MDStyle Orientation Island
MDStyle Orientation Island Testing
Some of you may be familiar with the MDStyle Orientation Islands, others may not be. These are 4 new orientation islands that Linden Lab is testing styled after the successful Meltingdots orientation island. Blackbriar and MDStyle Orientation are copy of former form of "Meltingdots" SIM. Meltingdots SIM is for Japanese newbie zone. There are four MDStyle OIs. The islands are MDStyle Orientation Island 1, MDStyle Orientation Island 2, MDStyle Orientation Island 3 and MDStyle Orientation Island 4. Just type the island name into the map to go there.
The way our Orientation islands are set up, we will need to 'seed' these four islands with people to pull new residents to them from the registration process and then we can begin to collect data on how new residents take to this form of orientation. We need at least 8 people there at all times if possible.
During your time in SL in the next few weeks please try and check the green dots on these islands. Drop by if they go below 8 per island, that's the magic number...lol. We would be very appreciative! Amber will let you know when the test is over.
Efforts and Observations
Diary of Events
- October 9, 2007 -- I have been stopping by the MDStyle OI for the past couple weeks, however now I've observed the MDStyle OIs to begin with population. Concentrating just on the inside experience mainly, I found it to be very linear which is a plus and imo needed. Keeping a new resident focused on the task and not having to choose from paths will make them less overwhelmed and confused. I do wonder if in future redesign of LL on OI, if the staging or activity areas such as Appearance, etc. should be larger. I am seeing several residents grouped very close to the appearance sign and almost walking over eachother. Since the new resident won't be able to compare their OI experience from LL to MD styles, further observation on how they grasp the basic activities will be needed. McPhenius Swain
- --Destiny Niles 21:33, 9 October 2007 (PDT) - Three things I noticed. 1) The landmark givers right after they leave the building are in a bad stop. Many new residents TP without seeing the rest of the island. 2) The 'free item tower' is not self explanatory and the new residents don't know how to use the floor teleporter nor how to purchase items. 3) The new linear (really old) is much better then the current OI. The building preventing new residents from flying off is effective, but the current OI did have some good points too that should be incorporated into this island, such as move city.
- --Neovo Geesink 12:33, 10 October 2007 (CET) - To me, it occured that the Dutch translation of quite some infopanels were not quite logic or even plain in error.
I have heard from fellow Mentors that other languages meight be allso not that precise. I have checked those panels and sent a new Dutch translation of the panels in a notecard to the owner. (He / She is a Linden) I have not yet seen the new translation in place (Up to 10/09/2007), nor did I got a response for that, other then the Acknowledgement that the Notecard is Accepted. I allso noticed that there is no translation in Dutch on the panels outside the building, except the one of the Building area. I do subscribe with the comments of Destiny Niles, regarding the 'free item tower'.
- --Shiva Aabye 03:47 AM, 10 October 2007 (PDT) - I agree, the landmark givers are a little bit misplaced, there is still so much space on the island...I would work over some translations, I can say this only for the german ones. And, there is something strange in the "sandbox": You can't edit something by using the pie menu, Ctrl+3 and select works.
- --Patchouli Woollahra 10:18, 10 October 2007 (PDT) The inability to use "Build" menus or "Edit" in the MDstyle OIs is partially caused by the island being flagged explictly as a Orientation Islands. Regions flagged as such by Linden Lab will stop teleports not powered by a landmark, and gray out the "Build" button. This behaviour was beneficial in older LL OIs which had no such thing as a sandbox, but this needs to be corrected if rollout of the MDstyle is to continue. In any case, I believe teaching of lowest-level topics relating to SL navigation the way MeltingDots does it is the correct way to progress.
- --Edward Griffith 13:54, 10 October 2007 (PDT) Fist and most important - I think the general idea is wonderful. The path analogy is far superior to the hub and spoke model. Your design is clean and un cluttered, and the instructions clear.
My comment on the front "in the building" part of the orientation introduction is that there is none of the quirky fun stuff that marks SL. For instance - after the plain sign instructing us to chat how about implementing something like the "Well" from the Pencil Factory on The Port? In that exhibit, what you say in chat appears as solid letters in a well. My point is - something brief but interesting in the form of a task directed exercise that reacts to the avatar would be a welcome "warmer" at the communication site.
I would recommend the same in avatar appearance - provide a few directed exercises - demonstrating the relationship between shape and skin and how folders can be used to quickly change appearance. I also recommend information that shapes skins and avatar appearance are huge markets in SL and that before someone spends hours trying to tweak their default - they might want to get through the rest of the orientation, THEN see what is available and base their modifications on that.
Second - My BIG question is: Why are the green landmarks signs right outside the intro building? I watched several totally unprepared newbies TP to Yadni's in mid chat sentence. Yes they can get to Help Island Public . . . but with no clue yet about search, groups, the map or even IM's - I have no idea how they are going to find it - as the average resident isn't very aware of HI or OI Public.
The idea of directed destinations is splendid. My suggestion would be to move move those signs to the END of the path. Use the space instead for teaching people what their search tool and their map is. Have folks find Help resources in SL, and some classes they might be interested in using the search tool. That will serve to teach them the tool - and serve to get them aware of further help available all at the same time. For the map - Have them find the free store right by them on the map, see the beacon and understand it.
Next we come to the Freebie store. I'm afraid I am NOT fond of the vertical design. Without signs or indications what to do, the place feels cold, empty, and confusing. Some labels on product and the teleporter are needed. A few more signs here and a LOT more product would help. Again, directed actions would improve the experience. A simple exercise in un-boxing new product, finding it in inventory, and using a pose stand would make sense.
The location of the sand box and the cow pasture should be swapped, and your arrow path should go through the sandbox. Again, I suggest a directed activity here - one with obvious practical importance to residents. Provide a living room with furniture and have folks arrange and resize the furniture. Also - provide an avatar attachment like a belt, and have folks resize, move and adjust the belt. That will give camera, edit, pose stand and avatar appearance skill practice all in one simple exercise.
Ideas to try
- I have found that standing at the landing point can be pretty crowded when several new residents arrive. Plus, they haven't learned how to chat, so they may become fustrated even with a nice "Hi, welcome to Second Life" if they don't know how to respond. Although I am sure the greetings are well taken :) I've been standing near the chat sign or further into the building by appearance or flying. It's almost fun to see what a new resident types after reading the sign on how to chat. If they don't see you at first and you give them a response, it might just make there day! -- McPhenius Swain