What is wrong with the v2.0 - 3.0 UI? Not really all that much as it turns out. v2 was a huge improvement in functionality but just looked really bad. It was kind of like having a new baby brother that you can't wait to tickle and hold, that is until you see how ugly he is and suddenly find yourself looking for hand sanitizer instead. That and it sort of castrated your biggest supporters, but we'll get to that. First off is making v3 pretty again! What colors do highly successful UIs use? 1) Skype: Smooth gradients of whites and blues 2) Apple: Smooth gradients of whites 3) Google+: Solid bright colors 3) Google Chrome: Solid bright colors Can you think of any dark depressing UI's out there that have had nearly the market success that these products have had? Even your website makes the user feel like their peering into a dark closet at the funny people inside. (Doesn't your closet have funny people inside?) What else do these four examples have that makes them successful? 1) Highly uncluttered 2) UI reveals complexity where utterly needed (think of how Google hides all links until you move the mouse) 3) They get the hell out of your way (the best UI is the UI no one notices) 4) They are all highly polished (this means things fail gracefully, bugs are squished and not just bandaged, and all workflows are enjoyable) What can LL learn from Microsoft? 1) When launching the .net platform, why did Microsoft not just ditch Visual Basic when C# had all the exact same functionality? A: Because they recognized the importance of the VB culture and not ditching that following. Satisfy the v1.0 fans with a few check boxes in the options to give them what they want! What can LL learn from Blizzard? 1) Blizzard allows UI mods so that users can add in the features they want. !!!BUT!!! They have a policy that mods should not be -needed- for the enjoyment of their games. Thus when a particular mod becomes so useful it really should be part of core functionality .... they IMPLIMENT IT in the official UI! (It's about time for a UI animation override) Third Party Viewers should NOT be -needed- to enjoy SL either as a newbie or for more advanced workflows. They should be regulated to the role of idea generators and solutions for extreme use cases. If your contracts are stopping you from integrating the innovations found in TPVs, then GET NEW CONTRACTS. Each morning at LL should start with the UI team using TPVs and reading up on new ideas while they drink their morning coffee. Blizzard does. What can LL learn from Google Chrome? 1) Get out of the users way! There is a cool feature in Firestorm where the upper menu bar is transparent, thus increasing the view port. Things like these add more than you know to the enjoyment of the UI. Other ideas may include: Auto hiding menus or UI components until the user moves the mouse near them (think start bar in Windows), marking all components resizable (think Skype sidebar), and avoid losing tons of space to menu bars (think of Google Chrome folding everything into ONE bar at the top) Pop quiz: How many sides of the screen does the SL UI currently muddle up? A: Three! 2) Tabs are awesome! This is a more long range thing, but if you really want to push the 'SL as a browser' mentality, then why not allow a user to be in multiple places at the same time? Freeze rendering on tabs not in use to reduce computer lag of course. But this will increase server load right? .... Then buy more servers. Look at Google Instant. They increased their server load HUGELY for something they felt they needed to have the ultimate search experience. Time for hard choices. What can LL learn from Blue Mars -FAILING-? 1) That collaborative creation is half the magic! Take Charlar Linden, give him a team of people, and lock him inside for a few months until you can create mesh IN WORLD. We don't need a new blender here. We need something like an in world Google Sketchup, perhaps even simpler. Requirements of in world mesh creation: Ability to convert prims to mesh, merging of prims, editing of vertexes, basic editing functions like extrude and perhaps a few binary modifiers like smooth. THATS IT! I can't stress this enough. Imagine you're in SL building a space station with your buddies. You've learned how to work with prims already, but now you've pressed that little 'convert to mesh' button and now you're moving vertexes all over the place! Your friends are laughing at you and you're all having an amazing time. Let Blender be used for polished professional content, let in world mesh editing be used for fast and sloppy creation that with some work can actually look better than pure prims alone. What can LL learn from Photoshop? 1) Photoshop and many other programs have a method of selecting 'work flow presets' that allows people to get up and running with the software without making a million changes. Basic mode sort of touches on this, but I feel that making the interface highly customizable and then creating a few presets would have a much better effect. Some preset ideas: Builder - increased floating point precision on build dialogs, more alignment tools, 'convert to mesh' button, more feedback text for things like Land Impact and ARC etc., Simple - Super simple UI layout, very few options, keep the eye focused on chatting and exploring, Roleplayer, Gamer, Texturer, Scripter, etc... I have many more ideas, and there are of course other things that need to be done (such as ending the 'what do I look like to you' discussion), but I believe that these changes together with LL's awesome new focus on Avatar profiles might just get this place back into the exponential curve. P.S. When teleports fail, I should not fall though the damn floor! P.S.S. Teleports should not fail. P.S.S.S. Adult content is IMPORTANT!!! As adults we express ourselfs in adult ways. I think this is the 'other half of the magic' that makes SL so enjoyable. And yes this can very well include sex and sexual expression in things ranging from art to roleplay to inworld games.