Weebit Offcourse

Nudge gently.

Archive for July 2013

post-conference hash

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The new Spicy Vanilla group was granted a 24 x 24 meter plot in the Poster Session region for the recent education conference in which to display the Basic Skills Gauntlet (BSG).There was also a live presentation; but, let’s not talk about that.

BSG_VWBPE_PosterPlot

Poster Plot granted for display of Basic Skills Gauntlet

The BSG project has gained momentum and the activity seemed more than a mouthful for conference goers; so, a smaller bite-size version was wedged into the 576 square meters. The configuration and components were chosen by selecting several modules that are in working order. (One attendee asked an insightful question: What do [you] consider to the basic skills? Skills addressed in the demo version at the conference included use of Inventory, Ctrl-Alt zoom and pan, and familiarity with sit targets.)

SV_BSG_VWBPE_PosterSession_007
Aerial view of BSG exhibit. Does that look like a game to you?

During much of the conference the BSG site—and the entire poster region—seemed quiet. This worked out, as there were plenty of bugs to chase down. At times, a brief flurry of visitors would leave evidence of folks having jumped in with both feet.

BSG_VWBPE_07
BSG Scoreboard with multiple scores displayed; a sign that visitors were having a go. Cooper Macbeth, seen in list here, had high score for the event.  (The “10:64” entry, midway in list, puzzled me for hours until I realized my User Reset button – added just days before – was carving into the scores list in a bad way.)

Near the end of the final day, a number of visitors tried the activity and hung around to offer feedback, ask questions, and just chat about the conference in general.

BSG_VWBPE_1
Several visitors to the poster region, hanging around to yammer. User in the foreground has just completed the activity (evidence: colorful particles fluttering around her).

A happy little project was born of the event, itself. On day two of the conference, I noticed my own lack of consistency in describing the activity to visitors. There was also the fact that I was not hanging ’round 24/7. Wanting to provide a user with an effective tour—introduce the activity and some of the principles addressed—I decided to cobble together a widget that does the job, automatically.

BSG_VWBPE_003
New widget: Guided Tour Chairs

And the Guided Tour Chair was rezzed. ESCape camera control, then sit, and the object moves camera position and focus while loading a narration via sound file. Also whittled away at a HUD version of this interaction. There seems to be more flexibility for designing instruction with the HUD, but it also requires more of the user; get it, find it, and wear it, as opposed to the simple sit-n-learn.

A project-site-specific version of the Guided Tour Chairs Site Preview HUD can be found by following this link with this SLURL. And, if you are curious and the tour chairs just don’t do it…

Holler anytime.

Written by azwaldo

July 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

how to plug in to the design process

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The Basic Skills Gauntlet (BSG; described in previous post) project occupies an entire skybox, and—along with web docs, spurious announcements and notecards in world, and this blog—it all may seemed disjointed. This post is an attempt to connect the dots in the collaborative design process.

On arrival at the landing point at the project site, one finds seemingly-scattered objects resembling a yard sale (see image).

image of virtual world avatar with many objects in the distance

View from the landing point at the BSG project site; green boxes in distance contain design “modules”

Each of the green boxes in world is labeled with a floating “module number” corresponding to a line in the spreadsheet (green box there, too; see next image). In world, each module contains various prims and scripted widgets designed to “teach” the basic skill assigned to that module. On visiting any module in world, it helps to consider the discussion in the spreadsheet.

image showing various cells of a spreadsheet with text describing parts of the design

Screenshot of BSG spreadsheet (Click to view full size; Google Drive doc – group members can [please] contact Azwaldo with Gmail addy for edit access)

Once you find the skill in the spreadsheet, and locate the design module in world, you can examine (maybe even try out) the design. If you have a question or a comment—and it is expected that you will—you can simply wear your Spicy Vanilla group tag and touch the GroupNotePrim* to submit feedback via chat.

* The GroupNotePrim (see image) allows a user to submit a comment via chat. Those comments are sent to a Google application where an automated display of ALL COMMENTS can be viewed online, just as they are seen in world. (Developed by SL: Omei Turnbull.)

image of gold spike object in virtual world with text floating above

GroupNotePrim – an interactive commenting tool; just wear group tag and touch to begin. Once submitted, comments can be viewed online, as well as being displayed as float text above the object. This object is described further here (scroll down).

If you have a Gmail account, and would like to add 2¢ to the spreadsheet, please contact Azwaldo in world.

So, to summarize:

  1. Visit the project site and find the module design area.
  2. Scan the spreadsheet for accompanying discussion.
  3. Touch the GroupNotePrim to submit a comment or question. (And contact Azwaldo for Google doc access.)

Several modules exist in world merely as partial proposals in prims. Other modules are nearing completion…in that they provide a complete user experience. This does not necessarily mean that the overall design is satisfactory.

You may find that one or two of the “modules” interest you the most, (That’s how it is for me!) If so, please jump in and help see that module through to completion.

Your feedback could prove essential, at this point. And, with three weeks left for designing the prototype, it is time to get to work.

Holler any time.

Written by azwaldo

July 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm

a Deefoult avatar

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New alt, “Deefoult”, created today for observing latest Linden Labs design of the new user experience. Say hello, Deefoult.

image of female virtual world avatar in pleasant, outdoor setting

Hello, World!
—Deefoult (new alt)

This avatar was the first default character presented in a revolving group of avatars. The group included male and female avatars, each with a different appearance (though I did not pay much attention to those). Screenshot there might have proven useful, too.

The SecondLife™ client viewer* routed my agent to “Destination Island 9” and started up with the Destinations panel open (see image, below). Other avatars were chatting soon after my arrival. The Chat button flashed, indicating there was conversation to be had.

image of outdoor, virtual world scene with various interface elements shown

Screenshot on first login with SL’s client viewer*.

* Second Life 3.6.1 (278007) Jun 27 2013 12:41:07 (Second Life Release)

The location was a very simple space; a small island with tall trees and an ornate rotunda sporting eight portals, each one leading to a different type of virtual world experiences.

Destination Island portals, eight of them; all glowing and pulsing with intrigue.

Destination Island portals. There were eight of them, in all; all glowing and pulsing with intrigue.

A message had arrived, according to the small “chiclet” in upper right corner. I wonder if I would have noticed that were I a true nueb. However, it turned out to be a system message, notifying me of a viewer update; so, it is unlikely that a new user would have received that one.

Viewer Update Notification - Note the tiny "chiclet" in upper right.

Viewer Update Notification – Note the tiny “chiclet” with the numeral “1” showing, upper right.

My first thought was to open the Preferences panel and begin to see what is waiting for the new user…

image showing the preferences panel with many checkboxes and radio buttons for chat settings

Preferences panel opened to Chat tab on first try

…and I was surprised to find the Chat tab open when the Preferences panel appeared. Makes sense, SecondLife™ is a social medium; help ’em chat…off the bat.

The plan for is for Deefoult to remain in original condition, to preserve all initial settings for future reference. This might inform the design of a new user activity.

First thing learned: Hover-Tips appear to be disabled, by default.

Written by azwaldo

July 1, 2013 at 2:29 am