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Tuesday, April 08, 2014


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Obviously nobody that dares to say Sl interface is old and hatd to master, never tried Eve Online or work with blender!

draxtor ™

I could not help commenting on YouTube :( The myth of the hard-to-learn interface is super annoying [I have had 7-year olds build and communicate within an hour and everyone knows Fran Seranade who at 86-years-of-age has no issues navigating etc]. Also, while I am a big fan of the subject matter/guests of the Virtually Speaking series I have just visited their sim which seems to have been preserved in a 2006 style of SL that does not reflect much of the immense improvement in graphics, subsequent design, scripting or anything else. A shame that unreflected statements like the one mentioned in the post perpetuate the cliché of SL not being on par with what is out there in 3D stuff. It does remind me of many German tourists coming to California saying Los Angeles is horrendous, just freeways and dirty air: well, perhaps with a bit of planning and getting off the freeway one could experience the amazing diversity in art and culture the city has to offer. Allright, rant/comparison end. Back to work!


Hmmmm...well she DOES do her interviews in SL. That in and of itself giveS a vote to SL as way for people to connect.


There is no myth about the hard to learn interface, it has been brought up many times and many of us may wonder why others find it so hard to learn, but too many people mention it for it not to be an issue.

However as ZZBottomHL points out, there are other hard to learn interfaces around, I can handle Blender but I do see a lot of complaints about that interface too.

There's only so much that can be done regarding the interface. Maybe the action bars from WoW could be implemented but some people would hate them too.

Second Life is not cutting edge in terms of how it looks or performs but it is still ahead of the game in terms of allowing user generated content, commerce, collaboration in certain areas etc.

Pussycat Catnap

If I log into even World of Warcraft the interface is easier to use. The same for any other MMO. Try some random free ones and see it.

So yeah; SL has not kept up. Its the 'AutoCAD' of virtual world UIs: on its own in some weird place nobody else is following.

draxtor ™

Ciaran, Pussycat = SL looks and performs really super well here on my end. Every day as a matter of fact. Just shot a video with 20-30 avatars in some scenes and a bigger music video coming up with 50 where I taught the director to use the interface in 30 minutes. Yes it is a myth, question: why is it being perpetuated? Also Pussycat: can you show me another virtual world that is cutting edge? On a related note: why are you spending time in the AutoCAD of VW's? Want to talk about it on the podcast?


@Drax the UI issue is brought up too many times to dismiss it as a myth. Something about it clearly isn't intuitive enough. I'd argue the same point about Blender, which is a UI I've come to terms with but many people complain about it.

That's not to say people won't pick it up, clearly as you point out, plenty of people of all ages manage to do so comfortably.

Maybe there's a lack of instruction when people land as new participants. The new user experience has been oft criticsed too.

Penelope Grau

It's been said before: curate the entry, channel the adults to safe areas, staff the entry points. Create staffed, moderated chat areas: beaches!, on the moon! - with emphasis on age groups, interests, language. Hire all those kids desperate to earn - pay them in lindens. "Script" their orientation responses to keep things clean and clear. There are good reasons why Disney management is so effective. If someone else thinks of this first, LL will lose a zillion willing subscribers. Oh and market SL to older women. Trust me - the chance to look hot in a bikini is priceless.


"'Script' their orientation responses to keep things clean and clear."

I think that's an extremely good idea, but with the existing client code/server architecture, only about 10% of the people who create an account would even be able to experience it.

The difficulties of the SL UI cannot be understated and are evident and undeniable by the lack of growth and near 0% user retention -- that's despite 400K new users each month, who are clearly interested in trying it out, but quit before even getting started. It's one of the main reasons why adding explicit game systems to SL is a good idea, because they would appeal to MMO gamers who are already used to complex UIs.

Ms. CC Creeggan (CronoCloud Creeggan)

I didn't have trouble with the SL UI The UI was relatively easy to pick up, some of the terminology wasn't. The blogs helped though.

Penelope wrote: Oh and market SL to older women. Trust me - the chance to look hot in a bikini is priceless.

They are! Well, trying to with those "beachy ads" We both know 25 - 55 year old women (and those who identify as such) are one of LL's most loyal demographics.

Jo Yardley

It is going to sound annoying but both parties who either say the UI is really complicated or not, are right.
Because some parts of the UI are complicated to some people.
Or at least appear overwhelming at first.
It is not as smooth as some games and that is something new users may find intimidating.
I've found building in SL really easy but find it still annoying that I need to open a camera and movement window to walk and look around freely, something I don't have to do in games.
I know you can't compare games with SL, but I do anyway, automatically, can't help it.

As for this lady and her show, she may be right in stating that SL is behind the times a bit, but I find that really hard to accept from someone who runs a show from a set that hasn't changed since 2007 with an avatar that hasn't updated much either.
It is absolutely fine to criticize SL, I do it all the time on my blog, but at least try and keep up yourself, get a new avatar, use mesh to create a state of the art set, try getting a computer that can handle light settings and shadows.
And then you can say what's wrong with SL.
It's a bit like driving a T-Ford and claiming all cars today are so drafty.

Regardless of the old techniques we're using and the outdated technology... how many other online user created virtual worlds are there?
With mesh, with Oculus Rift coming soon, etc, etc.
Not very many.
That alone makes SL cutting edge, maybe not the tech behind it, but the world and what we do with it, is still up there.

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