Difference between revisions of "Viewer Visual Update"

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(updated to RC status)
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{{multi-lang}}[[Image:Dazzlelicious.jpg|thumb|300px|First Look: Dazzle vs. main viewer]]
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{{multi-lang}}[[Image:Dazzlelicious.jpg|thumb|300px|Release Candidate 1.20: Dazzle vs. main viewer]]
  
'''<font size="5">First Look: Dazzle info</font>'''<br /><br />
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'''<font size="5">1.20 Release Candidate: Dazzle info</font>'''<br /><br />
  
<font size="5">'''» [http://secondlife.com/community/firstlook.php DOWNLOAD DAZZLE!]'''</font><br /><br />
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<font size="5">'''» [http://secondlife.com/community/downloads-optional.php DOWNLOAD 1.20 RC!]'''</font><br /><br />
  
 
"'''Dazzle'''" is meant to modernize the visual appearance of the viewer User Interface. We will use the viewer's existing skinning hooks wherever possible, documenting and addressing technical blockers as required.
 
"'''Dazzle'''" is meant to modernize the visual appearance of the viewer User Interface. We will use the viewer's existing skinning hooks wherever possible, documenting and addressing technical blockers as required.
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== Frequently Asked Questions ==
 
== Frequently Asked Questions ==
 
=== What's Dazzle? ===
 
=== What's Dazzle? ===
Linden Lab continues to work on key areas of importance for our Residents, and alongside performance and stability is ''usability''. '''We're pleased to announce First Look: Dazzle, a "refresh" for the Second Life viewer's appearance which makes the UI (User Interface) more accessible and pleasing.'''
+
Linden Lab continues to work on key areas of importance for our Residents, and alongside performance and stability is ''usability''. '''We're pleased to announce Dazzle in the 1.20 Release Candidate -- as a "refresh" for the Second Life viewer's appearance which makes the User Interface more accessible and pleasing.'''
  
 
=== Is Dazzle just a color change? ===
 
=== Is Dazzle just a color change? ===
Line 33: Line 33:
 
Some history behind this: over the years, we've heard a lot about how difficult SL can be to use, notably how scary the "old-style" UI looks. Cryptic icons, low contrast, and "things you click on that don't do what you expect them to do" are all frustrating to newcomers, and at last — Dazzle's here, because we want to make it easier for you.
 
Some history behind this: over the years, we've heard a lot about how difficult SL can be to use, notably how scary the "old-style" UI looks. Cryptic icons, low contrast, and "things you click on that don't do what you expect them to do" are all frustrating to newcomers, and at last — Dazzle's here, because we want to make it easier for you.
  
=== What's a First Look? ===
+
=== What's a Release Candidate? ===
'''A "First Look" is an ''optional'' download which tends to be a technology preview of a "themed feature"''': in this case, it's a better user interface. Over the next stretch of weeks, we're giving you time to try Dazzle out and share your feedback with us, so we can improve it before it's included in the main viewer.
+
'''A "Release Candidate" is an ''optional'' download which is a final beta review of the next version of the Second Life viewer''': in this case, it includes a better user interface. Over the next stretch of weeks, we're giving you time to try Viewer version 1.20 and share your feedback with us, so we can improve it before it's included in the main viewer.
 
+
For examples of earlier First Looks, see [http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Windlight WindLight] and [http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Voice Voice].
+
  
 
=== What if I don't like Dazzle? ===
 
=== What if I don't like Dazzle? ===
 
This is understandable, particularly because Second Life's UI has basically been the same for several years. Change can be hard if you're accustomed to the way things currently look and have been with us for awhile. (We appreciate it!)
 
This is understandable, particularly because Second Life's UI has basically been the same for several years. Change can be hard if you're accustomed to the way things currently look and have been with us for awhile. (We appreciate it!)
  
'''We recommend trying Dazzle out and giving it at least a week to get used to''' — don't just glance at screenshots, use it in your everyday Second Life — and let us know your feedback. As part of the "First Look" cycle, we'll pay attention to your constructive criticism and use it to refine Dazzle further.
+
'''We recommend trying Dazzle out and giving it at least a week to get used to''' — don't just glance at screenshots, use it in your everyday Second Life — and let us know your feedback. As part of the "Release Candidate" cycle, we'll pay attention to your constructive criticism and use it to refine the viewer.
  
 
(And to be fair, there are a few Residents who prefer the viewer UI [http://secondlife.wikia.com/wiki/Image:SL1.0GUIFull.jpg when it was green years ago!])
 
(And to be fair, there are a few Residents who prefer the viewer UI [http://secondlife.wikia.com/wiki/Image:SL1.0GUIFull.jpg when it was green years ago!])
  
 
=== Will I be able to revert to the older UI? ===
 
=== Will I be able to revert to the older UI? ===
For now, First Look: Dazzle is ''not'' the main viewer, so you can run them side-by-side.
+
For now, the Release Candidate is ''not'' the main viewer, so you can run them side-by-side.
  
When Dazzle ''is'' in the main viewer, then no, you won't be able to revert easily. If you're so inclined, you can manually change the .XML files, but this isn't user-friendly for the uninitiated. Context: before this easy-to-install First Look, Dazzle was available as a patch-it-yourself demo, and we got great help from some enthusiastic and technically-minded Residents. Now, we're opening Dazzle up for our whole community.
+
When Dazzle ''is'' in the main viewer, then no, you won't be able to revert easily. If you're so inclined, you can manually change the .XML files, but this isn't user-friendly for the uninitiated. A brief overview of this is provided at [[Skinning HowTo/Basics]].
  
 
=== Does Dazzle mean I can easily add my own skins? ===
 
=== Does Dazzle mean I can easily add my own skins? ===
Not yet. But as a first step in that potential process, '''Dazzle paves the way for improvements to come'''. For further technical details, see our [http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/User_Interface_Roadmap User Interface Roadmap].
+
Not yet. But as a first step in that potential process, '''Dazzle paves the way for improvements to come'''. For further technical details, see our [[User Interface Roadmap]].
  
 
=== Does Dazzle have any major functionality changes? ===
 
=== Does Dazzle have any major functionality changes? ===
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* Go to [http://jira.secondlife.com jira.secondlife.com] and [https://jira.secondlife.com/cas/login?service=http%3A%2F%2Fjira.secondlife.com%2Fsecure%2FDashboard.jspa login].
 
* Go to [http://jira.secondlife.com jira.secondlife.com] and [https://jira.secondlife.com/cas/login?service=http%3A%2F%2Fjira.secondlife.com%2Fsecure%2FDashboard.jspa login].
 
* [http://jira.secondlife.com/secure/CreateIssue!default.jspa Create a new issue] in "Project: Viewer" and "Issue Type: Bug".
 
* [http://jira.secondlife.com/secure/CreateIssue!default.jspa Create a new issue] in "Project: Viewer" and "Issue Type: Bug".
* ''Make sure'' to set it to "Affects Version/s = First Look: Dazzle" or else we won't see it!
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* ''Make sure'' to set it to "Affects Version/s = 1.20 Release Candidate" or else we won't see it!
  
 
[[Image:Dazzlebug.png|240px]]
 
[[Image:Dazzlebug.png|240px]]
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=== What's next? Where can I learn more? ===
 
=== What's next? Where can I learn more? ===
[[User:Benjamin Linden|Benjamin Linden]] holds User Experience office hours every Thursday at 3pm SLT. If you have comments or concerns regarding Dazzle First Look, please join us!
+
[[User:Benjamin Linden|Benjamin Linden]] holds User Experience office hours every Thursday at 3pm SLT. If you have comments or concerns regarding Dazzle, please join us!
  
 
* '''What:''' User Experience Office Hours
 
* '''What:''' User Experience Office Hours
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* '''Where:''' [http://slurl.com/secondlife/Beaumont/148/155/46/?title=Linden%20Village Benjamin Linden's Office]
 
* '''Where:''' [http://slurl.com/secondlife/Beaumont/148/155/46/?title=Linden%20Village Benjamin Linden's Office]
  
Team Dazzle will be following up on Dazzle issues and releasing revised First Look versions, so look for updates both on [http://blog.secondlife.com our official blog] and this page!
 
  
 
[[Category:Features]]
 
[[Category:Features]]
 
[[Category:Linden Lab Projects]]
 
[[Category:Linden Lab Projects]]

Revision as of 13:10, 9 April 2008

Release Candidate 1.20: Dazzle vs. main viewer

1.20 Release Candidate: Dazzle info

» DOWNLOAD 1.20 RC!

"Dazzle" is meant to modernize the visual appearance of the viewer User Interface. We will use the viewer's existing skinning hooks wherever possible, documenting and addressing technical blockers as required.

Goals

  • Improve visual appearance with modern UI graphics and icons
  • Improve discoverability through expanded use of iconography
  • Improve approachability with a lighter, friendlier color scheme
  • Improve legibility by using dark text on light backgrounds
  • Document technical limitations of current skinning capabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

What's Dazzle?

Linden Lab continues to work on key areas of importance for our Residents, and alongside performance and stability is usability. We're pleased to announce Dazzle in the 1.20 Release Candidate -- as a "refresh" for the Second Life viewer's appearance which makes the User Interface more accessible and pleasing.

Is Dazzle just a color change?

No. Dazzle includes a new color scheme, and also has revised icon art (e.g., the build tools and Inventory window) and under-the-hood changes/cleanup which will make future customization easier.

How is making stuff look better going to improve my experience?

Aesthetics matter. Seemingly small changes make a big difference. A simple psychological exercise: think about eating a steak in a prison cell with harsh fluorescent lights. Then, think about eating that very same steak in a posh restaurant by candlelight. Which experience would you prefer? And which would you regard as the higher quality?

In a similar way, even if actual inworld content looks the same (like the steak), if the environment you use to experience it — the user interface — looks awful, you're likely going to feel uncomfortable and annoyed, even if you can't describe exactly why.

We've already had numerous instances of small changes clearly making big differences: some of you may remember when no-modify notecards were difficult to read because they had dark gray text on a somewhat lighter gray background. Changing the colors, a straightforward tweak, helped a lot. And in Dazzle, it's even better.

What's this mean for me?

Dazzle is especially beneficial if you're new to Second Life, but its increased legibility will also help veteran Residents enjoy extended inworld sessions with more fun, and less fatigue.

Some history behind this: over the years, we've heard a lot about how difficult SL can be to use, notably how scary the "old-style" UI looks. Cryptic icons, low contrast, and "things you click on that don't do what you expect them to do" are all frustrating to newcomers, and at last — Dazzle's here, because we want to make it easier for you.

What's a Release Candidate?

A "Release Candidate" is an optional download which is a final beta review of the next version of the Second Life viewer: in this case, it includes a better user interface. Over the next stretch of weeks, we're giving you time to try Viewer version 1.20 and share your feedback with us, so we can improve it before it's included in the main viewer.

What if I don't like Dazzle?

This is understandable, particularly because Second Life's UI has basically been the same for several years. Change can be hard if you're accustomed to the way things currently look and have been with us for awhile. (We appreciate it!)

We recommend trying Dazzle out and giving it at least a week to get used to — don't just glance at screenshots, use it in your everyday Second Life — and let us know your feedback. As part of the "Release Candidate" cycle, we'll pay attention to your constructive criticism and use it to refine the viewer.

(And to be fair, there are a few Residents who prefer the viewer UI when it was green years ago!)

Will I be able to revert to the older UI?

For now, the Release Candidate is not the main viewer, so you can run them side-by-side.

When Dazzle is in the main viewer, then no, you won't be able to revert easily. If you're so inclined, you can manually change the .XML files, but this isn't user-friendly for the uninitiated. A brief overview of this is provided at Skinning HowTo/Basics.

Does Dazzle mean I can easily add my own skins?

Not yet. But as a first step in that potential process, Dazzle paves the way for improvements to come. For further technical details, see our User Interface Roadmap.

Does Dazzle have any major functionality changes?

Beyond user interface aesthetics, not really. Second Life looks and feels better, but doesn't behave radically different. We hope it'll be pleasantly seamless for you.

But since Dazzle affects the appearance of the whole UI, these changes support and complement usability projects in related areas, which we're also working on. (Stay tuned for more news on that.)

What can I do to help?

Glad you asked! Please report Dazzle-specific bugs on our Issue Tracker so we can fix 'em.

Dazzlebug.png

Thanks in advance. :)

Need more help? We're here for you. Watch the "How to report a bug" video tutorial.

What's next? Where can I learn more?

Benjamin Linden holds User Experience office hours every Thursday at 3pm SLT. If you have comments or concerns regarding Dazzle, please join us!