Talk:MDStyle Orientation Island

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Diary of Events

I noticed two things during my time at the MDS OI:

1. Need Language Kiosks for Chinese, Italian and Spanish (if they are there I did not see them). I am not sure of all the other countries we cover so there may be other languages needed as well.

2. Some Newbies, when they come in, immediately hit the FLY button and go out through the opening in the roof at the entry way. I don't know if the Newbies ever come back through to complete the Orientation. Could this opening be changed to one way or closed off? Tinsel Silvera 10-12-07

  • 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.

--Theodore Folsom 19:08, 10 October 2007 (PDT)

  • All signs and boards are done well and also have translations into the common languages on them. Minus: Only the description was translated - not the full text. Non-english residents could read the description of the station in their language but not what to do and how to do it on that station ....
  • "Time to fly" ... i recognized that a lot of new residents were trying to walk up the walls and follow the arrows in that way hehe. Barriers in front of the red arrows may avoid that a bit. Also a lot of new residents were typing a lot of "E"´s while trying to fly. It seems to be confusing. That could be avoided by showing them only one possibility of flying for the beginning (maybe the "page up, page down" - method).
  • Also i recognized, that (like on the old-style OIs) a lot of new residents keep asking how to get away from the OI. I know, there´s a sign which guides them to Help-Island and other places but maybe there´s a possibility to make it a bit more clear. Like a sign whith big red capital letters on it which says "CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE THIS PLACE" or so ...

Beside of that i think those MDStyle-OIs are a great improvement of the new users SL experience. I really like them. They´re very well structured, linear and they do really guide the user through his first steps in Second Life.

Ok, thats it so far. Keep up the good work.

Overall view of the MDStyle was originally made few weeks ago. I think it has it's advantages to some but while there are several areas that need some special attention and more user friendly standards need to be reviewed and applied. Those observations are listed below;

  • Editing items

You cannot edit your own building items or anything you rez from inventory. I don't know if this was an oversight, but needs to be corrected. Also, there is no scripting allowed.

  • Orientation Labyrinth of Learning

There is no access of entering these areas unless you start from the end or the beginning. This labyrinth of key locations should have administrative entrances and exits from it to facilitate those Mentors' or key personell to access those areas of need; most ideally the new residents.

  • Kiosks

The Kiosks need to be alternated or on some kind of alternating selector. The first one most all seen was the Babbler location on Phreak Island, and where most teleported to.

  • The club/dance floor

There is no music in this area, for that matter I did not see anywhere there was an option to hear streaming music.

  • MeltingDots Theme

The name of the theme The Meltingdots eludes me. I suppose I need to get out more because I have no idea what this is. I did some research on it and found a youtube link to some teenagers melting Dots [candy] in the microwave. Hince the word MeltingDots.

  • Conclusion I can understand why a lot of confusion of some of the residents would warrant such issues of the theme. Overall it is a workable enviroment with the suggestions and guidence the Mentors have suggested. After all they will be in attendance more than any other Second Life Resident.

I received more questions on "how do I get out of here" or "help me im stuck" comments than any other.

But overall I think the team who designed the MDStyle OI did a great job, as it solved many issues that the previous version caused (like not knowing which tutorial to choose, residents not getting the HUD, etc..)

I've been walking around those new OI's for about two days now. I think what is still needed is a clearer explanation on the fact that once residents leave the OI they can't come back, Maybe this should be placed around the "Go out and have fun" board, while we still have their attention on learning things. After this point, there is only 2 questions I still heard more than any others. "How do we get out/travel?" I really think it would help having a board showing the use of Search and Map somewhere, and it would also save mentors the trouble of having to repeat it to almost every resident. The second question is "How do we get money?" I don't think it's necessary to place a board for this one on the OI, but my idea for mentors who read this is to create a detailed notecard. I got one I can send you if you feel tired of going over that question as well.

I think that's all, keep up the good work everyone :)

--Odysseus Fairymeadow 10:03, 11 October 2007 (PDT) Okay, first time looking at the MDStyle, impressions

  • Could someone set these islands to be group owned? A common problem with both this and the standard OI is prim litter hanging about (when I visited there I saw two vehicles floating about at various altitudes). Turning on auto-return would be great, but looking at the land stats half the place would disappear...
  • People don't know how to use the elevator. The (empty) first floor would be a great tutorial on how to use them (they're gonna have to figure it out sometime) but setting the default action on the buttons to "sit" would enable them to start working on left-click. Also bring back more fun stuff, I still give the Unidentified Fun Object to random newbies.
  • The teleport locations after the initial tutorial are badly inappropriate. Should only link to Help Island or someplace that would work as a Welcome Area. A link to the Babbler store is not one of these, nor is the Tower of Prims (especially so far away from the sandbox). An on-island Babbler vendor would be great (or mentors trying to stumble over themselves pushing the "gift" button before the newbie disappears). Some of these signs would work great in WA's I would think (sign with rotating textures?). Replace the non-WA links with ones to other languages (like the links we received for international-friendly places)

--RobertKlein Dogpatch 12:14, 11 October 2007 (PDT) The MDStyle Island appears to be an attempt at combining the Orientation Island with the Help Island into one neat package. To this end the design team seems to be well on its way towards accomplishing this goal. Some major and minor tweaks are needed and will be found in the “Ideas to Try” section. After spending quite a few weeks on these islands I have observed newbies seem to congregate in areas of the terminus and never come out. They will make it all the way to the end after the fly zone, turn around, and wander back into the terminus again. They prefer the larger area at the editing appearance section. If there are 10 people on the island, 7 of them will stay only in the terminus chatting. After emerging from the terminus they usually blow right past the signs since they can fly and head straight for the tower. Afterwards they just seem to wander around and not understand what to do next, but they are really good at chatting. :) Eventually they discover a sign that allows them to teleport and they do. I have not seen anyone click on the large spinning green disks.

--RobertKlein Dogpatch 10:54, 12 October 2007 (PDT) Found the hole in the ceiling above the landing pad in the terminus (love it) which makes it easier to get in and out to help people. Noticed quite a few people getting to the last sign outside the terminus and poofing. They did not spend any time exploring the island. I really like that many of the signs do not have to interlace into focus. Makes reading them so much easier. The game area (except the dance pad game) is cool and contains some fun challenges. Not exactly sure what the Japanese festival area is for at this time. It’s cute but not sure if it belongs. The inside of the terminus is decidedly “hospital” like, even the signs are red and white. Like Shrek would say, “Very very clean… too clean.” :)


I thing I see that might cause some issues is the Arrow on the begginning sign is red and the floor is blue. I agree that the space is too narrow, a couple of times my camera would move outside the building as I was walking. The hole in the ceiling- great idea but too accessible by new players by mistake? For the flight tutorial, possibly hide the stairs behind the sign? We want players to take it so why have visable stairs? After leaving the tutorials there needs to be a map, the area is large and it took me a while to find everything. The Freebie Store looks bare and is very hard to navigate, personally i liked the InfoNode versions better. For the landmark signs they need to be more expanation for them, I've had as has always been the case had people asking me where do I go now. The sandbox and gaming area and such should be more round shapped, like said above posibly 'drop' them in the middle so they can turn around and see everything avalible off the bat. - Garn Conover

  • --Nock Forager 17:51, 13 October 2007 (PDT) - Hi I'm still not a Mentor (on wainting list really), but I'm one of the original Meltingdots SIM's support staff. I recommend you to visit current "Meltingdots" SIM too. Some points you all mentioned are already reviced to new interface, so it would be helpfull for you to visit there and find current style. If you need some translation from Japanese language, IM me up.

--- --Kokoro Fasching 07:28, 20 October 2007 (PDT) Auto Return needs to be set outside of the sandbox. The MD Islands are starting to get prim trash around the area.

--Janie Matahari 4:28, 27 October 2007 (PDT) suggestions for the mdstyle islands 1) remove the lighting coming out of the window. Prim lighting gets in the way of selecting stuff. 2) when i was a newbie using my work laptop, (great ram great processor poor graphics card) i couldnt rez on signs, how do we know everyone can read these signs? HUDS also need to be rezzed. 3) give MUCH better instruction and info on how seeding works. we got alot of info in the Q&A last night, but to ask us to help with this experiment without telling us what the experiment was or exactly what we should be doing made us all kind of try different things, probably causing variability in the experiment. Now i understand the experiment which is to test retainment of newbies, and to just replicate the japanese OI however, if volunteers are seeding it but dont know how they are seeding it, they are standing around talking and trying to help newbies (well we were), when we should be moving out immediately after seeding. but there werent clear instructions on these details. group notices are the best, dont rely that we will read wikis or mailing lists. 4) i like the "walk only one way" tutorial but honestly we look like we are in an ugly airport. I love the original orientation island. when i was a newbie, i walked on some stepping stones down a path of a mountain, now THAT was cool. 5) i STRONGLY recomment making the "fix your appearance" tutorial first (along with camera). I've seen at MDstyle that they immediatly go into appearance, clogging up the entrance.


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
  • Yes, the landing area needs to be larger and placed higher in elevation to the rest of the terminus. The next area would be a level down connected by stairs and so on. This will "funnel" people in a natural downward progression. The closed in feeling of the terminus is nice but encourages people to stay in that area like a bunch of gerbils. A larger opening at the end of the fly zone would help to usher them out. Even better would be to drop them out of the fly zone right in the middle of the island like a big faucet. -- RobertKlein Dogpatch
  • The "sign alley" is a bit overwhelming and needs to be sprinkled along the way in the terminus like airports do, just no teleporting items until after they get out of the terminus. -- RobertKlein Dogpatch
  • A nice teleport pad that will poof them to various areas about the island would be nice. The only one I found was in the tower and it is not very easy to understand. Something bigger and more elementary with primary colors would be nice. -- RobertKlein Dogpatch
  • Have not been able to get the dance pad games to work, they need to be fixed or removed. -- RobertKlein Dogpatch

--RobertKlein Dogpatch 10:57, 12 October 2007 (PDT) Mentors might want to position themselves just outside the terminus to provide help before new residents get to the signs. Speaking of the terminus building, de-sanitize it just a bit so the people don’t feel like they are wandering around an expensive asylum. Maybe some well placed organic types of objects or graffiti on the walls, or even some land/seascape murals?

..JanKRO Kubrick. October 18 2007 I think the run option should be disabled since newbies tend to run past important information signs, and the FLY board should maybe be a phantom, so the mentors can use the stairs, because only they know that it is a phantom, if that is not possible please remove the stairs, so newbies must really fly to get past this barier. Other than these rearks i only have praise for the MDStyle, although it is a bit to unnatural for my taste. Me personally love the natural approach from the OI and HI when i came into SL.

Suggestions for corrections at the new OI's (MDStyle)

First.. great job! This will help the newbies to find there way!

Here are something you COULD :-) change for a better unterstanding:

The board "Move the camera to change your view" there is a german translations with the words "Ändern Sie Ihre Ansicht".. that's sound not very good and isn't a correct translation. Better you cange this in "Ändern Sie Ihre Sichtweise" or instead of "Sichtweise" you could also use "Ändern Sie Ihren Blickwinkel".

The board "Another way to change your view" there is a german translations with the words "Verschieben Sie Ihren Anblick".. that's sound not very good, too and isn't a meaningful translation. Better you change this in "Ändern Sie Ihre Blickrichtung".

The board "Chat" there is a translations with the words "Chatten".. not really a translation ;) but everybody will understand this, i think. But if you want to use german word, you could use "Miteinander reden".. but only a suggestion :)

The board "Keep going up" there is a german translations with the words "Steigen Sie nach oben".. that's sound not very good, too and if you want a short form, which means the same, you could use "Hochfliegen" or "Aufsteigen".

The board "Come over here, then fly down" you could use the short form "Runter fliegen".

Hope it will help you for your multilingual boards.. if you need anymore help, fell free to contact me..

Regards, NorgeTroll

I did my best to pretend I was a new resident. First, I noticed the "Let's Move" sign. I don't recall having move controls enabled by default my first time in SL. Plus, the sign shows to [right-click]+[move controls]. I enabled my move controls and right-clicked all over, but I only got the pie menu if I clicked anywhere. At the bottom, it suggested to "click 'R' to run". I couldn't make that work either. Anyway, down the corridor to the alt-zoom camera sign. It showed [left mouse click] + [alt key] + [slide mouse]. Ok... I got a zoom cursor, but the camera didn't move. After some experimentation, I realized I have to hold [alt key] first, then click... doesn't work the other way around. -- DoteDote

Zlad Voom: Hi, here my feedback to the MDSStyle OI

  • The exit door is red, should be green. Red is a STOP color.
  • The new layout dont give them a chance come back to the central point and ask something when done with a section. Mentors cannot easy fly in to a section to povide support. There should be a way to fly in to any section (for example open roof like at the start)
  • The where to go now section after the red exit door, it is nice just may take them off OI before see the other places.
  • In the sandbox, I can build but not edit my previous build prims.
  • The Free Item tower, seems a bit complicated to use the TP menu for a newcomer.

Redbeard McCellan: 2 comments

  • In the sandbox, you can not access the build tools via the right click context menu. This is really obvious when you create an object, but than can not right click it to select edit.
  • The signs explaining how to fly are a bit confusing. At first I thought it was an error and that it was telling you to hold the mouse button down while hitting PGUP, but eventually figured it out. Not sure of an easy fix to make it clearer though...

About translations again: Italian

--Petronilla Paperdoll 06:25, 14 October 2007 (PDT) Here you have some suggestions about Italian translations (boards inside the building - more to come...). I gave the short sentences a more friendly, less formal sound and corrected some mistakes.Some of the Italian translations you can see now in MDStyle OI are only a part of the English sentences: my proposals are about the Italian words I actually see on the boards, not a whole translation. Feel free to ask more, if needed!

"Segui le frecce" (the first board on the left: "Follow the arrows...")

"Cambia modo di guardare" (all the boards about camera controls)

"Cambia il tuo aspetto" (boards about appearance)

"Sali!" (Keep going up)

"Vola!" (Time to fly)

"Scendi!" (Fly down)

"Esci e divertiti!" (Go out and have fun)

Better Job on Content. poor job on design and appearance.

I've not yet had time to finish writing what is rapidly becoming a thesis/dissertation on suggestions for the new user experience (Only up to 5 pages so far on a rough outline that's incomplete), but I have found some of the issues I'd be writing about partially addressed in the newer orientation island, as well as the MDStyle island. I figured I might as well post a few since some folks got hot and bothered by my mentioning some of my concerns in world. To start, there are improvements in the content provided (both the linden and mdstyle OIs), but the MDstyle island is visually unappealing and doesn't visually demonstrate the concept of "Second Life". After getting out of the building section, it's very confusing to some residents. I do like that it is enclosed and essentially "forces" the new residents to learn the basics. As I believe it's been stated before, MDStyle needs more room for the editing appearance section. The signs with directions are a great idea, but are visually unappealing. The document I'm currently working on focuses more on a HUD/bot/interactive approach rather than signs as a means to better involve and explain things to the new user, as well as demonstrate the power of Second Life as a viable medium for a variety of tasks. Signs are, in my opinion, the "easy way" to get it done and far less intuitive than an automated, well scripted HUD or bots that could walk residents through a more thorough and elaborate tutorial. In general, I get the distinct impression that a lot more thought could have been put into the presentation and "selling" of Second Life and the amount and ease of educational material in the orientation island. I'm not feeling a unified graphic theme or themes across the whole MDStyle OI, and I think even those without a degree in design might feel similarly. I've been trying to find time to work on further documenting suggestions, as well as a space large enough to build some models in world, but it's been slow going in between two jobs while building my portfolio/job hunting. I'll try to post more as things get ironed out a bit.

--Ganesha Xi The blue industrial carpet is a bit much... Perhaps something more neutral? Also, people tend to get claustrophobic inside. The freebies tower needs direction on how to use a teleporter, and also the walls need to not be phantom.. A newbie and I were laughing "OH NO! DON'T JUMP! I'M TOO YOUNG TO DIE!" Falling from 10 stories may be a bit disconcerting to those that do not understand they will not be damaged in a fall! Also yes, I am in high agreement, auto-return has GOT to be set, and if there is going to be a Sandbox, it needs to be useable. We'd had a fiasco where auto-return DID get set and half of the island disappeared... Hooray for rollbacks! The teleports have got to be moved.