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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

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Roslin Petion

Very fair points. It's good to have a consumer's perspective on this issue. I follow pantone for naming my colors because it always felt weird/wrong to put out 10 different kinds of pink and use the same name for all the shades. I don't know that I'm going to change this practice, but it's definitely good to hear your views on it and keep it in mind.

Damien Fate

Totally guilty of the colour names, though I do name products with what kind of item they are (shirt, pant etc). Half way there!

CronoCloud Creeggan

While using consistent Pantone based naming is a start, most SL users aren't familiar with Pantone. And even if they know about Pantone, they probably don't know the color names and numbers. A graphic designer might own the $1400 Pantone Reference Library, but most users don't. For example, the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is "Marsala". If you name something "Marsala" it's no help to most people. "Marsala"....is a brown.

What's worse is when colors don't have names at all....Truth, I'm looking at you.

Designers are better off using the classic 64-box Crayola and/or HTML color names in combination. If you have multiple pinks they could be "Fashion Doll Pink", "Beige-pink" "Creamy Pink", "Pink Carnation", "Neon Pink" etc etc.

My own pet peeve for names is when designers use non alphabetic characters in item names. Remember, if one concatenates a name with a period a la "vintage.pencil.skirt.black", SL marketplace search will treat that as ONE word for matching. Spaces and letters only!

Evie Miles

Very interesting article!

I found myself disagreeing with your final conclusions, though, so thought I'd offer another perspective.

Simplifying the name too much, is going to give you a different kind of problem. If everyone titles their red shirt "Red Shirt", how are you going to distinguish one from another, with an inventory search? You've found 7 of them, but which one did you really want to wear?

You might look at the store name or brand, included in the description to help remind you of the particular red shirt you were searching for, but if that's the case, why not just search for the brand details in the first place?

Also, folders are a thing. If you're a frequent shopper, chances are you're going to need to develop some sort of system for keeping things easy to find.
It's a bit like hanging your clothes in a closet, as opposed to just piling them on the floor, still in the shopping bag, and then trying to find that one pair of jeans, later.

Of course, we're all interested in better ways to manage our inventory. But in this virtual world where we have the freedom to build a custom identity and where someone who could never be a "Ruttiger" in real life, suddenly absolutely can, the power of the narrative we're selling with each product, is even MORE seductive, and effective, as a marketing tool.

Look at the names people choose for themselves when they register for SL.

David becomes "Darius". Mary inexplicably chooses "Arianabella". We all want that new, exotic identity, and a name has the power to gift it to us.

I'd say we're not really thinking about how easy it's going to be to find that red shirt later, when deciding how badly Arianabella is going to need that tank top in both Antique Ruby AND Hot Chilli.

And finally, as a content creator, my interest is definitely centred around successfully selling you a product, not worrying so much about your personal organizational skills.

If you've lost a sweater at the back of a messy wardrobe.. maybe it's time for a spring clean!

Connie Arida

Or you could just pop a pic of your outfit in flicker in an appropriate "album" (eg lingerie) with the name copied into description field. Finding the appropriate piece then becomes a doddle.Just copy/ paste the name from description into your inventory and Voila.

Kitty Revolver

The only time this is a problem for me is brand-specific. I dislike when brand names have different names for relativity the same color and I am having to sort through everything. My call: 1) have original names but 2) make them relatively clear. I don't need red, blue, green, but in the content that I have created, named my colors after something archetypically that is that color. So Red becomes Hydrant, green is spring, and pastel yellow is sunshine.

I will agree with Evie that it sounds like a spring cleaning might be in order or at the very least a shuffle of the deck to find stuff you are buying.

Also there is a SL application/gaget called (CTS) Wardrobe. Basically you upload pictures (taking and emailing the picture in SL) and metadata to the site and it is all there for you to search by your metadata terms. It is a pain for those with large inventories (anything really can be used), but uploading your stuff that you just bought and/or received, it is managable. So then you have a visual reference and a reference when you are searching through Ruttigers and looking for brown and you tagged that item brown you can find it. I think you can find it on the Marketplace. Carlyle Theas is the creator. It is really easy to use and if you keep your terms straight, you might not have to worry about exotic names.

Tracy RedAngel

Color names are important. Red...blue...green usually = boring.

Would you be more likely to buy a skirt if it were yellow green or if it was...Wasabi? It's marketing, and it matters.

Deoridhe Quandry

I actually sort my clothing by color in my clothing folder, so the interesting color names people chose are less of an issue for me.

Janine/Iris

@Evie Miles I think you may have actually missed my point, which was that the compromise of Name+Descriptor is the best of both worlds. Also, marketing in SL 100% doesn't end when I've bought your product. If I never wear it because I can't find it, no one's ever going to ask me where I got it.

Canary Beck

The moment you add an object to your inventory, it becomes a record in a database you may want to find later. As you said, an inventory is not a closet, so it must be queried differently. For this reason, data that is obscurely named will have a much less likely chance of being found (and you're quite right, worn and commented on), than data that is easier to locate by (as you recommend) brand name - model name (that ideally includes a signal of what it is, e.g. skirt) - and as standard-as-possible colour.

Labels are not the place for creative expression, that's what the content is for. The label should tell the user what the content is behind the label. Too many people confuse that labels with content, in both RL and SL.

This is a no-brainer.

Ideally, every object in Second Life should also have metatag data, which should also be searchable with our inventory queries, along with the name and description of the object (similar to an html file). That way, if you do a search for a skirt, you find all your skirts, whether they are named skirt or described as skirt or not. That at least helps get around people who refuse to be clear for the sake of being creative.

Even better would be contextual suggestions to queries, so that if your search did not find the couch you were looking for, it suggested things like sofas and chesterfields and settee. This would also be useful for colours, for example, if you searched for red (seeing as you remembered the skirt being red) then it might suggest related colours (e.g.magenta) from a database.

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