showing up to a dev meeting and yelling "FIX THE BUGZ" or "YOU SUCK". 

Not about removing stuff but making it easier to navigate through the inventory would be a great start. Old and new users alike find it just as much of a hot mess as you find my quotes in dark theme. Slogging through a typical Mesh body folder requires me to read every entry there to find one specific body, the hud, feet, hands, save stick etc etc. Some new icons differentiating those would be great. Though I realize it is beyond the ability for a tpv dev to change but the ability to rename some no mod items to be more relevant would be nice. The ability to use some thumbnails for items so I don't have to click through a half dozen variants of a body to find the one I am looking for. A Ctrl+Z function so one could step back to a previous worn item. Better search functions within the Inventory. Would be great if one could actually access Inventory through a web page instead of only through a viewer. That should allow for more options in making the stuff more graphical instead of all text based. Point and click.

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