Archive for the ‘Snowglobe’ Tag

Do You Think the SL Viewer is Too Complex?

Second Effects wrote yesterday of a concern that I’ve heard of before on occasion:  the retention rate of new users, so that they become old users like you and me.  I’ve no reason to doubt their horrendous calculation of 1%, aside from it maybe being hearsay; but no matter the true retention figure, it truly stinks.

The writer (I’m unsure who it is, as there’s no byline) offers up a prime reason for this lousy figure:  the complexity of the Second Life viewer.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the official Linden client, Snowglobe, Emerald, or whoever; they’re all based on the same configuration, with the same commands for the most part.  (Emerald adds in a clutch more command possibilities!)  The author counts 1,708 menu options on a basic viewer, without adding in the Advanced menu!.  This indicates with legitimacy that the 1.x viewer series was built by “true” hackers, who aren’t afraid of a little complexity.  In other words, by engineers.

A daunting number indeed.  I confess, I’ve never seen a need for the majority of the command options available to the user.  However, I’ve been in computers long enough — since 1981 — that complexity doesn’t always intimidate me.  And most of that complexity in the SL viewer can be ignored until needed. When I hit that need point, someone with more experience is often willing to coach me through in what to do, or I find a Knowledge Base article or a Torley Linden video to explain things to me.  That done, another bit of learning is accomplished, and I move on.

Would you agree with Second Effects‘ contention?  Is it just that we old SL hands aren’t afraid of complexity, and so go moving on to become old SL hands?  Please vote in the poll above, then share your thoughts below in the comments.

%d bloggers like this: