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Simple Inventory Project Viewer

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Last year, we tested two “modes” to the Second Life Viewer, Basic and Advanced. Advanced mode was the standard UI layout and functionality that existing users were familiar with. Basic mode presented a less featured UI that provided users with a less complicated introduction to Second Life. A few months ago, we merged those modes with the introduction of our current, more flexible, Viewer UI.

There was one area we explored for Basic Mode that never made it to release, which was a simplified presentation of Inventory aimed at new users, designed to encourage a well organized inventory from day one. For new users, managing and understanding inventory is often challenging. Drag and drop over large inventories can be problematic and daunting. New users are often confused about the meaning of certain system folders.

Today we have released a Project Viewer beta that includes this simplified presentation of inventory as an option. Before we consider any widespread changes to inventory, we want to know what you think about the Simple Inventory UI, noting that the target user is someone just starting out.  

The Simple Inventory UI offers new users:
  • A simple display presenting only one folder at a time
  • Improved wayfinding and findability
  • Faster load of inventory items
Download the Project Viewer and take Simple Inventory for a spin. We’d like to hear what you like and don’t like about the design and interaction, as well as how it works with your own inventory.

It’s important to note that Simple Inventory was intended for Basic mode before Basic and Advanced modes were merged. It is still experimental and so it is unclear how it will function with extremely large Inventories, so if you have a large Inventory we don’t recommend using Simple Inventory as your only view.  

There are some incomplete features and known issues of which you should be aware. You can read more about these in the release notes, here.

Comments and feedback are welcome in this forum thread and bugs should be reported in Jira in the SINV project.

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Not a fan of it so far, but its better than other recent UI changes at least.

It does make me wonder where this is going. I don't believe LL would keep and support two very different inventory UI's, especially after merging basic and normal modes. I'm a bit worried that SINV, or something like it, will become the only supported inventory view in the future.

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Firstly I think the whole quest for improvement is valid, is positive, congratulations and thank you for this new idea, but Second Life is making so much changes in few time.
SL think a lot of new users with many changes and always end up losing people who are here will be more than 3, 4, 5 years. This new propose for Simple Inventory not is so bad, maybe useful in some moment, but learn the simple and the old Inventory for a new user is the same.

Well,as the two options are available, both the hierarchical as the old, not is a problem. I will continue to use and try and come back to say more things about this.

Sugestion for Second Life in general: Who spent more is the old users, nobody join in SL and spent $$ in 1 month, so please, think more in veterans and give priority for fix, adjust the bugs and problems there is now, maybe this way ourselves bring new users

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Hi Rhett, :matte-motes-kiss:
No , I'm not thinking this, as i said before, is very good tests and search the better for all tools.
I just took advantage of this opportunity, speaking of changes and testing to give them a hint of Second Life, but as a fashion model and fashionista in SL, I am glad we are surelylooking for tools as important improvements.

And that i likee very much to blog and make tutorials i need and will go use this next days this beta for can coment more here :)

Good see you here, kisses

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Talking about Inventory, I think very important to mention about how organizers of inventories sold in shops and the marketplace, another suggestion is that this team try and see how working. Some bloggers have reported on this form to organize our stuff and  we use most fashionistas, you can see how it works for add something to help in this project, if needed, I can send links to some examples.

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If you really want to simplify inventory handling the most helpful thing that you could do would be to have the UI for inventory act like a file manager on your computer.  Allow people to specify the folder and subfolder an item should go to when they put it in their inventory with the default being the folder it came from if it originally came out of their inventory .  Newbs would understand this concept very well as they are already use to it and it sure would make a huge difference in time spent managing inventory for everyone, even those of us that have large inventories.

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"Drag and drop over large inventories can be problematic and daunting. "  

This is likely the top 10 Pet Peeve of users in SL. 

If Linden Labs REALLY WANTS TO MAKE INVENTORY BETTER ...  and I would really love to see a true Response to this Question by ProductTeam Linden. 

Why has Linden Labs NOT put in a Cut / Paste function for inventory ?   This single capability of CUT & PASTE to move inventory around would solve issues that have plagued Inventory Manglement since SL started.

Select Items or Folder, Right Click, CUT folder or item(s) and PASTE to where you want it. 

It's been done in TPV's, it started in Meerkat, went into Imprudence & Astra but I'm unsure of other TPV's.


Anxiously awaiting a valid answer.

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This inventory view has some nice potential, but mystery meat navigation is hurting it. Navigate to Library>Accessories like I did here, and the side scrolling sets an expectation that I can scroll back. I can't, there isn't even a button on that Accessories bar! Instead, I need to hover on the Library bar above that to find the secret Actions button, which tells me to go back to "top folder". That brings me back to the library, but wait that's not the top folder, I see "My Inventory", "Received Items" and "Trash" right there! Did I do something wrong?

I really expected to find a "back" or "up" button on that "Accessories" bar. And i would have been less "huh?" if the secret "Actions" button said "back to Library",

I see that if I drill down one more level, to Library>Accessories>Bags, there is a link to get back to Accessories. Do something consistent with that.



Another pain point is inflexibility on the folder views.  Check this one out.



I can't even do anything with this "Asymmetric Bob" thing in the library, because there was no expansion and the scroll bars disappeared to nothing! And, even one level above that, the scrollable area is so tiny that I can't read a complete line. This needs little resize handles, or it should just expand as required.

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First impression: not bad this idea! The move function is an improvement for me. How many times i dragged stuff in to the wrong folder before!  I also like the 'received items' folder. Well, i have a lot of inventory cleaning to do, a perfect test case for the coming time.

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I'm playing with the Project Viewer and cleaning up some inventory. I always have arranging to do. New stuff comes in and I leave it in the main folders until I have time to sort things out and arrange them. I even dump stuff in an unfiled things folder so the main folder isn't so cluttered.

Having multiple Folder Viewer panels open shuold help me file things. I get lost and in the std. view and have to scroll around too much. It gets very tedious.

In general I think Folder View is a nice feature. I may save this copy of the Project Viewer to use just for arranging inventory.

New Users...

I'm not sure how it will work for the new. I think it hides lots of information. That may be good or bad. 

I think the tool tips that come up and repeat the folder name are redundant. For new users the tips should probably say double click to open folder. Give them some help.

Using Action's Open is going to clutter the screen and probably be a downer for new and experienced users.

I think the offset on a newly open panel needs to be a little more. It took me a few to realize is had actually opened a new window that was covering you the parent panel. A little more casscade would solve that problem.

Obviously Inventory Search needs to be fixed. I was confused trying to use Folder View Search. I couldn't find anything. Of course that may be the way the Lab thinks search is supposed to work... sorry... lots of us have been frustrated with SL Search for along time now. 

Folder View is much simpler and there is less to learn, so it could help new users. I remain undecided on that point. It would be nice if new users knew enough to help with this, but if they knew then they wouldn;t be new...

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Rhett Linden wrote:

Fear not that we would make such a large change to the Inventory UI.  This is a test for user feedback, nothing more.



Problem is we have heard this before. Next thing we know the project viewer will become beta and in just a few weeks after that become official release in its current form. I really do hope you prove me wrong this time though and actually listen to any feedback you get.

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dont see what is wrong with the current inventory. it works the same as windows file manager and all the others. the cut and paste is something that i have been waiting for. but not happened yet. a very basic function.

i dont think dumbing things down is the answer. maybe make it so you can click and drag from recent. add bookmark shortcuts for folders, allow cut and paste of items and folders, make a second inventory window quicker to open and more obvious that you can even have another one. stop the inventory jumping about when people log in and out. get it working how it should before going off onto another project.

in all honesty, this is probably a change that is not needed.

the advanced and basic idea was such a hassle and detriment to the SL expreaince. core parts of the vewier were not accessable.

the new UI is great. no more sidebar, moveable buttons, can have icons and/or text buttons. (build window still takes up too much screen revenue).

 make the library act more like the inventory. right click a folder and replace current outfit etc.


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truly the inventory needs to be improved, it has a huge quantity of things that the scroll bars on hundreds of folders is not the best way to organize them.

we need a solution, a way to organize them the same way we do in rl, or in our minds, for example, we use conexions, things that i brought when i was on vacation, color blue, the night before i came home, and i found it in that antique shop. or for people, the friend of my best friend that lives near his house, and that has friends that like to go to the park.

its great that Linden Lab is taking a look to it with the goal of finding a more intuitive to organize that big quantity of things.

here are some ideas: let us add some tags to our things, maybe group them by tags, to make connections, like, "all blue things that are soft and makes me look silly, and moves cool with the wind", tags could be "blue, silly, soft, cool, wind".

maybe someone could write that sentence, and the things that has most matches of the tags may show first, and the ones that coincides with less matches show after, and maybe after those ones, the ones that have words that are close to the tags found in the sentence.

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First and foremost, thank you very much for listening to the Residents before implementing a new development. Thanks, really.
In fact, I do not understand why such a good initiative appears in a subforum and not as a blog entry :)

I have not formed an opinion on this new inventory. I write only a few "first impressions":

1. I like very much to open a single folder in a new window.
2. Totally agree with the comment of Incoherendt about the back/up button.
3. I like the "Move" an object option (but I prefer an "Cut + Paste" option).
4. I know this is only a test viewer, but don't forget the option "Add to..".
5. Is this new system easier for new residents? I'm not sure. It seems to me that a new resident is accustomed to the "tree system of folders" of Windows or any OS, and the "tree system" is the actual Inventory system. But who knows.
6. AFAIK There is no way to distinguish at a glance when a folder is full or empty.
7. AFAIK there is no option for open a notecard/script with double click (couble click is faster than 'Actions > Open').
8. Totally agree with the comment of Nalates about Search. I cannot imagine what is showing the inventory when I mahe a search.
9. And totally and mournfully agree with the Darren comment.

I'm not sure if the inventory needs change. In fact, I manage my inventory without any special problem with the system of folders and subfolders. But any improvement is welcome (if the improvement does not spoil the good that already exists).

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Hmmm, I think the look and feel of the inventory just grew too complex since the development of viewer2/3. It used to be simple except cut, paste, add and links had been missed. What also was too much of a challenge was a fast simple way to change permissions of all items in a folder and its subfolders.

The viewer 1 developments had a simple Ms windows explorer like look and feel, had a simple thin title bar, and was very simple to learn the use therefore. Over time it got more bulky and visually complex with thick title bars, incorperation of appearence, etc.

To diverse it into a a basic and advanced mode isn't the asnwer to my vision. It only adds to confusion. In a matter of hours or days newbies and ppl will leave the basic mode to use the advanced thing anyway. For that reason the Basic and Advanced mode in the viewer was contra productive.

I would make the look and feel very simple again and add features like: cut and paste, and a simple way to change persmissions of all items in a folder and its selected subfolders. And i would add a wizard to keep the inventory well organized. And last but not least i would improve the search.

However, keep it stupid simple.

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There are some nice touches here, and there are also some clear limitations, and I have to say that I'm not entirely grasping how this makes inventory easier to understand among "new" users. I'm not saying there aren't problems with the way in which inventory is presented (to everyone, new or old), I'm just not convinced that *as presented here* there is anything that makes inventory any more usable to the "new" user over the existing inventory presentation. 

It's not as if people coming into SL are going to be utterly unfamiliar with the concepts of file management, folder hierarchies and the like, as they are more than likely well-grounded in the likes of Windows Explorer  / the Mac Finder, etc. Opening folders in new windows helps avoid inconveniences such as the awful scrolling that can occur within the inventory panel (as can the alternative approach to moving items) - but this can already be achieved via opening two inventory floaters anyway (although the ability to "automatically" open a second / third, etc, window "automatically" via the ACTIONS menu is a plus).

I just can't help but feel that there are perhaps better options to consider, such as adopting a more Explorer / Finder like presentation as others have suggest here (while acknowledging doing so may well be far more coding-intensive).

However, as feedback has been requested on the idea presented here, I'll offer-up mine:


  • Add the ability to see what is actually being worn or is attached to the avatar within the Folder View
  • As most people are likely to be moving folders from RECEIVED ITEMS to MY INVENTORY, it would make sense to move RECEIVED ITEMS above LIBRARY, to reduce the chances of a mis-click dropping items into the Library section
  • Look into consistency of actions a little more: if the Trashcan can be displayed in the My INVENTORY pane, than have the ACTION menu associated with it display an option to EMPTY TRASH rather than the (rather pointless) move, rename and delete options
  • As currently supplied, the functionality is perhaps a little too limited - no ability to create sub-folders, for example, so the ability to organise one's inventory is severely restricted to drag-and-drop into whatever is already there
  • Don't be afraid of using menu options at the top of the inventory panel (File, Create, Sort, etc.) - they are lot more intuitive for users new or established than having options buried behind obscure "+" symbols and cog wheel icons.

Also, if it is intended provide both views (Hierarchy and Folder) within the inventory panel of the a release Viewer at some point in the future, then I'd also suggesting ensuring that the top-level folder presentation is consistent between them (i.e. scrap the "system folders to top" default in favour of an alphabetical listing for the Hierarchy View), as this will assist familiarity in switching between views. 

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(TL;DR at the bottom)


The current SL Inventory I feel is superior to this new 'folders' view, just for the simple fact that I can manuever things wherever I want IN my Inventory without having to rename them something so they can be in alphabetical order.


I purposefully have my inventory in a way that has various items UNDER all of my Animations/Body Parts/Calling Cards/etc. standard SL folders (this goes for all the folders I have IN the standard SL folders as well, they're organised in a particular fashion that's most-to-least used, and not alphabetical), so that I can be more organised and not have to read every single line to figure out where the folder I'm looking for is;


for example: I have a folder named "Pony Everything", which is my folder for my pony gear. In the regular/current inventory, it's right under my Trash, no scrolling required. With Folders view, I have to scroll through pretty much all the folders that WERE UNDER "Pony Everything" to get to the folder.


My organisation is completely thrown out the window, and it forces all users to be stuck with alphabetical order of things (rather than their personal form of organisation) - Which is not efficient unless you can only remember the first letter of a folder, or just really like scrolling through all your folders.


As well, there is no efficient way to go back to the previous folder, whereas the current/good inventory doesn't force you to be dedicated to the folder you click on, and simply opens it up rather than pushing you into a new window (which eliminates drag and drop altogether). On top of that, there's no right-clicking, which throws Windows users (roughly, 85% or so of computer users?) through an uncomfortable loop. Windows and SL users alike have the muscle memory to right-click on things. I know LL has no issue with screwing with users muscle memories, but if you're here to listen...it's truly not appreciated.


- Current, "hierarchy view" allows organisation not reliant upon alphabetical order (which is not efficient)

- "Folder view" has no side-scroll bar, disallows personal organisation. If a player is too lazy to keep organised, that's their issue; making everyone in mode X to be alphabetical-organisation-only isn't fair.

- Unable to return to previous folder efficiently, 100% dedicated to folder you choose

- No drag and drop

- No right clicking is big issue

- Muscle memory is wonked out~

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I'm glad that LL is trying to improve the interface and VERY glad that you're asking our input.

I find, though, that the new interface is klunkier than the present one.

The hierarchical view could use some keyboard shortcuts, such as backspace to go to the next higher folder.

And in the breadcrumbs, the very first thing I tried to do was to click on one of the upper-level folders there, but nothing happens.

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The current inventory implementation is better than this experimental one.  The main problem I see with the new version is, too many mouse clicks to do what can now be done with a simple drag and drop.

Improvements I would LIKE to see:

1.  Fix the "high speed scrolling" that occurs sometimes when trying to drag an item to a new location.

2.  Add Cut and Paste...my Firestorm does that, and it's a big convenience when you have a lot of folder and subfolders.

3.  Automatically delete Links when an item is deleted.  Or find some other way to fix the "broken link" problem.

4.  Make the functionality even MORE like the Windows File Manager.  People know how that works.

5.  Here's one I probably can't have, but would really like:  Access to my inventory *without* having to log my avatar in world.  I would really like to have uninterrupted peace and quiet when sorting my Stuff.  I understand why it's a bad idea to have the inventory on my local hard drive...but couldn't you maybe invent a way to log in just to the inventory server, so that my friends don't see me on line and start calling me up?

I do like the more distinct division between the main Inventory, Library, newly received items, and trash.  Put Received Items at the top of the stack, though.

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