Dusan Writer offers a sensational bit of news:
Mark Kingdon announced that an outside design firm is hard at work on a new, user-friendly viewer for Second Life.
I’ve read Kingdon’s post, and I’m afraid Dusan misread it and jumped to the entirely wrong conclusion. Here’s what Kingdon actually wrote (emphasis mine):
Shortly after I started, we kicked off a project to reinvent what we call the “first hour experience” (our web experience, the viewer, and the way we acclimate and acculturate users inworld) for new users. We’ve made great progress and will be working with an award-winning interactive design firm to help us complete the reinvention and bring it to life. Yes, we are creating a viewer that is new user friendly! Stay tuned for updates.
That reads pretty clearly to me: they are working on a viewer that is friendly to new users, not a new viewer that is friendly to users. I suppose you could read some meaning into “reinvention” and “creating”, but I don’t see any indication that he means anything other than the renovations already in progress to make the existing viewer more friendly to new users.
Improving new users experience has been a recurring theme at Resident Experience (Rx) office hours, and is clearly one of LL’s primary obsessions. And as it happens, Linden Lab contracted Vectorform, an award-winning interactive design firm, for what is known as the Landmarks & Navigation project. This is no great secret. Vectorform attended the Rx office hours on April 17 & 24 to gather information, and then presented the L&N project concept on May 29. There were also emails to the SLDev mailing list in April and May, around the same time as the office hours. The L&N project has been underway since then, and is now nearing completion (as much has been said at Rx office hours in recent weeks).
So, sorry to burst any bubbles, but unless LL contracted another award-winning interactive design firm to work in secret on a whole new viewer, and the timing of that project just happened to coincide exactly with the timing of the Landmarks & Navigation project… well, I’ll let you jump to your own conclusion.