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Is it really that complicated to make a user friendly viewer?


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the third party viewer developers the people not paid by LL are average residents that use SL and know what other SL users want out of a viewer and they do their upmost to take LL's open source code and code in all the extra features like built in AO's Area searches and ability to de-render stuff that us users of SL want in a viewer and LL doesn't provide

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It all depends on your definition of "user friendly".  For years we had only one developer of SL viewers.  Then, when LL open sourced the viewer code, we got a ton of "different" viewers.  But there really was no real difference.....only a differen look.  All the functions and features were the same.  Renamed, moved around, changing some default settings.........but they all had to be able to do what the server software presented in order to be competitive with everyone else developing a viewer (not to mention the official SL viewer).  By suppressing some of the little used features or emphasizing some of the more used features viewers gained popularity among the users who found that desirable............but it was only "user friendly" to the folks who found the features and functions useful.  The problem comes when a viewer has to incorporate every feature and function the servers are designed to do for everyone (not just the users who use those features and functions).  The stuff is available whether you use it or not and if you don't use it then it's just something in the way and/or confuses.  User friendly for me is probably something very different that user friendly for you.  Any viewer will be user friendly for anyone once the viewer (mostly the UI of the viewer) is learned..........just like any other program. 

 

I can use GIMP as an example.  I find the image editor extremely easy to use.....very user friendly.  A user of Photoshop or Paintshop Pro will argue with me all day long about GIMP being a very user unfriendly software package.  I've tried those free trails for Photoshop..........I can't figure out heads or tails about the UI (it's the most user unfriendly image editor I have ever tried).  My friend here on the forums, Rolig Loon, would disagree with me vehemently.  It's what we learned and how we use it that makes it friendly or unfriendly.

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I tend to agree with a lot of what you said.  I'd value your perspective on the following.  The short version is that I don't really see much difference between the Phoenix and Viewer 1 user interfaces, nor do I see much difference between the Firestorm and Viewer 2 / 3 interfaces.  I use Phoenix or Firestorm occasionally for radar.  I used to use Emerald or Viewer 1 for search, before LL fixed V2 search.  So, I've used various viewers for various functional reasons--not because of user interface differences.

So, what interests me now is the psychology behind hearing people on these forums--and inworld--complain so bitterly about the V2 user interface while praising the Firestorm user interface.  The trouble I have is that the user interfaces aren't that much different.  Surely as Firestorm matures to the level Phoenix is now, I'll  appreciate the additional features such as good radar. 

But, what's going on here?  How is it that people say they love one user interface and hate another, when the two have only trivial differences? 

Is it all about the pie?  The pie is a really bad design in my opinion, but it is usable in Phoenix, and fortunately in Firestorm I can turn it off.  

Then, if it is all about the pie, how is it that people find a V2 without the pie so hard to use, when V2 operates with right-click just like every other commercial Windows program out there?  It seems that most people (excepting Mac users) who use SL so much would at least use some other Windows programs, which would cause V2 to feel rather familiar.

 

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Amysterious wrote:

It looks like everyone who doesen't get paid does a better Job than Lindens. Hows that possible?

As a noob, I think you people here call us, I was about to quit second life because the viewer I got was just plain stupid. I had not a clue what was going on. Someone told be about firestorm beta, so I got that one and it is great. So maybe I will stick around a bit longer.

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          I agree Canoro.  I grew up with Viewer 2 when I first logged into sl so I am quite used to it.  I found it easy to learn on and rather intuitive for a newbie although different versions of the viewer have had  their problems. Viewer 2 is fairly stable at this point.

         My current problem with V2 is not it's features or its interface.  

         It is just very labor intensive on my laptop.  I don't have a low end laptop either...although it is not the latest in the gaming laptop line.  Running Core 2 Duo and dedicated Nvidia 260m graphics card on windows 7 OS.

         If you have a CPU/RAM gadget you can tell a marked difference in how hard your CPU is working to render Viewer 2 as opposed to Firestorm.  The Firestorm viewed just rezzes more quickly (not dramatically but noticeable) and there are less grey people and objects when it finishes rezzing.  My experience anyway.

        I am not using the latest mesh enabled version of Firestorm...not yet anyway.  When I start seeing mesh objects etc. in world to the places I travel then will give it at try, but I believe in "if it isn't broke don't fix it."   

         

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Karma Avedon wrote:

Very well thought out replies to a not very well thought out statement. The argmuents made over the available viewers says a lot more about the users making the statements than the actual viewer they are using.

Indeed, I'd like to be cool like all the other kids and run arround shouting XX Rules!! YY Sux Big Time!! -- but my brain gets in the way.  They just ain't that different.

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